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What to do when your application is deferred?

Updated: May 14, 2022

It’s decision season and most universities have already released their decisions for the early action and early decision rounds. You applied, hoping to get in, and then you see that your application has been deferred. While it is true that applications that get deferred do get accepted in the end, there is no hard and fast rule here. It is very likely that you might be rejected and this is why you need to act fast. So, what can you do about this? We, at Writers Qi, are going to offer a few suggestions on what you can do to ensure that you’re studying in university next year.

Take a good hard look at your current university shortlist

For obvious reasons, you would have applied to different universities and have plans to apply to a few more. This is natural as it is always a good plan to have a backup. In case you have not thought of it yet, or aren’t sure of how to have a realistic list, think about what you want from university and try to find the right fit from there.

It is always a good idea to speak to your school counselor about this and figure out the best options for yourself. There are a lot of universities that you could get into and would most definitely be a good match for you too. All you have to do is identify them and categorize them into three different lists: Dream, Reach, and Safety. The safety schools are the ones you should definitely apply to and can be sure of getting in them as well. Take a look at your profile and grades, subject performance, and extracurricular performance and this will help in the process.

Deferred and unsure?

It is very common that students who do not get into their dream schools especially at the ED/ EA stage do go on to enjoying their university life at their safety schools. If you applied for ED/ EA, it probably means you were extremely keen on this one university and its course. Does this mean your application was not effective enough? Not really and we’ll tell you why.

When you’re applying for ED to a specific university, it already means that they have a very competitive applicant pool. This results in very competitive students also missing out on a spot there. Always make sure your application is reflecting the values the admission officers are looking for. This is always clearly stated on their main official website and can be hinted at through the prompts that they ask. Your essays are not the only part of your application and that is something we tend to forget most of the time. Sometimes an institution’s priorities change, and that could also be a reason as to why your application has been deferred.

Move on to the next step

Yes, it is disappointing that you have not made it to your dream school but you still have many other options left. You can always apply for the regular decision to other schools and there is a good chance that you might get in. The first thing you need to do is focus on your final exams because that can change things for you.

Look at what the school has said to you. Any deferral letter will have a set of instructions that you need to follow in order to show them that you’re still interested in studying at their university. For example, there is a defer response form that you will be asked to fill. You could do that and if you’re unsure of what you need to do, you can always find the instructions on their official website. You can always let them know that you’re interested in being considered for RD admission rounds as well. Send any updated test scores (SAT, ACT, TOEFL, etc.) and even remind your counselor to send your mid-year reports to the university. Only submit these materials if specifically asked for, because in the case that you send things that they are not considering, it can be problematic for you to get through in any of these rounds.

Letter of continued interest (LCI)

In the case that no additional materials are requested specifically, you can always send a letter of continued interest to the admissions committee. It should indicate that they are still your top choice for university and you have made significant progress since you have submitted your application. That can be in the form of improved grades, extracurricular performance, etc. If you have spoken to the regional counselor then you can respond back to them but make sure to CC the main admissions office so that it does not get missed. Make sure you thank them for their time and for reviewing your application.

Any email that the university sends you is tracked and that can be counted towards your demonstrated interest in them. Always, always always open their emails and make sure you’re up to date in any correspondence that they might have with you so that none goes amiss!

All in all, make sure you strategize well and always keep safety schools in mind during the process as they could be your savior at the end of the day. There’s no harm in keeping your fingers crossed to hope to get into your dream university but that also does not mean that you stress too much. Have a calm mindset while doing so, this will only help you in the long run. Good luck!

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