Some wisdom from CHS/MST Counselor Mrs. Liebe regarding wait listing and deferrals for college admissions:
I know this is a much anticipated and anxious time of your senior year and reactions and emotions may be all across the spectrum. If you received a letter of deferral or were placed on a wait listing, please know, this is not a final “no.” Many factors play into a deferral or wait listing and we are not privy to the exact reason behind the decision. Please allow me to explain the differences behind the terms, some possible factors, and how you can respond.
Wait listing (as explained by the Princeton Review Board):
The school is sending you a mixed message. Unfortunately, you won’t know exactly how many students are ahead of you in line. Schools will send acceptance letters to far more students than they have room for—they count on many of those students choosing to attend another school.
Many schools have a quota for the number of students whom they will admit early; if you didn’t make the first cut and you’re viewed as a strong candidate, the school will deferfinal judgment of your application until its regular admissions round. As far as the binding agreements go, you are freed from any obligation to attend the school if accepted, and you can go ahead and apply and/or accept offers from other schools as you wish.
Factors that impact who is wait listed and deferred
They need to balance out the male/female ratio
Your intended area of study is overenrolled and they need some students to decline
The school has an over-representation of students from the State of Washington
They have experienced a surge in enrollment numbers, yet unfortunately, the enrollment cap remains the same
You may be wondering “now what.?” Let me ask you a question- how badly do you want this deferral to turn into a letter of acceptance? If this institution is your absolute number one choice, then write them a letter- no emails! A handwritten or typed letter conveys a mature and professional sentiment. Be genuine and thank the Dean of Admission or our State of Washington admission counselor for their timely response (even though it’s not the response you wanted) and make sure you:
- Communicate your commitment to the school and articulate that if you are admitted in the regular decision round, you intend to enroll (if that’s the truth). If you’re not sure that you’d enroll, write that the college remains a top choice for you.
- Re-state your reasons why that school best fits your academic and personal needs. Make references to specific professors, courses, extra-curricular activities and research opportunities that show your knowledge of the school and what stood out when you toured the campus (if you toured the campus).
- Update the college on all the achievements you have made, both inside and outside of the classroom, since you submitted your Early Action/Decision application.
- Be upbeat and mature by not expressing your frustration.