It’s been a month since you found out that you were deferred. The shock has worn off and you might even be getting excited about some of the other colleges on your list. But if that Early Decision or Early Action college is still your #1 choice, you are willing to do anything to increase your chances of admission.
When Early Decision or Early Action students are deferred to the Regular Decision pool, they will be in a much larger and usually more competitive applicant pool. Admit rates tend to decrease in the Regular Decision round. Doing something thoughtful, like writing a letter to the college, can be helpful.
A “love letter” to that college that deferred you can be the difference maker if the student is competitive from an academic standpoint. Here’s what you should include in your letter:
- Address the letter to the “Admissions Committee.” You could also address it to the admissions officer for your region or the Dean of Admissions, but the letter will most likely be read by additional members of the staff.
- If the college is your first choice college, list that clearly at the beginning of the essay. Colleges are very careful about admitting students in Regular Decision. If they aren’t sure of your interest in them, they may admit someone else. Make it clear that you plan to enroll if admitted.
- This letter shouldn’t be a repeat of one of your essays about why you applied to the college. This should be a more evolved, more mature perspective on why you are still interested in the college. You want to show the college that you have grown from the deferral and understand the institution even more so as a result.
- Provide any updates since submitting your application in the early round: new test scores, new honors, new leadership roles. If nothing new happened, share something meaningful about the program or major you listed on your application.
- The letter should be personal, moving, and UPLIFTING. You have to be willing to put it all out there just like writing a true love letter to someone. If it’s forced or disingenuous, it won’t be as effective. If you are angry about the deferral, wait to write the letter.
- Keep the letter to a page.
- Follow the instructions on submitting additional materials. Usually, you can upload a letter to the college’s admissions portal. If they don’t have a portal, you can send the letter as an attachment via email. Sometimes there’s a general admissions email account that students can use to submit questions or additional materials like the love letter.
- And, in addition to writing a love letter, keep your grades high during senior year. Make sure you are still taking the most challenging curriculum too. You don’t want the college to think you “took it easy” for the spring semester.
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In the end, getting deferred can show you and the college what you’re really made of. If the college that deferred you is where you want to go, make sure you let them know. The best way to do that is to write them the best love letter you have ever written!