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Education Blog

  • Wendy Williams

Understanding College Deferrals


Anticipation, excitement, and a fair share of uncertainty are feelings that often emerge during the college application season. For some students, the path might take an unexpected turn when faced with a deferral from their dream institution. A college deferral, while initially disheartening, can be an opportunity for growth and reflection.


What is a Deferral?

A deferral occurs when a college or university decides to postpone rendering a final decision on the application. Instead of acceptance or rejection, the student's application is moved to the regular decision pool for further consideration.


Reasons for Deferrals

Colleges defer applications for various reasons:

  1. Incomplete Academic Records: Sometimes, colleges might want to see more recent grades or test scores before making a decision.

  2. Competitive Applicant Pool: In cases where an institution receives an overwhelming number of early applicants, they might choose to defer some applications to compare them with the larger regular decision pool.

  3. Interest in Further Evaluation: Admissions officers might see potential in an applicant but want to assess them in a broader context before making a final decision.


Navigating a Deferral

Receiving a deferral doesn't mean the end of the road. It's crucial to approach this delay as an opportunity rather than a setback:

  1. Stay Positive: Though disappointment is natural, maintain a positive outlook. A deferral doesn't diminish your achievements or potential.

  2. Communicate Your Continued Interest: If the college is your top choice, consider sending a letter reaffirming your commitment and updating them on recent accomplishments or activities.

  3. Focus on Improvement: Use the time before the regular decision deadline to bolster your application. Show academic growth, take on new projects, or highlight achievements to strengthen your candidacy.

  4. Explore Other Options: While waiting for a decision, keep exploring other colleges and their offerings. You might find another institution that resonates with your interests and goals.


The Silver Lining

A deferral offers an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. It allows you to reconsider your options, explore new interests, and present a stronger case for admission. Sometimes, students admitted after a deferral bring more to the campus community due to their continued passion and demonstrated improvement.


Final Thoughts

Receiving a deferral is not a rejection. College Applications are at a higher number than ever before. Some schools have received north of 50K early action applications.


It's a chance to reevaluate, strengthen your application, and showcase your determination and growth. Remember, the journey to higher education is filled with twists and turns, and a deferral might be a detour leading to an even better destination.


Williams Educational wants all students to take a deep breath, keep your spirits high, and continue to strive for your academic aspirations. Your future is yours to assess and shape, and helping you choose wisely is our mission! Remember that a closed door does not mean another one wont open, and standing in the waiting line takes patience.

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