Deferred Early Applicants to College

Deferred Early Applicants, Early Decision Deferral, Deferred in Early Decision

Deferred Early Decision applicants should not be calling admissions officers for postmortems on their applications…or to ask what they can do to improve their shots in the Regular Decision round (photo credit: Getty Hall).

We recently offered our thoughts on a blog up on “US News & World Report’s” site by Brian Witte. The piece by Witte offered advice to students who are denied admission by their Early Decision / Early Action school(s). The piece was alarmingly inaccurate — so much so that it prompted us to write in to “US News & World Report” to alert them of some of the inaccuracies presented. Unsurprisingly, a correction has since been run. The highly selective college admissions process is stressful enough. High school students and their parents don’t need to be reading completely erroneous information — like the notion that students who are rejected by their Early school should reapply in the Regular Decision round to the same school(s). If you’re denied — and not deferred admission — you can’t reapply in Regular Decision. So the whole premise of Witte’s piece was grossly misleading.

We came across a blog up on “US News & World Report’s” site in which the writer recommends that deferred Early applicants should call admissions officers to find out what they can do to improve their odds of admission in the Regular Decision round. Don’t do that!

Today, he has a new piece up on “US News & World Report’s” site entitled “Regroup After an Early Admission College Rejection” that we have some opinions on as well. In the piece, Witte writes, “If you were deferred, you will be automatically entered into the regular-admission pool without having to resubmit your application. Note you should still submit applications to other schools. Be sure to contact the admissions office to reaffirm your interest in the institution. You can communicate via email, but a letter or telephone call may better demonstrate your sincerity. When you speak to the admissions office, ask if the school will accept supplements to your existing application packet. If they will, it’s essential to demonstrate your continuing progress, such as improved test scores or strong first-semester grades.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Students should not be calling admissions offices after being deferred. In fact, students are often explicitly told not to do so by the very colleges that defer their admission. Do you think admissions officers want to hop on the phone and listen to dejected students express their concerns and voice their questions? No. They don’t. They have better ways to spend their time. If a school counselor wishes to call — which is totally different than a deferred applicant calling and can certainly be beneficial — that’s one thing. But a student calling? No. And students should not be asking if additional supplements can be added to the existing application. Rather, students should submit a powerful and compelling Letter of Enthusiasm that conveys what they hope to contribute to the university and why they wish to attend.


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