deferral Archives - Write Track Admissions
TOP Four Tips for Responding to a Deferral From Early College Admissions
Reading Time: 6 mins   Decision season is upon us! Soon colleges will be sending emails informing you of your decisions, but what happens if you’re deferred?   For Harvard back in 2017, 894 were admitted out of a whopping 6,424 early applicants – that means plenty of people were deferred too. To put this in basic numbers, in 2019 13.9% of students were accepted in comparison to the much lower 4.5% of regular decision applicants that were accepted. Even if you did not apply to Harvard, you may be one of the many applicants who applied for early decision at a college in the U.S. As decisions are being released from your top choice colleges, you need to be prepared for the possibility of a deferral. Deferral means a college will consider you for their regular admissions cycle, against a much larger set of applicants, and decide on your application in the springtime.   While the percentages indicate an uphill battle, it’s nevertheless a battle that will require preparation and proactive action! So definitely do NOT just wait around for college to get back to you! After all, certain colleges are asking you to be proactive. In fact, Harvard states “[y]ou are welcome to submit significant new information for consideration during the Regular Decision process.” That means you have TWO bites of the proverbial apple!   So now you may be asking yourself, what do I do next? Well there are a number of things you can do to better your chances of admission, and Write Track Admissions has collected them here to give you a leg up above your competition! Here are the TOP FOUR Tips for handling a deferral:   1) Write a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI)   The crux of responding to any deferral is in writing a bulletproof letter of continued interest! The letter is most important in convincing the college that you deserve admission, and it’s also the most overlooked. Most applicants who are deferred do not take the trouble of writing a LOCI, so you automatically increase your chances of admission by taking the initiative to write such a letter.   A letter should be short, sweet, and effective by covering a few basic points:   (a) Why the college you’ve applied to is your top choice (b) What you’ve done/accomplished since submitting your application (c) How you’ve taken extra initiatives to further your interest in the college (i.e., visiting the campus, talking to current students/ professors/ alumni (see below))   Moreover, if you’ve been admitted to other colleges in the meantime, write about that in your letter as well! You can pressure the college who deferred you to reconsider your application by proving that other top colleges have seen your potential. Remember: top colleges need impressive applicants that will go on to do great things and improve the reputation of the college; you can make them fight over you!   Finally, be sure to submit your letter at least a month before regular admissions decisions are expected to release. In order to write the best LOCI, keep reading the tips below for inspiration!   2) Take Action!   If you’ve been talking about an incredible idea or project for the past few months, but haven’t gotten it off the ground for any reason, NOW is the time! Get started on an extracurricular or volunteer project that demonstrates your leadership and creativity. By doing so, you can build experiences to write about in your letter of continued interest. Even if you can only write about getting your project started, that’s still impressive! At a time when most high school seniors are getting complacent, you can prove to colleges that you’re continuing to work hard towards your goals.    3) Visit the Campus and Meet Students/Alumni/Faculty   You’re already showing initiative and interest in your college by writing a letter of intent and getting started on a new project, but you can go even further. Plan a visit to the college you’re interested in by calling their admissions and visitors office. Try to set up tours that let you audit a class or have other tangible experiences that you can write about in the letter of continued interest to show your passion and commitment to the college. But most importantly, be sure to interact as much as possible with current students, faculty, or alumni, and make a note of that in your letter (see point 1 above).   4) Ask for a Letter of Recommendation from Students/Alumni/Faculty   If you interact with students on your college visit, or if you already know others who are affiliated with your top choice college, ask them for a letter of recommendation! You’ve already given the college letters of recommendation in your application, but submitting another letter along with your own LOCI will give the college yet another reason to accept you. By pinpointing someone who is affiliated with the college, you’re also guaranteeing the college takes notice of your application!   Be sure to reference your letter of recommendation within your LOCI, and mention that you know people who are affiliated with your top choice college. As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!   Now that you have all the necessary tips/components of your letter of continued interest, be sure to write the best one possible! Write Track Admissions has experts to guide you in the LOCI process, letters of recommendation, advice on maximizing the deferment period and other application questions. After all, you NEVER want to say years later, “ah what if I had just tried to show the college that I really cared about attending”. Go the distance and do everything you can to be in that percentile admitted!   Also Check out our latest Youtube Video: So, you got deferred/waitlisted? NOW WHAT? to get more info on getting on the waitlist and into your top choice! Contact us today to receive the advice you need for the most important decisions of your academic career! It’s time to Get Noticed and Get In!   ~ Abhijith Ravinutala Write Track Director of Professional Services & Admissions Expert
Should I be deferring my acceptance?
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:

    1. Is there a deadline for requesting deferment?
    2. What documentation do you need for your request?
    3. Do you need to document how you plan to spend your deferred time?
    4. What will you need to re-enter the program? 
    5. Are there re-entry deadlines? 
    6. How will the deferral affect your financial aid when you re-enter?

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): 

    1. Why you are seeking to defer
    2. Why you need to defer for the year (health, finances, career, COVID-19, etc.)
    3. What you will be doing during the deferred academic year
    4. How your deferrence will help you become a better student/candidate
    5. How the school/program will remain integral for your career and future

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!   Aly Hartman,  Communications Director – Write Track Admissions