Northwest Horizons

Deferrals bring dismay to Northwest

Senior+Sarah+Long+poses+under+a+UNC-Charlotte+pendant.+She+was+rejected+from+her+top+school+of+UNC-Chapel+Hill%2C+but+she+now+looks+forward+to+attending+her+back-up+school.+
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Deferrals bring dismay to Northwest

Senior Sarah Long poses under a UNC-Charlotte pendant. She was rejected from her top school of UNC-Chapel Hill, but she now looks forward to attending her back-up school.

Senior Sarah Long poses under a UNC-Charlotte pendant. She was rejected from her top school of UNC-Chapel Hill, but she now looks forward to attending her back-up school.

Senior Sarah Long poses under a UNC-Charlotte pendant. She was rejected from her top school of UNC-Chapel Hill, but she now looks forward to attending her back-up school.

Senior Sarah Long poses under a UNC-Charlotte pendant. She was rejected from her top school of UNC-Chapel Hill, but she now looks forward to attending her back-up school.

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A letter from UNC-Chapel Hill indicates a notice of rejection. Between acceptance and rejection lies the dreaded deferrals and waitlists.

As the school year heads into third quarter, seniors are putting more focus than ever into next fall. Admissions letters are arriving daily from across the country, and not all of them carry the news students hope to read.

In the midst of their final year at high school, some students may not be sure what to do with their deferrals and wait-lists. Or perhaps what they even mean.

“Each school might be different in the way they specifically do things,” counselor Michael Marshall said. “In a class, (colleges) have a cap number of kids they can have, and so what often happens with deferral or wait-list, is they have a lot of students who academically look the same and they can’t take all of them. They don’t want to say no, but they don’t want to say yes; it’s more like a ‘wait-and-see.’”

Deferrals are when the college has yet to make a decision about whether or not to admit a student. They withhold finalizing a decision until they have more information, like semester grades. Wait-listing means that if some students who have been accepted chose to decline, a spot opens in their absence. The college may pull from their list to refill that spot. Either way, it’s not the most uplifting news to receive.

“My initial reaction was that I was disappointed,” senior Melissa Phillips said. “After a week of thinking it over and meeting with my counselor, I realized that I was really lucky to get in, even if not when planned, because a lot of people I know did not get in at all.”

Phillips was wait-listed by her first choice college for the fall semester, while still being admitted for Spring 2020. Disheartened, many students who were given the same responses now wait anxiously on pins and needles for a final decision. But there may be things to do in the meantime.

After a week of thinking it over and meeting with my counselor, I realized that I was really lucky to get in, even if not when planned, because a lot of people I know did not get in at all.”

— senior Melissa Phillips

“Some schools, there’s nothing you can do. They’re just waiting to hear definitive answers from others students who they’ve already admitted,” Marshall said. “Other schools, you can do something. That might be retaking the SAT or ACT. That might be making sure your grades are as high as they can be.”

Phillips plans to retake the SAT in hopes that it will increase her likelihood of being selected from the wait-list. Even if some students have no intentions of retesting, the least they could do is contact the school.

“I recommend anyone who’s deferred or wait-listed, call Admissions immediately and ask them ‘what can I do’ or ‘is there anything I can do?’” Marshall said.

This doesn’t solely apply to seniors. Juniors and even underclassmen may be wondering what they can do to avoid the dreaded deferral, and it’s quite simple.

“I think people should take junior year more seriously and try not to slack off. It is the most important year, and it honestly makes or breaks where you will be for the next four years,” Marshall said. “Challenge yourself in and outside of school but enjoy the time you have with those who you get the privilege of seeing every day.”

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Deferrals bring dismay to Northwest