What Does It Mean to Get Deferred from a College?

You have sent in those early decision or early action applications and now you are sitting on pins and needles waiting for the responses. After several excruciating months, you finally get a notification. But wait, it’s not an acceptance or a rejection.

The college notified you that you have been deferred. “What does deferred mean?” you think to yourself. In simple terms, it means that you did not get accepted in the early action or early decision pool of applicants.

You do, however, get a second chance at admission!

Types of College Application Responses

When you apply to college, you can get various responses:

You can be accepted
You can be declined
You can be put on a waitlist (which is a whole other topic)
You can get deferred

Deferral of Early Application Decisions

If you apply either early action (the non-binding early application) or early decision (the binding early application), you can receive a response from the college that will say you are deferred. This means that the admissions office is putting off making a final decision on your application for the time being. They place your application in the regular decision pool and consider it against all of the other regular decision applicants. Now, you wait again to find out if you were accepted, declined or waitlisted.

So, being deferred just means that the decision on your admission is going to be considered again along with the regular decision applications.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.