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You’ve been admitted! You’ve been deferred…

Why do so many decisions come out late on Friday afternoon? Admissions offices send out their notifications and turn off the lights…avoiding calls from a flurry of unhappy students.

But last Friday, as I wrapped up my Florida trip at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen Hospitality School, I got plenty of good news too. The Universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Miami, and Maryland sent out “Congratulations!” notices (or shared them on the portal) to several of my students. Since these schools were top choices for some, I add these students to the “done” list, along with those who were ED admits to Northwestern, Vassar, Tulane, Richmond, Virginia Tech, Fordham, Fairfield, and Drexel.

So, the news wasn’t all great, but deferrals are not denials. And nearly all the students who were disappointed with deferrals have been admitted to one or more colleges where they would be happy, sometimes even with merit aid. Still, why so many deferrals?

We know that the University of Tampa and the College of Charleston (among many others) are overenrolled…that’s why they defer students with relatively high GPA’s. But one of my strongest students–high GPA, phenomenal extracurriculars, and solid test scores–was deferred by his state university. When he said, “I’m not sure why,” I had to agree. Perhaps they assumed he wouldn’t enroll? The University of Michigan and Clemson deferred nearly all applicants in my local area. The only conclusion is that there just are not enough readers to handle the deluge of applications. Most EA applications wind up being reviewed as RD, a consequence of test-optional policies.

So hang in there till March and April. Write strong Letters of Continued Interest to let your deferred colleges know how well you’re doing (but not for every college…ask me about that). Your deferral has less to do with you personally than you may think.


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