Have you been deferred by your dream school and are unsure of what to do next? In this blog we will take a look at 5 things you can do after being deferred by your top school of choice.

1. Get feedback on your application

One of the first things you should do after getting deferred by your dream school is figuring out why that happened. You should go over your application with either a tutor or a guidance counselor, or even just review it yourself, to see any weaknesses or holes in it. But before you do that, it is important realize what exactly a deferral means. A deferral could mean:

-they’ve already accepted a number people from the same school

-they’ve accepted a number of students interested in the same major

-the students they’ve accepted share the same activities as you

-they wish to accept a diverse class of incoming students and have already accepted students with the same socioeconomic background and ethnicity

Perhaps your application was strong academically but was missing the WOW factor in your activities or essay. Take note of the weaknesses in your application as you will need them in a later tip.

2. Be realistic about your chances

It is important to figure out the statistics of your school of choice when it comes to admissions. Find out historically the number of deferrals the school has had and the amount they usually accept from that pool. Gauge the possibility of you turning that deferral into an acceptance before you devote your time pursuing something very unlikely.

3. Talk to your guidance counselor

In addition to giving you feedback on your application, your guidance counselor may have some contacts at your school of choice to help you out. You counselor may call the school’s admissions office to find out more information on your application or set you up with an interview with someone from admissions if you haven’ done so already. Not all counselors will have connects to different school but it never hurts to ask.

4. Try to get an interview

Not only does contacting a school for an interview help show your continued interest but, if granted an interview, it can allow you that opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities as a candidate and have your voice heard. To get an interview, contact the admissions office of wherever you applied or ask your guidance counselor to do it for you.

5. Send update email (or form if available) to demonstrate continued interest

It is important to make sure you contact the school in some way, via email or form they send to deferred students (usually given a deadline to complete), to show your continued interest in attending the school. If the school DOESN’T state that they do not wish to receive updates, then it is recommended to send two emails to the admissions office. In Email 1, let the school know you are still interested and ask for an interview if you haven’t had one yet. Email 2 is an update email where you can share any new information (such as honors/awards, new test scores, etc.) and spin your application weaknesses in a way that makes your case as a valid candidate. If you turned in your application not to your best capabilities due to a family matter or tragic event, let the school know. In some cases, students have sent rewritten application essays if their first essays didn’t encapsulate their candidacy the first time around.

When it comes to deferrals and college decisions it is important to know when to move on. Use the opportunity to apply to other schools in case your deferral doesn’t go your way. There is a place for everyone and where you go to college does not define you as a person. The important thing is that you do go to college and you finish college — allowing you the opportunity to have a bright future and success.