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So you got deferred. Now what?

Early decisions came out this past week. Maybe you and your student are celebrating and making plans for next year. But more likely than not, you’re facing some disappointment and scrambling for what to do next. You’re not alone! I wanted to share with you some next steps to make this process a little less stressful.

1. Re-evaluate Your List

Whether your student was rejected or deferred from their top choice, now is a good time to make sure your student’s list has a good mix of reach, match, and safety. You and your student might also want to make sure the schools on the list are all places your student can imagine spending the next four years. It’s also a great time to add in some of those less competitive schools with amazing merit scholarship opportunities, like one of my favorites, UMiami.

2. Plan Your Update Letter

If your student was deferred, don’t panic. Being deferred is NOT the same as rejected. I was deferred to regular decision by MIT and accepted in regular decision, and I have seen many students get the same results. But, you do need to think about how you want to update the schools. Some schools, like MIT, have a specific form to update them that comes out in mid-January. If the school doesn’t that specific form, prepare a letter updating the admissions committee of my accomplishments since you submitted the application in November and reiterating your desire to attend. You don’t need to send it out right away. In fact, I usually recommend waiting until late January so you can capture any accomplishments that come in through January.

3. Get Help!

This can be a really confusing and stressful time. Most applications are due in a couple of weeks. You might be asking what went wrong or what else you could have done. This process is very random and many great students are rejected because they come from the wrong state or have the wrong demographics for what the school is looking for at that time. So don’t throw out your whole application. This is a good opportunity to get a second opinion on your essay or application, though, if your student didn’t have a teacher or coach look through it.

Hopefully these tips will help you and your student handle deferments and rejections to the best of your abilities. If you have any last-minute questions, feel free to contact me at jessica@impresstheivies.com.

If you want my Insider Tips on Acing the College Application then join me for a free webinar HERE.


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