10 months ago
Admissions Advice

Why could strong early applicants be deferred?

I am curious as to the reasons why very good students who apply early are often deferred to the RD application round? What kind of info do they want to receive?

@OFHanson10 months ago

Some more information will have to be spilled for a clear answer rather than a vague one. Did you submit scores? If so, were they below-average, qualifying (enough), or competitive for that school? Are your transcript grades of one of the same? Are your extracurriculars well represented? How much time did you spend on essays?—are these well?

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Accepted Answer
10 months ago

This Fall cycle 2 things happened that are unprecedented.

1.) Elite and top colleges got a flood of applications for ED and EA and SCREA. This is due to everyone being test-optional but it sort of backfired because everyone and their cousin applied to these schools. For example, MIT got 62% more applications, Harvard 57% more, Columbia 49% more, and Yale 38% more. So you have a larger pool of applicants including more legacies, more athletes, more development, more dean's list, and more children of college employees as well.

2.) A grave miscalculation that everyone is continuing to make is that many of the top schools have 20%+ deferred admissions from the Class of 24'. So schools like UPenn, Columbia, Yale, Harvard, Brown, etc have between 200 and 400 fewer spaces to give out. Therefore, admit rates for ED/EA/SCREA are much lower than last year as well. 7.4% vs 13.9% at Harvard, less than 10% vs 15% at Columbia, 4.7% versus 7.4% at MIT, and so forth and so on.

So with a record number of applications and fewer spots to fill, there is a squeeze on qualified candidates that in a typical year would have been accepted but now are deferred. The comments are also valid to some degree but I'm assuming that when you said you are a very good student that meant that you had excellent UWGPA, Course Rigor, ECs, Essays, and Recommendations.

Don't take it personally or be slighted for not getting in the first round.

During the next 2 days, make your applications and good as humanly possible and consider adding a couple of schools since the RD field will be equally brutal and unforgiving.

Hope that helps you and good luck.

10 months ago

It can be a number of things. Some school accept most of their recruited athletes in the early rounds, so there isn't enough room for everybody. Also, this year specifically, colleges are getting more students than usual (Brexit and gap years last year) (Columbia told my counselor that they had a 49% increase in their early pool!).


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