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Acceptance, Deferment and Rejection

How to React

There are three answers your child can receive from the admissions committee: accepted, rejected or deferred. While most people understand what accepted and rejected mean, deferred refers to indecision- once all the applications have been reviewed, then there will be a final decision. While students are typically upset or ecstatic about their decision, how do parents typically react?


This is potentially the best news a college student can receive, which ensures they’ll be very pleased. As a parent, you have every right to join in on their celebration- after all, you helped your child get to where they are on this day. But you shouldn’t exactly mimic your child’s reaction. As mature adults, there are optimal ways of showing your content- whether it be through a heartfelt kiss and hug, or words of strong praise.


If your child is deferred, they may not know how to react. Some may not be familiar with this term, while others may feel insulted that they are a completely ideal candidate being forced to wait. Either way, assure your child that this is good news because their application is still under consideration and they have not been rejected. Since the admissions committee is still deliberating, deferred students should try submitting new grades and test scores or calling to express their sincere interest in the school. These easy and simple actions could improve their standing and chances in admisison.


A flat-out “no” is the last answer you or your child want to hear – especially if it’s from his or her first-choice school – and they are going to be noticeably disappointed. Whether it is tears or rage, parents should be supportive and loving. Avoid negative talk about your child’s dream school- rather, offer your genuine regrets and remind them of all the other schools they applied to. Rejection hurts, but assuring your child through support will help boost their confidence and considerably alleviate their sorrow. considerably.

Last Edited: July 2015

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