If you received an Early Decision deferral this fall, that doesn’t mean you have no chance of getting into the university to which you applied Early during the Regular Decision round. A deferral is different from being denied (duh!). But that also doesn’t mean that you have a good shot at getting in during the Regular Decision round. And it’s important to know this. At most highly selective colleges, the chance that an applicant who was deferred through Early Decision gains admission during Regular Decision is approximately 10%. 1 in 10 isn’t exactly the best odds.
So often, we hear from parents and students how badly they still want to get into the school to which they applied Early Decision. And it makes logical sense. Students applied Early to these schools for a reason. They made a singular commitment to these schools. They said to the schools that they want them, that they’re willing to forego applying to all other schools through Early Decision in the hope of gaining admission to their top choice. And colleges appreciate that.
But it doesn’t mean you should be putting “all your eggs in one basket” during Regular Decision. You’ve got to apply to lots of other colleges and not pin all of your hopes and dreams on getting into the school that deferred you. You’ve got to move on and create new hopes and dreams. There’s another school out there for you, we promise.
By all means, students should continue to try to gain admission to the college that deferred them. They should write a letter of enthusiasm. They should ask their guidance counselor to reach out to the college to see if there’s anything else they can do. They should update the college on new notable (with an emphasis on the notable) accomplishments. But, all the while, students must let other colleges know that they’re all the students’ first choice as well. Yes, you read that right.