Help! My dream school deferred me…what do I do?

We’ve come to a tricky part of the admission process. Some seniors are seeing their friends receive acceptances while still waiting for their own to arrive. Others have received the news that they’ve been deferred from their top school and are uncertain what that means and what to do next.

Deferrals can be rough in any year, but certainly in our current climate. Give yourself the time and space to check in with yourself, wallow a bit, and come to terms with this decision. It is HARD, but you will come out even stronger on the other side! After giving yourself some time to grieve, make a plan with steps including the following:

  1. Reach out to your admission counselor to learn more about their early action or early decision process this year. If you don’t know your admission counselor’s name, refer to the school’s admission page and look for a “find my counselor” link. Make sure to ask:
    • Were many students deferred?
    • Are there certain criteria the school is looking for in later stages of the admission process?
    • Do you need to formally accept the deferral decision? If so, make sure to complete any necessary paperwork (electronic or hard copy) within the school’s deadline.
  2. Continue to demonstrate your interest to the school.
    • Due to COVID precautions and travel limitations, it may be best to sit tight and show your commitment from home, rather than traveling to campus. Check out the school’s website to learn about their virtual information sessions. Schedule the ones that work for you and ask questions to continue to convey your interest. Be sure to send a follow-up thank you email to the presenter.
    • Continue to stay in touch with your admission counselor. Have you pursued a new interest? Begun working in a new job? Did you land a new leadership role in one of your extracurriculars? This is great information to share, and they want to hear from you!
  3. Revisit your college list.
    • Connect with your college or guidance counselor to talk through your current list.
      • Have you put other schools on the back burner and need to return to them now?
      • Do schools need to be added to round things out?
      • Is there more outreach you can do to show interest at other schools?
    • Take some time to reevaluate and make sure you are setting yourself up for success in the months ahead.
  4. Focus on you!
    • Though it’s tempting to let the senior slide start now, this is a great time to continue to build on your successes and let your hard work do the talking.
    • All of the schools to which you’re applying will want to see continued effort and strong grades, and your top choice school is no exception!
    • Keep up the good work if you are already on an upward trend, and put in some extra effort in areas where you may be less confident. Make sure that your high school sends updated grades when they become available.
  5. Connect with your teachers!
    • Have you especially enjoyed one of your senior classes? Could that teacher speak to your commitment in a certain discipline or highlight a new facet of your application? Consider asking them to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf, which you can submit to your admission counselor.
  6. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
    • Let your parents, siblings, or friends know you’re having a hard time and see how they can help cheer you up and encourage you along!

Are you looking for some extra support as you come into the home stretch of applications? Reach out to schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation at danaroseroth at gmail dot com.

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