Tending Your December Deferral

Now that the holidays are over, the reality of a new year and any back-to-school blues are probably kicking in now. The “bigger” blues for you may be in the form of having to live (and deal) with the deferral you got from your Early Decision or Early Action college back in December. You have probably been wondering why that happened. More importantly, though, you should be pondering what you can do about it.Over the past several decades, I have dealt with a lot of seniors who have been deferred from their ED/EA applications. Some of them would have rather been outright denied, since that would have supplied a note of finality to their process at that particular school. Deferrals are a kind of purgatory that keep applicants in suspense until spring. Plus, as if that weren’t enough, there is always the possibility of a deferred applicant being placed on a waiting list in the spring. Talk about purgatory! However, the point of my post today is how to deal with your deferral. We’ll discuss waitlists in a few months.

There are several schools of thought out there about dealing with deferrals. The minimalist approach is to do nothing. “They said that my application would get another review with the Regular Decision pool,” these pragmatic applicants say. “So, I’m just going to let them do that. I thought my application was pretty good, anyway.”

Okay. So, these applicants are from the “No need to do anything further” school. Another more negative-thinking group might say something like, “Hey, get real. When you’re deferred in December, chances are very high that you’ll be denied in the spring. If they thought you were that good to begin with, they would have accepted us outright. So, I’m not going to worry about my deferral and look for greener pastures elsewhere.”

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