What To Do If Deferred in Early Admissions

First, if you have been deferred from a college, here is what not to do: nothing.

This is no time to be sitting around merely worrying and hoping. This is a time for action. It is not too late. The goal of every college application should be to stand out in a positive way. That goal does not change after a deferral. If your application is just sitting in a pile somewhere, chances are that it is not going to stand out. You can do something about that. Try one or more of the following:

-- It has been several months since you sent in your application. Have you had any positive news since then? Have you won any awards, or had a poem published, or become captain or editor? Let the admissions office know.

-- If you have no news to share, make some. Sign up for an elective term course. Submit poems to newspapers, magazines, and contests. Try to get elected or appointed to a leadership position in an extra-curricular activity. Volunteer for a charitable activity outside of school – at a hospital or nursing home or Habitat for Humanity or the like. In some way, add another activity or appointment to your schedule. When you do, let the admissions office know.

-- Call the admissions office and let them know that you care enough about your candidacy to get in touch and to update your application. Tell them about what you have been doing and what good things have happened since your application was submitted. Let them know what you have to offer them and why they will be glad that they accepted you. Let them know that they are number one, that if you are accepted, you will attend. Give them a voice to attach to the name on your application, a personality, a life full of good cheer, a basketful of reasons to put you in the “admit” pile. If possible, speak with the representative who covers your area. In whatever way possible, make that rep your advocate.

Again, the goal is to stand out. The overwhelming majority of deferred candidates will do nothing. They will not call. They will not update their application. They will not show in any conspicuous manner – other than what they said in their initial application – that they care about getting admitted. You can be different…you can stand out…you can show that you really care. Start by sharing your good-news update.

1 comment:

Brian Cavner said...

Great advice. All too often applicants refuse to stand out from the crowd (or, even worse, try too hard to stand out).

The middle ground is hard to find, but finding it is the key to getting off the dreaded waitlist.