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A Sample Response to a College Deferral Letter

A Well-Crafted Letter Can Improve Your College Admission Chances


If you applied to college early decision or early action and then received a deferral letter, don't panic. First, read through these 7 tips on what to do if deferred. Then, if you think you have meaningful new information to share with the college that has deferred your admission, write them a letter.

The sample letter below is from a student who applied early but then received higher test scores and acquired a new leadership position at her school. Note the tone of the letter. Laura is polite and appreciative. She comes across as considerate, not entitled. She is clearly disappointed, but the letter doesn't express anger or wallow in self-pity. The letter is also short and to the point.

Dear Mr. Birney,

Last week I learned that my application for early decision at Johns Hopkins was deferred. As you can imagine, this news was disappointing to me -- Johns Hopkins remains the university I'm most excited about attending. I visited a lot of schools during my college search, and Johns Hopkins's program in International Studies appeared to be a perfect match for my interests and aspirations.

I want to thank you and your colleagues for the time you put into considering my application. After I applied for early decision, I received a couple more pieces of information that I hope will strengthen my application. First, I retook the SAT in November and my combined score went from 1990 to 2200. The College Board will be sending you an official score report soon. Also, I was recently elected to be the Captain of our school Ski Team, a group of 28 students who compete in regional competitions. As Captain, I will have a central role in the team's scheduling, publicity and fund raising. I have asked the team's coach to send you a supplemental letter of recommendation that will address my role within the Ski Team.

Many thanks for your consideration,

Laura Anystudent

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