It is officially many senior’s favorite season, the time of college early admissions decisions. And while the feeling of opening that portal and seeing a bold Congratulations! at the top of the page results in pure elation, the not-so-special feeling of learning your application must be re-reviewed is one many of us know all too well.

Let’s get one thing straight: deferral is very different from being rejected or waitlisted. It simply means that your application has been moved to the regular decision pool and is still being considered. 

While some may view this decision as humiliating, a deferral is nothing to be ashamed of. According to ivywise.com, last year about 7,939 students applied to Yale early action. Of those thousands of students, only 837 gained admission, a mere 10.54%. 50% of early action applicants were deferred to the regular decision round. Similarly, Georgetown deferred up to 89% of its early action applicants. Come regular decision time, about 15% of those applicants were accepted. So remember, more of your classmates have been deferred than you think, and you have still got a shot!

Sure, it isn’t super reassuring to have me, a random 17 year old, tell you that it will be alright, so here are some things you could actually do about your deferral. 

  1. For those itching to take control, one of the most popular tactics is writing a letter to the admissions office. While some may think you’re coming on too strong, many admissions officers actually love seeing any form of dedication to their school. So send them information about new extracurriculars, get some more rec letters, or even just simply tell them why you deserve a spot with them in the fall. These letters show that you care and that you are willing to go the extra mile, something very valuable to admission counselors. 
  2. If you got deferred from your lifelong top choice, you may feel hopeless or confused.Take a closer look at the schools you are applying to or have already been admitted to. It is time to take a closer look at all your other options. Who knows, a college you accidentally applied to might just be the one for you! So visit, do research, and attend information sessions. Sometimes the most prestigious schools don’t offer the best program for what you want to major in. Take journalism for example, one of the best places to study it in the nation is The University of Arizona. You never know what could happen!
  3. And finally, the most important tip is to stay calm. Don’t let this minor bump in the road change your entire outlook on life. Getting deferred from one school doesn’t mean you’re not going to succeed. Plus, you never know! Come spring you could be opening a hefty acceptance letter. College and the experience that you have is what you make of it, and being negative won’t suddenly change any decision that has been made.

A deferral may seem like the end of the world, but the most important thing to remember is no matter where you end up: education is education. M-A college counselor Mai Lien Nguyen said, “One positive way to look at deferment is that the college has determined that they already see something in your application about how you could be a fit for their institution, but they just want a little more information like your first semester grades. It also means you get another shot at being in the applicant pool.” Stay positive and grind out your work for the rest of the year. Find things you enjoy and acknowledge that even if you don’t end up at a top 20 university next year, you’re still going to graduate high school and begin a chapter in your life, which is a HUGE accomplishment!

Ellie Hultgren is a senior at M-A this year and this is her second year writing for the Chronicle. She loves learning more about M-A’s community and the student body.

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