One of the most frustrating parts of applying to college comes after the applications have been sent. Waiting may even be worse than applying. It not only impacts the student, but the student’s entire family. The only thing that makes waiting tougher is when students learn that they are being deferred by one (or more) of the schools to which they applied. Here are three reasons why students are deferred:
#1 Lack of Clearly Demonstrated Interest
While colleges hate to admit it, the impact of “yield (the number of matriculating students over the number offered a spot in the freshman class) is a huge part of the game. It is often difficult for schools to know whether the students to whom they offer admission are seriously planning to attend. A deferral serves to make a student’s true interest clearer to a school. Students who are chomping at the bit to get admitted will make this obvious by doing the following:
- Log on to the school’s portal often to surf the school web site.
- Click on interesting links.
- Open any emails that the school sends, and click on interesting links.
- Contact the school’s regional admissions representative. The regional rep is the first person to read your file and is likely to make notes about interactions that he, she, or they have with you. These notes will make your interest (or lack thereof) clear to the admissions officers who will subsequently evaluate your application.
- Be active on the school’s social media. Keep interactions respectful and positive. School staff monitor social media to learn what people are thinking about their school.
# 2. Uncertain Academic Trend
Students can also be deferred when a college is just not sure about an applicant’s academic trend. The school may want to see another semester of grades before deciding if the student is a suitable admissions candidate.
# 3. Putting Together the “Optimal” Freshman Class
The admissions office can use deferrals to buy time. Choosing students for the incoming freshman class can be a long and arduous process. Schools want a diverse class made up of students from all over the United States and abroad; they recognize that a significant portion of what students bring to a school is what they’ve experienced outside the classroom. Colleges and universities want to be sure to get the right mix of students in their freshman class.
While being deferred is disappointing, it does not have to end in a denial. If you are interested in learning about what to do after being deferred, register to attend our free webinar-Managing a College Deferral: Getting Admitted After Being Deferred.
Please note that we will share the link to the recorded webinar on our Facebook page.
Stephanie Klein Wassink is the founder of AdmissionsCheckup.com. A former admissions officer and long-time college consultant, she graduated from Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Stephanie writes frequently for Money Magazine, Huffington Post and other blogs.