Guide to US Applications • Undergraduate

Deferred From US Early Applications? What to Do Now?

POSTED ON 02/04/2018 BY The Red Pen

Deferred From US Early Applications? What to Do Now? | The Red Pen

Early application results are in! And for those of you who have received a letter stating that you have been deferred, don’t worry. Being deferred isn’t a straight out rejection. It simply means that your application will be reconsidered in the regular decision round and you will get a final decision by April.

Why do universities defer?

There are many reasons why universities defer students. For example, your university might want to see what else you are doing in your final year in terms of academics or extracurricular activities. Another reason you could have been deferred is if you haven’t submitted your test scores, letters of recommendation, transcripts or any other required document by the submission deadline. Alternately, some universities have a higher number of applicants who have applied in the early admission round and want to wait till the regular decision to build their class. Whatever the reason, the ambiguity can be unsettling and you must be wondering what to do next.

Here are some tips to try and maximize the outcome and try to get that coveted acceptance letter.


1) Think of your options:

If you have been deferred from the US university to which you have applied early, take some time and think about whether it is your preferred choice and review your alternatives. If you still want to try to get accepted here, then it’s time to start working towards this objective. If you have also applied to universities for regular decisions, remember to keep an eye on any updates from them as well.

2) Send an update letter:

Check if your university accepts a letter updating them on new developments and achievements in your life. This is sometimes requested through your university student portal. Follow any specific instructions they give on what to include in the letter. This can further demonstrate your interest in the university and highlight your areas of growth and progress. Be clear, concise and only provide information that would be relevant for the admissions committee to give yourself the best chance of being accepted. For example, write about any volunteer work you have been a part of and what you learnt from it in a few sentences.

3) Demonstrate interest:

Sometimes small things can really help give your application an edge. If the university offers an alumni or admissions interview and you haven’t already done one, think about doing it. An interview can help the admissions committee gain a better understanding of your personality and determine if you are a good fit for the university. There are also some third-party companies such as Initial View that offer general interviews, which you can send to select universities. Check if your university accepts this and register. If you plan on travelling soon, consider visiting your university as this can also demonstrate interest.

4) Continue to work hard:

A deferral might be demotivating, but now is not the time to slack off. Admissions officers may reconsider their decision based on your upcoming grades. While poor performance in the final examinations shows inconsistency and can be alarming, an improvement in your final examination grades will show that you are a strong academic student, which improves your chances of being accepted in the regular decision round. So stay focused and maintain or improve your grades.

5) Connect with alumni:

Most universities have a strong alumni network and reaching out to them during this time can help make your case stronger. Ask their unique insight on what you can do to convert your deferral into an acceptance. You could also ask the alumnus to send an additional letter of recommendation to add a different perspective to your application. Do this only if your university accepts supporting letters of recommendation.

6) Send additional material:

If your university is open to receiving more material, then make sure that your school updates them with any new projects, awards or achievements. Apart from this, send in any additional scores that may be relevant. If you have retaken the SAT and done better this time around, send this to your university.

It’s important that you don’t:

1) Panic:

The main thing to do is to remember that a deferral is not a rejection. Keep this in mind when you reach out with your update letter and further communication with your deferred university. Admissions officers are very busy and contacting them every week will not help you get your acceptance letter.

2) Repeat the same information:

When writing your update letter, do not write about things that you’ve already included in your application. Similarly, if you are sending in additional material, make sure that it isn’t redundant to what has already been sent.

It is possible that you will still be accepted into your deferred university, so keep your head up, focus on things you can do and stop worrying. Contact us if you require help on how to tackle your deferral. If you are considering applying early next year, the time to start planning is now. Reach out to our Undergraduate Admissions team to know what steps you take now to make you a competitive applicant.