My Early Decision Application Was Deferred. Now What?

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Gelyna Price
Gelyna Price

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When your early decision application receives deferral, it basically transfers to the regular decision pile. This can be frustrating, since you’ve waited impatiently for an answer from your first-choice college… and still don’t have one. Instead of just fretting over it for the next few months until regular decision news appears, though, take action. There are a few things you can do if your early decision application has been deferred.

Apply to Other Schools

First and foremost, apply to other schools. While you may still get into your first-choice, early-decision college, there’s no guarantee. Don’t leave yourself without options by counting on getting into this school, no matter how much you may want it.

Consider Calling the Admissions Office 

Now, calling the admissions office of the school from which your application was deferred isn’t necessary. Still, it may be a good choice — especially if you still really want go to that school. In the best-case scenario, the person you speak with may be able to tell you something useful. For example, if they note something lacking in your application, target this in your next step: writing a letter of continued interest.

Following up this way also helps to demonstrate your interest in the school. This can be a great factor in your favor at some schools.

Keep in mind when you call, though, not to have any expectations. Many schools won’t be able (or willing) to give you specific reasons your application was deferred. This is particularly true when deferred to regular decision, because it means they thought your application deserved another chance! So, there probably aren’t any glaring issues.

Also, certain schools will specifically tell you not to contact them for this purpose. If this is the case, don’t contact the college; they won’t appreciate your inability to follow instructions.

Send a Letter of Continued Interest

This letter, as its name implies, serves the purpose of reminding the school that you’re still interested in attending. Of course they already know this, since you applied early decision, but it’s worth repeating. 

This letter serves a second valuable purpose: it allows you to share information that you left out of your original application, or that has come up since then. For example, if you’ve won an award, become president of a club, or otherwise achieved something noteworthy, you can include it in this letter to make your application even more compelling.

Questions? Let us know!