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Admit, defer, deny: early admission news

December 7th, 2021

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for high school students awaiting admission notifications, the time couldn’t be dragging any more slowly. In the month of December, many students who applied early will receive one of these three responses…admit, defer, deny. So what next steps should you take after hearing the news?

Image via Niche


If you are accepted into your top choice school, hooray! Follow the school’s instructions carefully to determine a follow-up plan.


It is not easy hearing “no,” especially for something you are so passionate about. Allow yourself time to feel without judgment. There is a mourning period and you will get through this. It may be difficult to think about right now, but there are many wonderful choices out there that might actually be a better fit for you. Each college on your list is a great option and you still have time to add a new college or two.


Getting deferred by your top choice school can be disappointing and the response to deferral is not so cut and dried. You will find many opinions on how to respond when you receive this news, but I think the article linked below from Niche says it best. The advice given from author Michaela Schieffer provides simple steps to follow in this scenario.

Article linked below from Niche, written by Michaela Schieffer published on January 21, 2019

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into College if You’ve Been Deferred

At some point in your senior year, there will be a moment when your mailbox (or email inbox) holds your future, determining the location of the next four years of your life. This anticipation can quickly turn to disappointment if the letter from your top-choice colleges, to which you applied early decision, is anxiously opened, only to view the word “deferred” in place of your anticipated acceptance.

Thankfully, the college admissions game is not black and white. While a deferral is certainly not the preferred answer, nor does it indicate an acceptance, it should not be considered a rejection. A deferral from an early decision cycle refers to the decision by the school to consider your application in the regular decision cycle. In short, the school is offering you another chance at admission.

Early action deadlines are designed to offer admission to a limited number of students, in order to allow the admissions department to better plan for the upcoming regular decision cycle. This preliminary round allows the admissions team a chance to evaluate their early admits in light of their projected goals for the academic year. If their goal is to admit a well-rounded freshman class with unique perspectives, the department will need time to pause and regroup before the regular decision round begins.

Read more at Niche>> 

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