Here are Some Tips from an Expert College Advisor.
It’s now the end of February and regular admission decisions are most likely to arrive at the end of March or April. For some students though, their early application decisions have been deferred and their application has become part of the regular applicant pool. There are even some schools that automatically defer all students not accepted under an early admission plan to the regular applicant pool. Reasons for this action may be because the college wants to evaluate the applicant against a larger pool of students, they would like additional information, or perhaps they wish to determine their own needs. Without a clear-cut decision of admission or denial, a student may feel in limbo and confused as to why this happened. Do not give up hope! The good news is that you have not been rejected and you can still take steps to increase your chance of admission. In admissions counseling, here are the important guidelines to follow that just might turn that maybe into a yes:
- First, read any correspondence sent to you from the college carefully for information on their procedure to follow in the event of a deferral. Make sure to follow the instructions. If you are still unsure, check with your high school counselor.
- Do not send any information or letters unless permitted to do so.
- Some colleges do not want deferred students to contact them. If that is the case, do not annoy them.
- If you do not see instructions not to contact the college, I recommend calling and speaking directly to the admissions counselor assigned to your application. Many times, this is determined by geographic region. I would try to acquire information as to the reason for your deferral. Ask them to review the deferral process and what additional information they would like to receive. This also shows demonstrated interest.
- You can volunteer to meet with the admission counselor, bringing along any documents with new information.
- Check and see if it is possible to submit an additional recommendation letter. Many schools will allow this addition.
- Review your submitted application and essays, checking for possible errors.
- Check and see if the college will allow an additional personal statement. If so, carefully craft an essay that highlights your accomplishments and interests.
- If requested by the school, submit mid-year course grades, up-to-date test results, and an updated resume. Make sure to emphasize any additional awards or displays of leadership ability.
- Many schools will allow you to submit a deferral letter. This is critical in stating your continued enthusiasm for the school and why you believe that the school is a good fit for you. Equally important, is what you can contribute to the college. If it is still your first choice college, I recommend stating your intent to enroll if admitted.
- Make sure to keep your senior year grades strong! You don’t want to give them a reason to reject you.
- Realize that there are many colleges that could be a good fit for you and if it doesn’t work out, you will still have a wonderful college experience at a college that really wants you.
Pam Ohriner, an independent college consultant at Helping Hand College Guidance, provides one-on-one college admissions assistance in all areas of the college application process. Whether you need help with one aspect of the process or a counselor by your side to guide you each step of the way, our Los Angeles college counselors are here to maximize your chance of admission to the school of your dreams. Contact us for deferral services or to fulfill your other college counseling needs.