College admissions officers like Early Decision or Early Action. The more students they can admit through these avenues, the faster they can fill their class. But not all applicants get accepted. Some are placed in limbo. Neither accepted nor rejected they are deferred for consideration against the larger applicant pool. However, deferred admissions are not always the end of the line in the admissions process.

If you’re dealing with a deferred admissions status what can you do?

Contact the admissions office and keep them informed of good news. It cannot hurt to ask about the reasoning behind their decision to defer. They might be waiting for mid-year senior grades or fall standardized test scores before they can make a final decision. Every bit of improvement in your grades and test scores will help our cause.  So will news of awards and achievements that were received after your application was submitted. Admissions officers will view new information positively, and treat it as a serious expression of interest.

Reassess. Ask if this school is really the first choice. Would you still commit, even if there is not enough financial aid to help you cover your costs? Are there other schools that have become more attractive in light of your deferred status? Were you pleasantly surprised by other offers that you received, including generous scholarships or admission to an honors program? Is it possible that those opportunities are more attractive than those that might have been offered by your “dream school,” had you been accepted early? The most successful college applicants try to create as many attractive opportunities as they can. The more opportunities you have, the happier you will be.

Take advantage of any optional interviews. If the school offers you the opportunity to interview with the admissions office on campus, or local alumni close to home, and  you have not previously had an interview, take one. This is a chance to add to your case for admission or, at the very least, to learn more about the school.

Deferred admissions are not the best news for someone who had high hopes of attending their first-choice school. But they are not cause for panic. Admissions officers defer candidates because they are still worthy of consideration, and often quite qualified to become members of their next freshman class. It is up to the student to not give up and continue to prove to be deserving.

For more tips and college admissions advice that can help you along the journey to college, please contact me at or call me at 609-406-0062.

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