Deferred. Now what?

You’ve been deferred – Now what?

First thing. Breathe.   You. Are. STILL. Amazing. (Just go through your trove to see).

Now, what does this mean and what to do about it?

What is a deferral?

Students who applied for early action or early decision will get an acceptance, a rejection or a deferral.  A deferral is “a postponement of an action or event” and, in this case, that event is your college of choice deferring their final decision on your application. Your application will now go through the regular admission pool and you receive your final answer in April.

Why did you get deferred?

Alas, only your college knows that.  However, we can share that a college is not simply looking at your test scores and GPA, they are looking at you and trying to figure out how you fit into the class they are building.  Your trovvit profile and portfolio can be a big help in differentiating you in the mix.

Also, things change from year to year. For example, this year MIT saw an increase of 16% in early applicants. Princeton and Duke both dropped their early acceptances this year by 14% and 20% respectively.  Washington University, on the other hand, accepted 40% of their class through early decision.  Clear as mud, right? 

The good news is that the college can see you as a member of their community. Nicely done! The no-so-good-news is that they need more time with your application and to see who else is applying.

What can you do?

1.       Finish your regular decision applications. Thankfully there are a lot of great colleges out there. Do your research on these other colleges and make your applications shine! Be sure to update your trovvit profile and portfolio and include your link in the application!

2.       Follow up. Thank them for the reviewing your application and reiterate why you think they are such a great match. This is not a re-do of your application though you could offer a quick update of what you have been doing since you submitted your application. This should also be reflected on your trovvit profile and portfolio which they may go back and check more than once.  The college has what they need and they will get your mid-term grades from your school.

3.       Keep it clean. Colleges will look you up online. Make sure your trovvit page and portfolio are up-to-date.  Check your digital footprint and search your name to make sure that your posts, comments, tweets, etc represent you in the best light.  42% of admission officers who looked up applicants online said that it had a negative impact on the applicant and 18% rescinded their offer.

4.       Keep it short.  This is not a re-do, this is a thank you and quick update. Also, be sure to check your college’s policy regarding deferral protocols as these vary from school to school. You do not want to do more harm than good.  

5.       Take some time. No need to rush out and contact the office right away. There are real people who went through this process on the other side and they need a rest and holiday just like you.   Take this time to do your research, pull things together and then reach out in the new year.

6.       Do your research. Try and find out online, through the school or through your network how many people are deferred each year and how many get in.  While this will vary from year to year it can give you a sense about your odds.

7.       Get advice. If you know alumni, get their advice and guidance and check with your school counselor or your college consultant.

8.       Explore your options.  Some colleges take students on rolling admissions (meaning you would start in January).  Others may look at you differently if you take a gap year to gain some more experience outside of a school setting.  This is something to explore with your school counselor. We are big fans of gap years and encourage those who do take them to gain an acceptance offer this year and then defer so that you do not have to re-apply during your gap year.  There is a protocol for gap years so work with your high school and college to make sure there are no surprises there.  


Oh, and enjoy your senior year a little. You earned it!