Admissions work is predictably cyclical.  We do many of the same things in the same month, or even on the same day, each year.  But there are, in fact, several “sub-cycles” running at once.  On a single day next week (January 15), we have the deadline for September 2010 applications (the start of a cycle), as well as orientation for students starting their studies this month (the end of a cycle).  Some of the sub-cycles involve mobs of people (September applications), while others have us in contact with much smaller groups.

And that brings me to a sizable bunch who may be feeling neglected right now — those of you who applied by the Early Notification deadline but learned that we’ll reconsider your application within the full applicant pool.  You’ve read the decision letter and may have done your own research, but I thought shedding a little light on your situation would still be a good thing.

First thing I’ll say is that having your application deferred is not the same as having it denied.  A portion of the deferred applicants will end up admitted.  Another portion will be offered a place on the wait list.  It all depends on what we find when we review the applications now pouring into the Admissions Office.

Most likely, you’re applying to other schools, and that process is keeping you busy.  When the dust clears, you should consider whether there is any information in your application that needs updating.  (I’m emphasizing that particular word, because we don’t need you to add anything unless it reflects a change.)  Here are some items we’d like to see:  new transcripts listing grades you received in fall 2009; new standardized test scores that you would like us to consider; a new résumé that includes details on your new job/internship; a short excerpt or a link to newly published work.  Submitting an additional recommendation can be helpful, but only if it shares new information.  For example, let’s say that, in November, you hadn’t yet told your boss you’ll be leaving work to go to grad school in September, and you didn’t have a workplace recommendation.  Now your boss knows and would be happy to recommend you.  This is new information that can support your application.

Please don’t flood us with materials in the hope we’ll wear down in the face of your enthusiasm.  While we really appreciate updates, only information that truly reflects a change since your November application will be useful.  All deferred applications will receive new review, usually starting around mid-February.  If the added materials reach us by February 1, you can be sure they’ll be considered when we re-consider your application file.

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4 Responses to Deferred to the spring?

  1. Hello Felix,
    I’m happy to shed light on your question, but I’m afraid I need to give the answer you prefer not to receive. The only two decisions offered on Early Notification applications are “admit” and “defer.” As I said in the original post, all deferred applications will be reviewed again in the next couple of months, and a good portion of the applicants will end up with happy (or, at least, happier) news in March. We’ll hold off for a few weeks before we reconsider the EN applications. By then, we’ll have hundreds of January applications behind us, and a good sense of the general pool.

    I’m sorry about the effect grad school planning is having on your fingernails! I’m happy to try to lessen the stress with answers to your questions.


  2. Felix says:

    Dear Jessica,

    thanks a lot for the abundance of information on his blog. Every time I visit this blog, my heartbeat accelerates a little when I see some new info on a process that could change one’s life…

    What I’ve learnt from this blog and from friends who applied in earlier admissions cycles is that the Committee’s decisions can go far beyond acceptance and denial. So, one thing that troubles me while weighing chances and chewing up fingernails until the final decision in late March is whether all Early Notification applicants (I was one of them) who did not get admitted in the first place, were categorically deferred to the January applicant pool, or whether there were some denials as well and the deferral is indeed a not-too-bad sign… I hope you can shed some light on this too.

    All the best and many thanks from Pakistan,


  3. Thank you, Muhyadin! I enjoy writing the blog, and I hope the information is helpful to applicants and friends of the School.

  4. Muhyadin says:

    I just want to say that I find it interesting reading this blog. It just puts me at the heart of the school. I couldn’t resist thanking you for your informative updates at the end of my work.

    Muhyadin in Somaliland

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