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U.S. College Admissions: Waitlisted or Deferred? Now what?

After all the tedious work of putting together an application and laboring over the perfect essay, waiting for an answer can seem to take forever. When the letter arrives to you, the outcome may or may not be very clear or straightforward. A clear outcome says that you are either accepted or rejected by the university whereas an unclear outcome says that your application is ‘waitlisted’ or ‘deferred’.

The difference between the waitlist and a deferral is small but important to be aware of in case you wound up with a letter from universities with one of those two answers.

The Waitlist

  • If the response that you receive in your letter from your desired college says that your application is waitlisted, then this means that you qualify for the admission but you’re not their first priority.

  • Other students are given a higher priority and if any of those students don’t take admission in this college, then their seat will be given to you.