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Deferred early decision and early action students shouldn't give up

It's always hard for a student to face rejection or deferral from a college. It's even harder when such news is delivered by the student's first choice college. This is the time of year many students who chose to apply early decision or early action to their first choice colleges get word on whether or not they are admitted. Those who get rejected can at least find solace in the fact that the college didn't want to string them along any longer. This frees the student to move on. Yet, for those who are deferred until the regular round of admission, the process goes on. In such cases, the student is usually torn between still wanting to get in and anger at not getting in. In such cases, the student needs to remain calm and think strategically if he or she is to have any shot of getting in regular decision.

In particular, if the college that deferred you remains one of your top choice colleges, there are a number of steps you can take to give yourself a fighting chance for regular decision:

-Write directly to the admissions office (ideally to the representative covering your region) informing it (him/her) that the college is still your number one choice, that you appreciate the fact that you will be up for consideration for admission again in the regular admissions cycle, and that you would definitely attend the college if accepted.

-Make sure that you keep the admissions office updated with any and all new developments since your initial application. Any new honors, grades, scores, activities, and awards are worth mentioning in this letter. Make sure that your high school counselor sends out your new report cards/transcripts promptly as soon as they are available. This means that you want to keep earning very high grades for the duration of your senior year. I have even known students to be deferred during the early admission process only to be accepted later because of strong grades and a never-quit spirit.

-Depending on the school, sometimes deferred candidates can interview again or for the first time. Find out if this is an option by contacting the admissions office. The very act of calling to ask shows that you are still eager to attend (demonstrated interest).

-Remain positive in all communications with the college and with your school counselor and communicate to your school counselor how much you still want the opportunity to attend the college.

-I encourage you to contact all contacts that you may have talked with through the college admissions process at the college in question. Remind them that you are still dedicated to the college and ask them if they have any recommendations as to how you can demonstrate your continued commitment to the college.

Finally, make sure to complete your remaining applications (and interviews) to a very high standard. Make sure that you have safety schools on your list that excite you. This will give you more college options come March/April.

Good luck.

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