April 20, 2020
There are plenty of reasons to want to defer your acceptance to a college, law school, or an MBA program, especially with the projected lasting effects of COVID-19. Perhaps your health or the health of a loved one depends on it. Maybe you did not receive enough scholarship funding and need the extra time to bolster your bank account. A career opportunity could arise that you need to undertake in order to become a better student or professional. Most of all, you might be experiencing extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19.
Universities typically grant deferment on a case-by-case basis. For example at the University of Utah, such circumstances include illness, military/humanitarian/religious service, and financial restrictions.
The Deferment Process works as follows: You receive your acceptance, pay your enrollment deposit, get in contact with the admissions office regarding deferring, gather supporting evidence, and receive the university’s decision after everything has been submitted. If you are granted a deferral, you must follow the university’s requirements.
Deferring for a year is not uncommon, and there are definitely some ways of going about it that are better than others. Write Track Admissions has compiled some tips to help you successfully defer your acceptance with minimal consequence.
1.Before deciding whether or not deferring is right for you, it is imperative that you explore all facets of your university’s deferring policies, such as:
2. Timing is critical – write and send your letter of continued interest (LOCI) as soon as possible after receiving your acceptance letter and mention in the letter your request for deferment. Don’t wait until the last minute for this as there may only be a finite number of deferrals granted by the institution/program.
3. Craft the deferring essay with precision and care. It should include the following points (you may be asked for substantiating documentation for your deferral request):
4. Uphold professional writing standards. Be concise, specific, and ensure that you address the “Why.” Prioritize quality over quantity, and stay away from composing a winded and emotional rendition awash with “Woe is me.” Be practical and calculated.
5. It is recommended that you try and visit the institution you are trying to defer, but due to the quarantine regulations, you can opt for a phone call or video conference. Adding this personal interaction to your deferment can help paint you in a better light to the one reviewing your request. You can also mention the discussion in your letter that will go to the program for review. You can also have a candid discussion about deferment with the name of the person on your admittance letter.
6. You should have a Plan B in case the deferment is not granted. You may first try to appeal the decision but if that is not granted then you will have to make a judgment as to whether you attend despite why you sought the deferment or opt to let the acceptance lapse and reapply as a new candidate the following year.
Deferring for a year is not the end of the world. In fact, according to the Gap Year Association, admissions departments anticipate and prepare for deferment every admissions cycle. The most important thing to do is tackle it in a professional and timely manner. And if you choose a Gap year make sure it is worthwhile so that you can come back even more prepared to excel as a student. In fact, we created a blog piece on how to best leverage your gap year to help guide you in your decision.
If you need help deciding if deferring is right for you, or if you plan on deferring and would like help crafting your statement, contact Write Track Admissions for help!
Communications Director – Write Track Admissions