“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?” - Harlem by Langston Hughes
If you’ve found your way to this blog post, that probably means that you, or someone you know, has been deferred from Tufts’ Early Decision round.
Back when we were navigating the college process, we both applied to Tufts as our first choice school under Early Decision. And guess what… we both got deferred.
Jason: I was heartbroken when I was deferred from Tufts’ ED I pool. As my other friends who had applied early to various institutions were celebrating acceptances to their dream colleges, or mourning collegiate paths that were no longer accessible, I felt lost in the ambiguity of the decision stamped on my Tufts application: a deferral. Though the deferral letter came to me with some explanation, I couldn’t help but continue to ask: what does this really mean?
Evelyn: I was absolutely devastated when I got my ED II deferral letter. I had no clue what this meant. I assumed it was just a way to gently deny me. When I read the rest of the letter that explained the outcome to me, there was still that inner doubt: was I not good enough? As an ED II applicant, there wasn’t much else I felt I could do since I’d already submitted all my college apps. So I just had to take deep breaths and trust the process.
As applicants, we went through our own emotional roller coasters of confusion and grief. Now, as admissions counselors, we are here to help clear up any questions you still may have regarding deferral.
What does it mean to be deferred?
In short, if you are deferred from Early Decision, we release your binding commitment to Tufts and reevaluate your application as a Regular Decision applicant. You are not wait-listed or denied; we will review your application again like any other Regular Decision candidate and you will receive a final decision by April 1.
Why was I deferred? Will I be a competitive applicant in Regular Decision?
You were deferred because we saw positive elements in your application, but want to see it in the context of our entire applicant pool. Our office doesn’t take deferral lightly, so we do not defer many applications. We only defer candidates who we want to see—and believe will be competitive—in Regular Decision.
What are the next steps I should take in my college process?
First, it is important to take care of and be kind to yourself. A deferral is not a reflection or indication of your character, accomplishments, or potential. It’s okay to take a short break from the college process and recollect yourself before continuing. We certainly did.
Second, senior year grades matter! As a Regular Decision applicant, you will now need to send us your mid-year grades. Be sure to maintain a strong performance in a rigorous curriculum. Your senior year grades offer great insight into how you would perform academically at Tufts, so do your best!
Third, your college process is not over, so you may need to submit more applications to a range of other colleges and universities. Just because you were deferred from Tufts doesn’t mean you should lose the excitement of the college search. Don’t forget, you’re still a competitive candidate for admission to Tufts!
What should I send to my admissions counselor at Tufts if I want to enhance my application?
Again, your mid-year grades are typically the most important new information to be reviewed when evaluating your application in the Regular Decision pool. That said, if you have new testing, achievements, or involvements that are not already represented in your application, you may send them to our office to be considered. Be sure that this information illuminates something new. Keep in mind that the majority of our applicants and admitted students submit only what is required.
Before we go, we hope you remember to enjoy your time with friends and family. You’re only in high school for a few more months, so make the most of it and don’t let the little moments pass you by!
Trust the process!
Your fellow defer-ees
Evelyn and Jason
Photo Credit: Eileen Campos