Most high schoolers, transfer students, and college graduates that want an even higher education should admit it already: you have a dream school. While you might not want to name it for fear of getting your hopes up, then that’s okay. But even if you have it in your head that you’ll get into your dream school and that you’ll go there, it’s always best to plan for the worst (just ask Lindsay Lohan’s career). So in case you apply but are deferred by admissions, here’s what you can do:
1. Don’t be bitter. Okay, well, maybe you can be a little bitter. If you’re honestly qualified and if you did everything right when it came to the application, then it’s only natural. But don’t dwell there. Instead get ready to get working. Writing the admissions office and stating your case is only step one of many.
2. Call in reinforcements. If you’re set on attending your dream school even after you’ve been deferred, then pull out all the stops. Ask more teachers, coaches, employers, or community service organizers for recommendations, and ask your college guidance counselor to make a phone call or two on your behalf. (But whatever you do, don’t let your parents get too involved. It’s one thing for a college admissions office to hear out a plea from a student, but another case entirely to have unruly parents beating down their doors.)
3. Keep them updated. If you’ve won any awards or if you’ve accomplished anything major since initially applying to your dream school, then update the admissions office with what you’ve done in the meantime. That way they’ll know for sure that you’re a serious student and that you just didn’t pad your resume with college-application-appropriate activities.
4. Research the school’s alumni pool. If you’re serious about getting in, check out some notable alumni of the school. Try reaching out to them in order to explain who you are, and why you want to attend their alma mater. Or, ask your parents if you have any family friends who are alumni. Either way, the alumni of any school tend to have some pull, so seek their encouragement.
5. Change your mindset. If your deferral doesn’t end in eventual acceptance, and if you’re ultimately rejected from your dream school, then it’s not the end of the world. Really. (Proof? 2012 has already come and gone.) Instead of dwelling on your supposed failures, fully embrace the school that you do get into, and guaranteed: you won’t regret a thing. Plus you can always apply again to your dream school as a transfer student next year.