What Being Deferred Actually Means


Olivia Moore, Managing Editor

Senior year comes with the stress of applying to colleges and preparing to enter adulthood the following year. Students are focused on preparing applications for their dream college and praying that they get accepted.

This is exactly what happened to me. I spent time perfecting my application for Florida State University, writing my essay, and making sure my resume fully showed my accomplishments during high school. So when the decision date came around, I spent the majority of the day stressed over whether or not I would get accepted into the university. It was when I got a call from my best friend telling me that she got accepted that I prepared myself to see whether or not everything that I have done was good enough to get in. However, once I logged in and noticed that I didn’t get accepted, but I instead got deferred, and I was devastated. For the rest of the day, I watched how all my friends were getting accepted into their dream university while I was stuck watching them, upset that I was stuck with the “d” word.

However, upon research, I realized that being deferred isn’t a bad thing. I had the assumption that being deferred meant being denied; but it’s the opposite. Being deferred from Florida State, or any other university, means that you have the potential to get into the university, but they would like to see more from you. Sometimes during early decisions, in the case with Florida State, they have a certain expectation for who they want to accept at that time. This doesn’t always mean that you are not what they are looking for, otherwise you would have been denied.

Being deferred can actually work to your advantage. This can help those who have grades that aren’t the best, and scores that aren’t as high as expected. This gives students a chance to show how they have the potential to be a student at the university by incorporating their senior year into the decision making progress.

If you have been deferred, here are some tips on what you can do to improve your chances of getting in:

  1. Submit first semester grades from senior year: While this is required by Florida State University, many other colleges also ask for grades from senior year. This helps you show more of your grades and how it shapes how good of a student you are. This can also help in your favor due to the fact that many seniors slack during this time and take senior privileges, but if you are able to replace these free periods with academic electives, it can show how dedicated you are to your education.
  2. Retake SAT and ACT: This is a key to what can help improve your chances of getting in. By improving test scores, this not only shows your dedication by voluntarily taking these tests, but it also shows your ability to take on a large standardized test and score great on it. If you are worried about paying for these tests, try going to your guidance counselor and asking about your eligibility to get a free wavier. If not, spending a little money can be worth the chance of being accepted into your dream school.
  3. Review your essay and resume: Depending on the college you are applying to, you have the option to update your essay and resume. There could have been a chance that your essay had simple errors, or that your resume simply didn’t include all that you have accomplished. I suggest going to an English teacher that you trust to look at your essay to spot any mistakes or give advice on how to make it better to your full advantage.

If you have been deferred from the college of your dreams, don’t feel upset and disappointed. Being deferred means that the admissions office believes that you are a good candidate for being apart of their university. Don’t quit now, and make sure to follow these tips to make sure you get your acceptance letter.