What is Deferred Admission?

A deferred admission means that a college application will be reconsidered at a later date. The admissions committee’s decision to delay the application isn’t an outright rejection, but has to do with financial planning and classroom numbers. It’s natural for deferred students to feel disappointed, but their application hasn’t been denied, just delayed.

College Application Deferrals 101

Students who apply for early action or early decision at college often received notifications that they have been waitlisted. It’s quite normal for these deferred applications to be reviewed again with the regular pool of applicants. The admissions staff simply wants the chance to evaluate deferred students’ applications against the final applicant pool. Students who apply to popular universities during the regular admission cycle may be placed on official waitlists. All colleges rank applicants during the admission cycle based on their internal priorities and standards. Applicants who are at the top of the waitlist will receive college admission letters when spots open up. These schools tend to be highly selective because the overall number of applications is extremely high. Some colleges have low yield rates, which mean that very low numbers of accepted applicants actually continue with enrollment.

Related resource: 50 Great Schools Where High School Students Can Get College Credit

Why do Deferrals Happen?

Most colleges defer students in order to build a comprehensive decision applicant pool. It’s just like when HR managers neither reject nor accept potential job applicants. Instead, they inform qualified job applicants that the decision will be made when more candidates have been screened. Universities often run on right budgets, so they need to strategically build their classes and manage their yield quality. This is especially true for research-based colleges that depend on student grants, private funding and entrepreneurial.Some applicants are deferred because the college wants to see what the individual will accomplish during their last year of high school. Keep in mind that the number of students applying for early decision and early action positions has drastically increased, which reduces the available seats for admittance at a regular date.

How to Manage a Deferral?

Those who receive a college application deferral must make tough decisions regarding their future academic life. The admissions team will not appreciate a barrage of emails and phone calls promoting your candidacy, but they will value a well-written update email that contains information that genuinely enhances your student profile. Give the admission office a call to find out where you are ranked on the list, how many students were offered admission and how many students have been on the waitlist in the past. Inquire about any obstacles to your acceptance and red flags on your application. Ask for ideas and advice on how to strengthen any future applications. Carefully follow any directions from the admissions department regarding submitting future documentation, such as test scores and mid-year grades. Reach out to the college recruiter or interviewer and request help. They may just offer good advice, but they may email the admissions office recommending you.

Deferred applicants are not the college’s top choice, but they have adequate value and credentials. When this happens, it’s best to seek professional advice on your to improve personal essays, activity documentation, letters of recommendation and overall application package. A deferred admission can be overcome through patience and persistence. Additional advice on deferrals can be found here.