With most Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) results released last month, some applicants may find themselves in the challenging position of being deferred - meaning their application will be re-reviewed during the Regular Decision (RD) applicant assessment process. If you are one of those applicants, do not despair.
Naturally, being deferred is tough. But it isn’t all doom-and-gloom. Some applicants do move from deferral to the admissions pile. If you’re hoping to be one of them, you can improve your chances by following my guide.
Follow the directions
Some schools ask that you update them with any new information about your grades or experience, while others explicitly tell you not to. Be sure you follow directions. Not doing so will likely get you rejected.
Call the university
If it isn’t already reported in your deferral letter or the university website, it can help to find out your chances of being accepted as a regular decision applicant. By calling the school, you also show interest. Ask these questions:
1. How many applicants have been deferred?
2. How many people tend to be accepted following a deferral?
3. Do you rank the applicants who have been deferred? And, if you can share that information, where do I fall?
Then you should email the person you spoke with a quick thank you. This is an important but often overlooked step; common courtesy encourages others to act favorably on your behalf.
Then you can reference the person you connected with in the next step, the LOCI.
Write a letter of continued interest (LOCI)
Let’s start by addressing who you should email. Universities get many letters from interested applicants, and if you want yours to really stand out, you should email your regional admissions counselor.
Sometimes finding your regional representative is easy, and sometimes it is difficult. Here’s what you do:
1. Start with the university website. If you can’t find the regional counselors quickly on the admissions page, you can do an internet search for “[university name] admissions counselor by region”.
2. If that only turns up the representative’s name, you will need to find their email. Go to the faculty directory on the university website for that.
3. If you are still unable to find the email of your regional counselor, download hunter.io. Then go to Linkedin and search for “University Name admissions.” Scroll through the individuals who come up until you find your representative. If you are still unsuccessful, email the dean or another person in the admissions office.
When it comes to writing the LOCI, the more personal, the better. I have two templates that you can look over, but they must be personalized.
Dear (regional admissions counselor),
Thank you for taking the time to review my early application for the (year) school year and for offering me another chance at admission.
I am writing to reiterate my interest in University Name and to assure you that, should I be offered admission, I will immediately accept it.
Aside from (one thing you love about the school), University Name perfectly aligns with my (academic/personal) interests. Specifically, I am interested in (course / professor’s work / program / club / campus tradition) because (why).
In addition to (above-mentioned factor(s)), I am confident that I will bring a unique perspective to University Name. Due to my (relevant background/experiences/interests), I will bring (something no one else has) to the school community.
I also want to take this opportunity to update my application. Since my submission in (month), I have (completed a research project / earned perfect fall semester grades / started volunteering in my community / accepted an internship / started working part-time / won an award / raised X for my club/something NEW, and INTERESTING about you). (Why is this important and interesting?)
University Name remains my top choice. The (major) program aligns perfectly with my (career) goals, and I can see myself fitting in on campus because (why).
From the campus tour I took in the fall, to the alumni interview I had with (name), to my most recent conversation with (name) in the admissions office, every interaction I have had with University Name has been enjoyable, and I look forward to continuing these positive experiences should I be offered a spot on campus.
Thank you very much for your time.
Dear (regional admissions counselor),
Last week I (talked with a current student / interviewed with an alum / found a new program that interests me / discovered a new campus tradition/something NEW that excites you about the school). I was impressed with (why). Now I love University Name even more.
Although I have been deferred, I am excited to have the opportunity to prove University Name is my first choice and that I would be a good contribution to its (descriptor) campus. As my favorite university, I will immediately commit to enrolling if I am accepted.
Since submitting my application in (month), I have (completed a research project / earned perfect fall semester grades / started volunteering in my community / accepted an internship / started working part-time / won an award / raised $X for my club/something NEW and INTERESTING about you). (Why is this important and interesting?)
Thank you very much for your time. I am excited to have the chance to attend University Name, and I wish you a restful holiday.
In all honesty, being deferred is difficult. But if you don’t at least try to improve your chances by contacting the admissions office and sending in a LOCI, you will never gain admission.
But here’s the catch: You need to do this RIGHT AWAY. Universities will be reviewing the RD applications at the beginning of January.
Don’t give up!
My agency regularly moves students from deferral to admission using this exact strategy. If you want help contacting your representative or writing your letter of interest, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me here.
Best of luck, applicants!