Your dream school e-mails and directs you to your student portal.  An admission decision awaits.  Nervously, you navigate to the decision letter.


What does that even mean, anyway?  And what should you do?

First, the good news: being deferred isn’t the same as being outright denied admission.  When you are deferred, the admissions office is telling you it wants to review your application with the next round of applicants and make an admission decision then. Many colleges ask you to confirm whether or not you’d still like to be considered for admission, so be sure to follow university-specific instructions if you’re deferred!

Another action item you can consider is writing a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI) to the university to reiterate your interest in the school and specifically ask to be reconsidered in the next round of applications.  We really like this resource on how to write a bang-up LOCI and show admissions offices you’re a top candidate.  Consult with your friendly neighborhood college counselor (that’s us!) on when to send a LOCI and for help polishing it to be its best.  

Now, the bad news: being deferred means you’ve been bumped to the Regular Decision applicant pool, which tends to be much larger than the Early Decision and Early Action pools that result in deferrals.  This means you should begin preparing yourself for the possibility that you could be denied admission or waitlisted when winter and spring results come out.  It’s a bummer, we know, but we believe in realistic optimism here at Foundations College Counseling and always want our families to have a healthy perspective toward the application and decision process. 

At the end of the day, remember that being deferred is not the end of the world.  Have a plan in place to give your application a boost with a LOCI where appropriate, and lean on your support system to prepare for Regular Decision release dates.