Early applicants were rewarded for their efforts with one of three possible admissions decisions: accepted, denied, or deferred. Acceptances are a cause for rejoicing—if to an early decision school, your application process is completed. All you need to do now is withdraw those applications that are still pending and enjoy the rest of your senior year.
Denials (especially those to schools you saw as targets or safeties) should make you take another look at your college list. Should you reconsider some of your choices and perhaps add another safety school or two to the mix?
But it is deferrals that put you in limbo. Your ED or EA school has just offered to reconsider your application under the regular decision plan. That generally means that they are still considering you for admission, but would like some more data that might influence their decision. Most often, they’d like to see your mid-transcript to make sure that your grades are continuing their upward trajectory. Sometimes they simply want to take a look at the strength of the regular decision pool before rendering a decision in your case. But there are additional things you can do to make sure your application stands out more in the regular decision round.
Begin by writing a note to the director of admissions, expressing your thanks
that they are still considering you for admissions. Provide the admissions officer with an update on your activities since you applied—including any newprojects, honors, awards, or achievements. Mention that you will have a mid-year report sent to them as soon as it is available, and ask if there is any other information that might be helpful to them in rendering a decision. You might offer to interview, or to send them an additional letter of recommendation. By following up in this way, you assure the college that you are still a serious candidate for admission, and that you are eager to attend that school if admitted. And this time, your efforts
may be rewarded with an offer of admission!