The Ivy Coach Daily

February 23, 2023

What To Do After Being Deferred by Yale

A panoramic of Yale University's campus at sunset.
Learn what to do after receiving a deferral from Yale (photo credit: Namkota).

Were you deferred in the Early Action round to Yale University? If so, we encourage you not to be demoralized, as you’ve still got a shot of earning admission to the New Haven, Connecticut-based university in the Regular Decision round. While some universities defer most of their Early pools, in recent years, Yale has been denying more students than they’ve been deferring. Your deferral is thus more meaningful than a deferral from some of Yale’s peer institutions. So what should you do after receiving news of your deferral?

Yale Early Action Admission Rates Over 20 Years

First, it’s essential to understand your Yale deferral in context. For the Class of 2028, Yale accepted a historically low percentage of Early Action applicants: 9.02%. The figure eclipsed the then-record 10.02% of Early Action applicants who earned admission to Yale’s Class of 2027.

Through the years, one trend concerning Yale’s Early Action acceptance rate is apparent: it’s going down, down, and down even further!

Admissions CycleYale Graduating ClassYale’s Early Action Admission Rate
2023-2024Class of 20289.02%
2022-2023Class of 202710.02%
2021-2022Class of 202612.09%
2020-2021Class of 202510.5%
2019-2020Class of 202413.8%
2018-2019Class of 202313.2%
2017-2018Class of 202214.7%
2016-2017Class of 202117.1%
2015-2016Class of 202017%
2014-2015Class of 201916%
2013-2014Class of 201815.5%
2012-2013Class of 201714.4%
2011-2012Class of 201615.7%
2010-2011Class of 201514.5%
2009-2010Class of 201413.9%
2008-2009Class of 201313.4%
2007-2008Class of 201218.1%
2006-2007Class of 201119.7%
2005-2006Class of 201017.7%
2004-2005Class of 200917.9%
2003-2004Class of 200816.6%
2002-2003Class of 200721.3%

Yale Early Action Deferral Rates Over 20 Years

For the Yale Class of 2028, 20% of Yale’s Early Action applicants were deferred. In prior years, this figure stood at 21% for the Yale Class of 2027, 31% for the Yale Class of 2026, 50% for the Yale Class of 2025, 56% for the Yale Class of 2024, 56% for the Yale Class of 2023, and 55% for the Yale Class of 2022.

Notice a trend? Yale’s deferral rate has been diminishing consequentially over the last few years. From atop our soapbox in elite college admissions, Ivy Coach has been calling on America’s top colleges to stop stringing so many students along — to reject more applicants so as not to give so many students false hope. Yale has heeded that call!

Admissions CycleYale Graduating ClassYale’s Early Action Deferral Rate
2023-2024Class of 202820%
2022-2023Class of 202721%
2021-2022Class of 202631%
2020-2021Class of 202550%
2019-2020Class of 202456%
2018-2019Class of 202356%
2017-2018Class of 202255%

Yale Early Action Denial Rates Over 20 Years

For the Class of 2028, Yale denied 70% of Early Action applicants. This figure stood at 67% for the Class of 2027, 57% for the Class of 2026, 38% for the Class of 2025, 29% for the Class of 2024, 30% for the Class of 2023, and 29% for the Class of 2022.

So just as Yale’s deferral rate has decreased over the last few years, the Ivy League school’s rejection rate in the Early Action round has surged. In short, Yale is rejecting many more applicants than it used to defer, only to later reject so many of them in the Regular Decision round. We salute Yale for pulling off this bandaid earlier and not offering these students false hope.

Admissions CycleYale Graduating ClassYale’s Early Action Denial Rate
2023-2024Class of 202870%
2022-2023Class of 202767%
2021-2022Class of 202657%
2020-2021Class of 202538%
2019-2020Class of 202429%
2018-2019Class of 202330%
2017-2018Class of 202229%

5 Steps to Take After Being Deferred by Yale

  1. Breathe in and breathe out. For the Class of 2028, 70% of Early Action applicants were denied admission, and 20% were deferred admission. So the majority of applicants got rejected outright. It could have been worse, and if you play your cards right, you still have a shot of getting into Yale in Regular Decision.
  2. Complete a PostMortem application review to understand what went wrong, what went right, and what changes you should make for Regular Decision schools.
  3. Prepare your Letter of Continued Interest soon after receiving your deferral. Be sure to submit your letter before the holidays. You want to send your letter within a few days of your deferral to let Yale know you still love them and that you don’t have sour grapes. Think of it as a love letter to Yale, not an opportunity to brag and update them on all you’ve achieved in the six weeks since you first applied.
  4. In the New Year, bring your Letter of Continued Interest to your school counselor and ask your counselor to make an advocacy call on your behalf to Yale. Good school counselors will make advocacy calls. They’ll fight for their students.
  5. Distract yourself by keeping up your grades. Make sure not to drop any courses after your deferral, as you must maintain the rigor of your senior year classes. By focusing on your studies, you’ll resist the urge to reach out to Yale after your Letter of Continued Interest. We don’t recommend bugging them. You want that letter to breathe. Refrain from drowning out the power of that letter with additional, frivolous contacts.

Yale Deferral FAQ

Does Yale want to receive additional letters of recommendation after a deferral?

Yale required applicants to submit two teacher letters of recommendation and one school counselor letter of recommendation. Yale is clear they do not wish to receive additional letters of recommendation.

As Yale’s admissions committee states, “You should think carefully before submitting supplementary material with your Yale College application. Most successful applicants submit only the required application materials. Because the Admissions Committee gives greatest weight to the required documents, it is recommended that you focus your energy primarily on those elements of the application.”

Yale’s admissions committee further elaborates on supplementary letters of recommendation, “The vast majority of successful applicants submit only required letters of recommendation. If you feel the need to submit extra information, you may ask one additional recommender to write on your behalf. The most useful extra recommendations provide new information and dimension to a candidacy, rather than repeat the strengths and qualities found elsewhere in the application. The recommender should know you well personally or have mentored you closely in some capacity.”

Thus, submitting an additional letter of recommendation after a deferral is unnecessary at Yale and could undermine your case for admission in Regular Decision. Doing so could risk drowning out the power of your Letter of Continued Interest.

Should I call the regional representative in the Yale admissions office to find out why I was deferred?

No, your regional representative at Yale does not wish to talk to you on the phone. Don’t be a gadfly. Just submit a powerful Letter of Continued Interest and let your letter speak for you — and breathe!

Should I send an update to Yale once a week after my deferral?

No, it would be best not to reach out to Yale regularly after your deferral. Again, don’t be a gadfly. These are things that gadflies do after a deferral. It’s not about reaching out to Yale frequently. Instead, it’s about capitalizing on your one reach-out by submitting a compelling Letter of Continued Interest.

Is a Yale deferral more meaningful than a deferral from some of its peer highly selective universities?

In recent years, because Yale has been denying so many more Early Action applicants than the university has been deferring, we would indeed agree that a Yale deferral is more meaningful than a deferral from some of the school’s peer institutions, some of which continue to defer many more applicants than they deny.

Ivy Coach’s Assistance with Yale Deferral

If you’re interested in optimizing your case for admission to Yale in the Regular Decision round, fill out Ivy Coach’s free consultation form. We’ll be in touch to outline our PostMortem and Letter of Continued Interest service.

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