Tag: Waitlist

Dealing with Deferrals: A Different kind of Love Letter

It’s February! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is in the air and students are studying for exams. With Valentine’s Day come love letters (or love emails), but for our applicants applying to colleges abroad, we want to cover a different kind of letter, the Deferral Update Letter.

For Early applicants (Early Action or Early Decision) the deferral can fell heartbreaking. For a lot of high-performing applicants it’s the first time they’ve felt a form of rejection and the instinct is to react, as “whyyyyyy” rather like the love-struck, heartbroken lead of a romantic comedy but, resist the urge.

First of all, a Deferral is NOT a Rejection. There are steps you can take to make your profile stronger and convert the deferral into an acceptance. We will continue with the Love Letter analogy we started with as we examine what to do, and what not to do. And so, treat the letter like a Love Letter, written carefully, with passion, showing your best self to win over the college.

Do Be Yourself: You don’t want the college to fall in love with some phantom version of you. Be the excited, incredible person who applied during the early round. Thank them for the opportunity to still be evaluated. Tell them that you’re excited about the college and if possible, tell them why – “My conversation with Maya, Class of 2021, over the holidays gave me the same sense of excitement about University College as the school website. She showed me pictures of the quad covered in twinkling lights and I could imagine myself there, walking back from Art History class or to the Model UN meeting. Living up to the motto of Veritas by looking for my own truths that motivate me.” That is what moves the admissions team to accept you.

Give Them NEW Reasons to Love You: Early deadline is a ways away and in those few months since they received your application you may have more news for them. There may be a new achievement or recognition – the book you were working on getting published made it to print, you won the championship game and won the MVP award, you have better grades to show them – tell them about it. Remember though, we specified NEW. Don’t repeat what you already told them. They read that already and it wasn’t enough at this stage.

Write a Letter, not a Novel: We said this when it came to the application, the admissions committee has a motto “the thicker the file, the quicker it sinks.” Don’t overdo the letter by sending too many things. Don’t send them a new essay unless they ask you. Don’t attach a massive project, they won’t read it. Honestly, put yourself in their shoes. Would you rather read a short, 1-2 page document or a novel once you’ve spend all day working? Likely the concise document!

Don’t Be a Stalker: Don’t send multiple letters, or god help you, a letter every week. In real life, stalker-ish behavior like sending unwanted letters, calling all the time, showing up when they told you not to, would get you a restraining order. Same rule applies here. Moreover, don’t beg in your letter. You don’t love someone who begs. You may pity them. But colleges don’t give out pity acceptances.

Do Remember There Are other Fish in the Sea: College may not seem like a fish, but the analogy applies. There is more to life than just one college. You (hopefully) sent in more than just a single application. Remember to evaluate all the colleges fairly and don’t just get hung up on one college. It may not seem like it now, but people attend other colleges, sometimes those colleges weren’t their first choice, yet they all graduate as successful people who have let go and moved on.

Deferrals and waitlists are difficult and we all know that. Reach out to us at CollegeCore if you have questions on how to convert the College or University’s maybe into a yes. www.collegecore.com

Rejected: Class of 2021


Apr 1st, 2017. You wish someone would jump out and yell “April Fools Day!!!!” but they didn’t. #IvyDay has come and gone. Your dream school has crushed those elaborate castles of whimsy you had built in your head about your lives together. And life plain SUCKS. Like SUCKS!!

Rejection 2

They built you up with posts saying “COME TO US!” only to rip you right down to this stage.

Dealing with rejection is difficult. Most students take it personally that they were turned down. Some compare it to a break up. They feel like the “Sorry we can’t offer you a place in the Class of 2021…” really stands for “You Suck” but nothing could be further from that. And we aren’t just trying to make you feel better.

Hell, check out Frank Bruni’s awesome article on this from last year – College Admissions Shocker. 

Its not you, it really IS THEM! It becomes a game of Supply and Demand really – too many students are applying and there are only a handful of seats available.

So take a little time to feel upset – you worked hard for it. But then, pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Accept that this may be the first big rejection but that life hasn’t come to a standstill. You may do incredibly well in the college you have been accepted to and that could set you on a path for success. You could perhaps even apply to your dream college for grad school (applications? AGAIN?) Really though, embrace the school that embraced you and move on.

In case you are stuck in Waitlist Limbo, check out our advice on working through the 5 stages of Grief.

Waitlist Limbo


So, you got waitlisted. There is a special feeling of overwhelming frustration that descends upon the students that are stuck in admissions purgatory (waitlisted), so here are a few do’s and don’ts to get yourself off the waitlist. To make things more interesting, lets examine how you should approach the 5 Stages of Waitlist Grief.

Denial –

Waitlist - Shock

You were top of your class. You kicked ass in your extracurriculars. Maybe the SAT / ACT could have been higher but you should have got it. Maybe you expected to get in and not seeing an obvious “Congratulations” left you staring at the computer screen in shock. It’s not you, admissions are getting more and more competitive each year.

Anger –

Waitlist - anger

“THIS IS SO UNFAIR!” That’s usually the reaction following the first foray into the blackhole of forums where people are discussing their successes (**cough** College Confidential & TGID **cough**) Anger is usually prompted by seeing other, in your eyes “undeserving” candidates get in to that school. This is the first experience where things aren’t always explainable. Each college is trying to build a “class-mix” – perhaps they had too many people with your profile, perhaps they had too many people for that major, perhaps, you really weren’t good enough.

Bargaining –


This is when you start drafting that begging email to the university that waitlisted you. Something along the lines of “I love you, please take me!” STOP. Do not beg. Do not stalk. Do not send them twenty emails in two days and call incessantly. Take control.

Be eager and creative, but not scary or desperate. What do you really need to do? Write one, maybe two well-written letters updating the college about your achievements and explaining why you should still be admitted. A letter from your counsellor / principal / teacher / supervisor also may help (ONE LETTER, NOT ONE FROM ALL OF THEM). Think about giving them a call or requesting for an interview to express your interest (may not work). Think about visiting (but have a plan for what the visit means). Don’t do something stupid.

Depression –

Waitlist - pain

You may be miserable, you may wallow for a while and that is ok. You worked hard, and admissions kicked your butt. Be sad for a day. Indulge in the chocolate / ice-cream / sad movie binge fest for a weekend. But remember, your life ISN’T OVER!! This is not a rejection, this is a maybe. So buck up!

Acceptance –

Waitlist - Acceptance

Warning, pun approaching. ACCEPT your situation and ACCEPT one school that you want to go to! Wait for the waitlist but realize, you got into college and that is pretty great.