Q. If a high school senior applied early decision or early action to his dream school and was deferred, what can he do to help ensure he's admitted during the next round of acceptances?
A. First, the student should take time to reflect and be sure this is still his first choice. "It's normal for students' feelings to change based on a deferral," says Kat Cohen, chief execu-tive of IvyWise, a Manhattan-based educational consulting firm.
Still certain? Then it's time for the full-court press. Cohen suggests he:
Write to the school. Review the school's website, LinkedIn and other social media pages so he can state specifically why the school is a great fit for him. Name courses or research projects he would pursue or professors he would like to study under. Include an update of any improvements in grades and any recent achievements, projects or awards. Call the school and ask which admissions officer is in charge of reviewing applications from his high school and address his letter to that person, copying the dean of admissions.
In the letter, say flat out: "If admitted in the regular decision round, I will attend."
Get the guidance counselor involved. Ask him to contact the school on his behalf.
Consider submitting one extra letter of recommendation from a senior-year teacher.
If possible, revisit the school. Let the admissions office know he is coming and ask if he can sit in on a class and meet with the admissions rep.