December 15th was a big day in the college world: the day when many universities released their admission decisions to fretting students. While congratulations are in order for those who got accepted, students who have been deferred must not lose hope. This year is shaping up to be incredibly competitive, but the game is far from over.
Here are a few strategies to influence your final admissions outcome if you have been deferred:
Contact your admissions representative and remind him/her about your interest in the college. If the university is still your number one priority, make sure you communicate that clearly. You can also let them know that you will stay in touch. This helps to keep the lines of communication open.
Update the admissions representative on any new developments since you applied. For instance: Have you received any awards or accolades in the last few weeks? Have you made any progress on your passion project? Have you created a greater impact?
Update colleges with your mid-term grades (provided you have done well).
Consider taking a standardized test. I have written extensively about this in the past. A strong test score can help to tilt the admissions decision in your favor.
Set up a college interview, if possible. Impress them with everything you can contribute to their university.
Ask if you can send in an additional letter of recommendation.
More importantly, as you begin to work on your next set of applications:
Reconsider your college shortlist. Would you like to add one or two more target or likely schools? Or perhaps swap a reach school with a target?
Pay special attention to colleges with ED II deadlines. Examples include NYU, Boston University, Hamilton College, Santa Clara University, and Scripps College.
Review your entire application. Are you demonstrating strong skills and values? Are there any red flags that may have escaped your attention? Is there anything you would do differently?
Winter break is the best time to re-evaluate your application. Continue putting one foot in front of the other and stay positive. The best is yet to come.