The Ivy Coach Daily

December 27, 2011

Advice for Deferred Students

Deferred students should write letters of enthusiasm to the colleges that didn’t give them offers of admission.

Here’s some advice for deferred students: write a letter of enthusiasm to the school that you applied Early to that didn’t give you an offer of admission. Why write a letter of enthusiasm? Because you want to show that school that you still love them, that they remain your first choice even as you now apply to other universities. We often hear from parents that their child’s teachers will be sending in additional letters of recommendation, that the child’s guidance counselor is going to put in a call to an admissions officer. And that’s all great but, ultimately, colleges want to hear from the students themselves. This is where a letter of enthusiasm comes in.

In your letter of enthusiasm, you should express what you can add to the university to which you applied. Express what you love about the school and why you’d be a perfect fit for the college. Share what you’ve done since you applied if you’ve done something significant. Write a compelling letter, one that appeals to the human beings reading your letter. Don’t beg. Don’t say how they made a mistake (boy, would that be a mistake!). Don’t tell them they’ll regret it. That’s one way not to ever get in (and yet you’d be surprised how many students do this every year).

But here’s some additional advice for deferred students: don’t get your hopes up! The fact of the matter remains that very few deferred students to highly competitive colleges end up gaining admission in the Regular Decision round. In the Ivy League, the percentage of deferred students who gain admission in the Regular round typically stands at around 10%. But sometimes it’s quite a bit lower!

So if you thought your admissions chances were tough in the Early round, they’re only tougher unfortunately in the Regular round. You’re writing the letter of enthusiasm because you obviously loved the school enough to apply there Early so you might as well keep at it. Keep showing them how you love them. But your focus now should primarily be on the schools to which you’re applying in the Regular Decision round. While the truth may hurt, it’s still the truth.

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