Dealing With Deferral


Photo by: Shelby Smith

Many students received deferrals over holiday break from their dream schools, many of which came from the University of Michigan.

Lauren Dedvukaj, Staff Writer

Winter brings much more than just brisk weather and icy streets for high school seniors; it is also accompanied by the painful review of decision letters from universities.

Just a few months ago, students spent countless days and nights applying to colleges, many of which they would gladly give an arm or a leg to attend. Now, students glance at their inboxes every three minutes and flag down the mailman after arriving home from school. For college applicants, the only thing harder than applying to college is the daunting task of opening a letter which may crush their very souls.

What should someone do when he/she gets deferred from his/her dream college?

“The best thing to do is improve your grades as much as possible. It will probably have the biggest impact on schools that students have applied to. Students can also, without being pushy, reach out to college admissions and let them know how interested they are in attending the school,” said Adams High School counselor, Sarah Falkowski.

Students should additionally look at other possible options. Post-deferral is the perfect time for students to review or visit their back-up schools, to which they have likely already been accepted. High school seniors can look for qualities that their backup schools share with their dream school, including similar campus layouts or study abroad programs, and find one they feel best suits their personality. Most colleges have more similarities than they do differences, and students should learn to look forward to whatever future lies ahead rather than dreading it.

“This time last year, I was absolutely heartbroken when I was deferred from University of Michigan. Today, I could not be more proud of my decision to attend Grand Valley State University,” said Adams High School graduate Jeremy Abreo.

Those deferred should not lose hope; deferral does not mean rejection. Deferral means that the applicant will be reviewed again. Students can develop deferral letters and send in their first semester senior year transcripts to the colleges which deferred them. Deferral letters are basically update letters, giving students a chance to showcase what they have been up to since they originally applied months before. This includes volunteering, participation in new activities, and new extracurriculars. The letter should be upbeat, personal, and engaging because its purpose is to convince the admission board that the applicant deserves to be admitted before the rest of the deferred students.

“Finding out that I was deferred from University of Michigan was a bit of a disappointment, but hopefully my seventh semester grades will allow me to attend my dream school this upcoming fall,” said senior Zach Boyle.