Your college application finds itself in the realm of uncertainty—deferred. The initial wave of early admissions has unfolded, and while some celebrate acceptance and others confront rejection, you linger in a state of limbo. It’s a peculiar space in college admissions, neither reveling in the triumph of acceptance nor grappling with the sting of rejection. So, what’s the game plan when your application is deferred?

Firstly, let’s demystify the term. A deferral implies the college is withholding a final decision, indicating that you may fit the profile of admitted students, but not at the forefront. They’re reserving judgment to assess your standing against the broader pool of regular decision applicants.

Navigating this liminal space can be perplexing and disheartening, sparking a myriad of questions.

Let’s tackle some common queries associated with deferred applications and offer guidance on how to proceed.

Should you reach out to the school if your application is deferred?

Perhaps. For some colleges, initiating contact with the admissions office is beneficial. Engage with the person overseeing your application, seeking insights into the deferral. Politeness is key. Inquire about any specific reasons, addressing potential concerns like a specific grade or incomplete application.

Yet, exercise caution; some schools explicitly discourage contact. If this is the case, the deferral may lack a specific rationale, limiting your influence on the outcome during the regular decision round.

Does a deferral increase the likelihood of admission later?

Not necessarily. Although colleges often defer applicants with the potential for acceptance in the regular round, it’s not a guarantee. Some institutions employ deferral as a precautionary measure, retaining qualified applicants until necessary. Unfortunately, it might also mean placement on the waiting list.

Should you submit updated grades post-deferral?

Absolutely. Most colleges will expect an official semester grade report. If your initial grades showed room for improvement and you’ve since elevated your performance, communicate this. Seek a letter of recommendation from the relevant teacher outlining your efforts to enhance your grade.

Is submitting additional materials advisable?

It depends. Some colleges discourage extra submissions, while others welcome supplementary letters of recommendation, updates on achievements, and insights into your evolving interest in the school. Whether through “letters of continuing interest” or portal updates, emphasize not only your continued interest but also the contributions you can bring to the campus.

How to demonstrate continued interest after deferral?

Colleges seek students committed to enrollment. Despite the disappointment, express ongoing interest by proactively understanding the deferral reasons, submitting materials promptly, and exploring options like a phone interview or campus visit (if feasible). Strike a balance—display affection for the institution without resorting to excessive gestures.

Should you apply to more schools after a deferral?

Evaluate your college list. If it lacks balance, consider applying to additional schools. A deferral implies uncertain outcomes, and diversifying your options becomes prudent. Ensure your list includes both “target” and “likely” schools.

As January concludes, touch base with the college, confirming they possess all necessary information for a final decision. Remember, a deferral is not a verdict but a delay. Await the conclusive decision, hoping it aligns with your aspirations.