Should I write a letter if I am deferred?
Absolutely! Actually, it is essential for you to respond to a school to which you have applied early. Although the school did not accept you, the admissions committee has given you the opportunity to be considered with the regular applicant pool. Essentially, they want to review the grades you receive in the fall of your senior year (and sometimes even in the first quarter of the spring semester). A letter that expresses your gratitude for this extra chance! Let them know that if accepted, you will eagerly attend. And this is an excellent opportunity to mention a few new achievements and even plans for projects in the spring.
What if I am on a waiting list?
If you have not been accepted to a school during regular admissions but the school has offered you a spot on a waiting list, you have a decision to make. Have you been accepted to another college that you have decided to attend? If so, you should write a letter that removes your name from the waiting list, especially since other applicants still have some hopes to be accepted.
However, if you still hope to be accepted off the list, it is a good idea to send a letter affirming your continued interest in the school. Also, you should certainly explain any new and exciting information about your progress since you filed your application. Be sure to be positive and respectful, and do not go overboard sending more recommendations or materials unless you are asked.
You might also inquire about how many students are generally admitted from the list and when notifications are sent. Be sure to contact the individual schools to find out whether they have a process for you to follow.
What sorts of new information might change the decision?
Certainly, if you can provide new and exciting information, the admissions committee might take another look at your application. In some cases, new information will place you in a better position so be sure to ask whether and to whom that information may be sent. Students have won national or international academic competitions; others have been notified that their research has been accepted for publication. Perhaps a work of art has recently been accepted by a prestigious museum, or an original composition is to be performed by a professional orchestra.
If you believe that you have been honored or have made a significant achievement that requires another look, you lose nothing by letting the college know that. Make sure your letter is polite, well written, and positive in tone. But meanwhile, plan to attend a school that has already accepted you.
What if I have received a letter of rejection? Will an appeal do any good?
You can appeal a court decision or a traffic ticket. Even the Internal Revenue Service has an appeals process. But can you appeal a rejection from a college or university?
An appeal will make you feel that you have done everything humanly possible to change the result. However, most college experts agree that unless there has been some remarkable news in your academic life, a letter of appeal will get you a nice letter in return, perhaps suggesting that you might want to apply for transfer later on. It’s not likely that an extremely selective school that has rejected thousands of applicants will review your application.