You and your teen spent thousands of hours researching colleges, visiting different schools, studying for the SAT or ACT, writing essays, and filling out applications. You probably also spent thousands of dollars on travel costs, tutors, and college application fees. All that blood, sweat, and tears, only to get a letter from their college of choice, stating their application has been deferred.

I get many calls from parents this time of year whose teen has been deferred. The student feels devastated, and the parent’s heart is breaking for them. It’s a tough spot to be in. If you get a definite yes or no, you can move on. But what do you do when admissions say, “not right now?”

There are different possibilities for why this happened. The school could be waiting to see your teen’s grades for the fall semester. Colleges have certain diversity quotas, and they may wait to see who accepts before choosing your teen.

So, what now? How do you increase your teen’s chances of getting accepted? Here are some steps you both can take.

#1 – This is the most important. Any communication you have with the school MUST come from your teen. It won’t help if mom or dad call or email the school. Your teen will need to take the initiative if they really want to go to that college.

#2 – Supply any additional information they request. It could be test scores, grades, or recommendation letters.

#3 – Write a deferral letter. In it, your student should explain why they want to go to that specific school. It needs to be more than the prestige of the school. The letter should say, “I want to go to your college because I want to pursue a career in <fill in the blank>. I know this is the right career path for me because <reasons>. I have already taken steps in pursuing this career by doing <steps>. Your <specific department> will get me there because of <specific classes and/or internship opportunities>.”

Writing a letter that shows your teen has a focused and clear path will greatly increase their chances of being deferred to getting accepted.

Is your teen unclear about which college is right for them? Schedule a complimentary strategy session with us to help your family get on the right track.