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  • Writer's pictureLeah Beasley-Wojick

Navigating Next Steps: Turning a College Application Deferral into an Opportunity



college application defer

Facing a deferral from a college can be disheartening, but it's far from the end of the road. In fact, a deferral is an opportunity to strengthen your application and demonstrate your continued interest and fit for the school. Here's what you need to know and what actions you can take to maximize your chances in the regular decision round.


Understanding a Deferral

First, it's essential to understand why deferrals happen. Colleges defer applicants for various reasons: they might want to see your latest grades or test scores, assess the entire applicant pool, or gauge your genuine interest in their institution. Whatever the reason, a deferral isn't a denial. It's a second chance.


Assessing Your Options and Interest

Reevaluate Your Choice: Post-deferral, take a moment to reassess. Is this college still your top choice? Emotions and perspectives can shift, so ensure you're still committed to the school before putting in additional effort.


Responding to a Deferral

1. Understand the College's Preferences: Each college has its own policies about deferred applications. Some might welcome additional materials, while others prefer you don't send anything extra. Always respect these guidelines.


2. Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI): A LOCI can be a powerful tool if the college is open to additional materials. Address it to the admissions officer responsible for your region, succinctly reaffirm your interest, update them on any new achievements, and articulate why the school is an ideal fit for you.


3. Additional Recommendations: Sometimes, a fresh perspective can help. If someone can provide new insights into your character and accomplishments, consider asking for an additional recommendation letter. Always check with the admissions office on where and how to send this.


4. Updated Academic Information: If you've improved your grades or test scores since your initial application, make sure the college knows. Send any new academic information by the deadline, typically in February.


Communicating with Your School Counselor

Keep your school counselor in the loop. They can advocate for you and might provide additional insights or communicate directly with the college's admissions officers.


Continuing Your College Journey

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Continue applying to other colleges where you can see yourself thriving. This ensures you'll have options come spring.


Staying Positive and Realistic

While it's natural to be disappointed by a deferral, remember that many paths can lead to a fulfilling college experience. Be proactive and open to the possibilities ahead.


A deferral is not the end of your college admission journey but a bump in the road. By taking thoughtful and strategic actions, you can turn this decision into a valuable opportunity to strengthen your application and demonstrate your commitment. Stay focused, stay positive, and remember that the right college experience is there for you.

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