You took the classes, you studied for the exams, you filled out the early action applications, and you finally received your response. You log in, excitedly, only to find out that your application has been deferred.

A deferral means that you’ve applied early action to your school of choice and that that college or University has decided to postpone your application until the regular round of admissions. So instead of getting accepted or denied, your application has been put aside to be reconsidered at a later time. Ouch.

While being deferred from an institution can be disappointing, there is still reason to stay positive and continue pursuing your school of choice. It’s important to note that deferred does not mean denied. Consider this: if you were not a strong applicant, the school would have sent you a rejection letter instead.


Below are a few suggestions of what you can do to decrease your anxiety while you wait:


1.Maintain your Grades:

Your grades are one of, if not THE MOST important, deciding factors in the admissions process. Now is the time to continue being motivated and maintain the grades you’ve worked so hard for.

2.Reel in the recommendations:

If you haven’t already submitted one and your school will accept them, having your school counselor, teacher, or mentor write a letter of recommendation on your behalf is a great way for your application to stand out amongst the competition to the admissions office. It helps to have someone who knows you personally pen a letter of support highlighting your dedication and achievements.

3.Update your resume:

Colleges want to see that you have remained focused and involved during your senior year.  Conveying the message that you have not taken your foot off the gas says that you are motivated, hard-working, and ready to contribute to the college community on day one.

4.One note:

Every college handles deferrals differently, so be sure to check out the best way to submit updated information.  Some schools request that updates are submitted through a specific portal; others will accept them through the admissions email.

5.Keep your options open:

While some deferral letters will eventually turn into acceptance letters, the reality is that some will not. And so, it is important that you keep your options open. Explore the schools that you’ve received acceptance letters from. You can do so by scheduling college visits, connecting with other prospective students, and collecting more information about the undergraduate program that you’re interested in.


And finally,


Remember, you only get to experience your last semester of high school once, so don’t let ANY admissions decision prevent you from enjoying this wonderful time of life. After all, you are about to graduate high school, a Milestone that is worthy of celebration, regardless of a yes, no, or maybe.