Denied or Deferred from College, Now What?

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Denied or Deferred from College, Now What?

Early action and early decision responses have started, and it’s important to remember that what you hear may not be fair and may not make sense. It feels personal, but it’s not about you — it’s business — the business of enrollment management.

Enrollment management is used by colleges to shape their incoming classes. It is the great unknown and it changes yearly. And this year will be no different, maybe even more difficult to comprehend due to the pandemic. It is based on things that you cannot control, including: an institution’s needs and finances, programs chosen, faculty retention and acquisition and so much more. This is all part of the holistic review that you will never know. It’s not just test scores (if you even have them), GPA or whether you were president of mock trial or captain of a varsity sport; instead, it’s based on college priorities, and that might be the reason you were denied or deferred from college.

This is why you applied to more than one school, why you had a balanced list, and why when you made your list, all of them had elements of things you liked or wanted.

In time you will find that many students are not at their first-choice school, but they are happy and thriving and can’t picture themselves anywhere else. Just like you will feel on the campus where you land.

Keep in mind, how you handle this disappointment IS about you. Right now, you’re hearing back early, so you have time to let the result settle and then move on. Use this time to revise, regroup, reflect and remind yourself that there are other colleges that will appreciate your time and talents.

Authors: The College Crew an independent college consultant collaborative of which Ellen Gaddie is a member. 

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