Deferred From Your Dream School?
Five Things You Need to Do
Getting deferred from your dream school is not fun. You're put in this frustrating limbo: you're not accepted, but you're not rejected either. If you've been deferred from your top choice, don't lose faith! Instead, do these five things to reiterate your interest in the school, impress the admissions counselors, and keep your options open.
Do some soul-searching.
I know what it’s like to go into the college admissions process with one school and one school only in your sight. If you’ve been deferred from your dream school, it’s a good time to really decide if that is still your #1. It might still be your top choice, in which case you should go full speed ahead with the rest of these steps!
However, maybe another school has caught your eye or piqued your curiosity. Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of going somewhere else. If that’s the case, this is a good chance to do a little bit more research into other schools and explore your (many) options.
Express your continued interest in a letter.
If your heart is still set on that school, you should compose a letter that tells the school this. Send this letter to the admissions counselor (and CC the dean of admissions) who handles applicants from your region - you’ve likely been in contact with them already, but if not, you can find their contact information through your guidance counselor or the school’s website.
In this letter, make sure you reiterate that their school is still your top choice school. Let them know that if you’re eventually accepted, you will enroll and attend their school. Make sure they know your genuine enthusiasm for their institution - butter them up, a little bit! Just be sincere and genuine.
Outline all of the reasons why that school would be the perfect fit for you, and what makes you so sure it’s the right place. Lay out what you’d do at their school: what you’d major in (if you know it), what sorts of extracurriculars you’d want to join, and so on.
Finally, let them know what you’ve achieved in the time since you submitted your application. If you’ve made honor roll this semester or completed a massive project that reinforced your choice of future major, these are all great things to mention. If you got an A in your hardest class, mention that. Let them know that you haven’t slacked since applying to their school, and tell them you’re going to continue to work hard.
Send in any new scores, grades, and recommendation letters, IF the school suggests that.
When you get a deferral letter, the school may suggest sending in more (or updated) application materials. Take this suggestion! Send them any new report cards or test scores you’ve received. Write a supplemental essay. Ask another teacher or faculty member for a glowing recommendation letter. Send in anything that will make you a stronger applicant and hopefully get you from a “maybe” to a “yes.”
If the school says not to send anything else, don’t. If you bombard them with documents and letters that they don’t want, you’ll just tell them that you don’t listen to directions. That won’t help your case.
Visit the school!
If you haven’t visited the campus, or if you haven’t visited recently, this is a great time to go. Use this time to meet with your admissions counselor or the dean of admissions - getting to meet them face-to-face can make a big impression on them and show them how serious you are about attending their school.
On your visit, drop into some classes that you’d be interested in taking. Make sure to meet the professor beforehand and thank them afterwards. When you talk with your admissions counselor, make sure to name-drop the professors you met and the classes you went to. This is another way to show them just how determined you are about attending their university.
Send in the rest of your Regular Decision applications.
If you’re determined to attend your dream school, we encourage you to do everything possible to get that acceptance letter. However, because life doesn’t always end up how we want it to, it’s imperative that you still submit applications to other schools. Don’t neglect these applications in your determination to get into your dream school. If, unfortunately, you don’t end up getting accepted to your top choice, you won’t have anything to fall back on unless you apply other places.
Getting deferred from your dream school is not the end of the world (even if it feels like it!). Think of it as one more opportunity to prove to the admissions counselors why you belong at their school. Follow these steps, and keep your mind open. The place you end up will be the perfect place for you!