I Wasn’t Admitted; I Wasn’t Denied.
    What Do I Do?
      5 Step Deferral Action Plan


I know it’s disappointing to be deferred in the early round but, truly, very few students are. Most are outright rejected.  A deferral is not a “no.”  It’s a “let’s connect at the end of the semester to see where we are.” In the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, 10% of deferred candidates were ultimately admitted in University of Pennsylvania’s regular decision round. Here’s what you can do to improve your chances of being in that fortunate group of students:

1. Write a letter of continued interest

    • A deferral releases you from the ED agreement, so writing a letter of continued interest can make admissions officers confident that, should you be offered a spot, you will take it, thereby protecting their all-important yield numbers
    • Here is a structure for such a letter: https://www.themaulerinstitute.com/do-you-want-me-or-not/
    • If true, you can indicate that, while other students may elect to use their ED2 application at another school, you have elected not to in the hopes that you will be favorably considered in RD
    • If true, you can indicate that, should you be offered a spot in the RD, you will accept it immediately and pay the deposit

2. Send updates

    • Send updates to your academic and extra-curricular record. This includes:
    • Fall semester grades
    • Additional test scores
    • Extra-curricular achievements
    • Awards
    • Research updates

3. Contact your interviewer

    • Reach out to your interviewer to update him/her on the situation
    • Summarize your letter of continued interest
    • Ask for advice on any next steps you might take to move the dial

4. Request help from your school counselor

    • Contact your counselor to update him/her on the situation
    • Summarize your letter of continued interest
    • Indicate that you have heard that a call or note from a high school counselor that endorses the candidate can be helpful and ask your counselor if he/she might be willing to make such a call

5. Create a video

    • Admissions officers are people. In the thick of applications, sometimes, they might forget you are, as well.
    • Create a video that highlights you are more than just numbers and words on a computer screen. Show your personality. Tell us something about yourself that doesn’t come through in the application. Make them want you to be a part of the incoming class. Here’s a personal favorite that was successful in helping this student gain admission to his top choice: U Chicago.

And, remember, that you are a stellar candidate. No matter where you end up matriculating, you will find your way and will be wildly successful.


Mauler Pattern Thin
Mauler Pattern Thin