How can you get in off the wait list?
There is some confusion from students and their families who had their applications "deferred" in the early round and unclear about what to do going forward. If you are a senior with this problem here is a deferral plan we on how to appraoch these issues beginning in December when students hear from early admissions colleges and universities.
If you have been deferred from your early school, take a deep breath and take action as you must be proactive. If you simply do nothing, chances are you will not get in.
Here is a plan of action you can take.:
Focus on your grades! The biggest reason for a deferral is mediocre grades senior fall – cut out your extras and focus on GRADES. All A’s will help.
Retake the SAT or SAT Subject Tests on January 28th if that was a problem area (you can always go standby if you’ve not yet registered). If you don’t do better, just don’t send the new scores and no one will see them. If you do better, RUSH them to all your schools.
Are there any awards or competitions awards or competitions you can enter or have won and not yet reported to the college? Any concrete accomplishment will be brought up down the line.
Have you followed up with any professors at the college that you had spoken to? Let them know your plight and enlist their help.
Call (or email) the admissions office a few days after you receive the deferral letter and speak with your admissions officer – the person who covers your area or who you interviewed with or if you are a minority student, the minority representative. Tell him or her how disappointed you are, how much you like the school, and ask what else you can do. LISTEN to any clues he or she might give you in the conversation. It’s important YOU make this call NOT your parents. We had one student discover that by not visiting her early school she was at a disadvantage. She immediately made plans to visit.
Ask your guidance counselor to call both to support you, and to find out anything about WHY – any missing items? Tough year? Huge rise in applicants? School support is critical.
Ask a senior year teacher to write you a letter of support.
If you happen to know the headmaster/principal of your current school well, you can ask him/her to call or write on your behalf.
By the last week in February, you want to write a “deferral letter” stressing the following info:
Anything NEW -- grades, scores, awards, prizes, etc... -- Since my deferral, I ... (Don’t waste space with insignificant achievements as that would only weaken your case.)
Have your school send your updated transcript including all new grades.
Any interesting extracurricular additions, achievements, etc...
Anything else that is interesting you didn't mention elsewhere.
An impassioned paragraph on WHY the school is still your first choice - summarize and stress WHAT YOU WOULD ADD to the college campus.
Don’t forget to use the heading you used on all of your essays which includes your DOB, Name, High School and last 4 digits of your SS # (ie: xxx-xx-1234).
In early March, CALL again and speak to your regional admissions officer to touch base, ask if he/she got the letter, stress how it’s your first choice, and mention a few notable accomplishments (I pulled my grades up to all A’s and had the best quarter of my high school career…). You can email if they do not accept calls.
Some final advice:
If you have any strings to pull, now is the time to pull them.
While we want you to advocate for yourself, don’t become a pest. You don’t want to stalk the admission office.
Don’t let this deferral erode your confidence. Keep focused and remember that the odds these past few years have been at all time lows and you stood out enough not to be rejected.