Stanford Deferral Advice

Hello there!

I recently applied to Stanford SCEA (or whatever it’s called), and got deferred. I read on some college advice sites that sending a letter indicating continued interest could help, but I also read somewhere on collegeconfidential that it’s unnecessary, as Stanford is everybody’s first choice.

What would y’all suggest doing?

Deferrals need to be managed, not just left sitting there in the ‘hopeful’ basket.

I’m not sure what the best approach is, but I would say that being deferred by Stanford is a pretty good thing, as unlike some of its peer schools, Stanford only defers a small percentage of early applicants (less than 10% according to the article below). I don’t know the percentage of those deferred who are ultimately admitted but I would assume there’s a realistic chance since Stanford isn’t deferring that many.

By contrast HYP defer most early applicants (58-79%) and a high percentage of those deferred are ultimately not accepted.

Stanford defers very few each year. They accepted 743 REA and deferred only 562. And historically they admit about 15% of those deferred. More than 5 times the rate of regular applicants…which should be less than 3%. The other institutions mentioned above defer so many that it basically is meaningless (just a delayed rejection)…because the deferred revert to the low acceptance rate of “regular” applicants for each respective school…

…for those few deferred…understand…you are kept in a completely different “special” pool now (those considered one step closer to acceptance)…and with the great number of regular applicants expected…it’s good not to be thrown back into the “regular” pool.

I think for schools like Harvard and Stanford, they already know that you REALLY, REALLY want to go to their college. At least for Harvard, they discourage applicants from sending in letters of continued interest on their website. Not sure if it’s the same case with Stanford, but you should look on their website.

If you can’t find it, I would suggest NOT sending one because Stanford seems (from what I’ve read through their website) to be the type of school that gets cranky when people throw papers at them.

So… would you suggest sending a letter? Is that what you mean by “managed”?

ooh i meant to reply to @JustOneDad is this how you tag people

Sorry I’m new to this. I hope I don’t get yelled at for making repeat posts. @bluewater2015 - thank you for the link! it will give me a good sense of false hope. @gravitas2 that’s assuring! how do you know this ? the thing about the pools, that is? I’d love to read about it if there’s a source or sometin :open_mouth: @lifelender That’s what I was leaning towards, but then I got JustOneDad’s vague comment.

It was made vague to encourage you to make some effort on your own as opposed to;

  1. Doing nothing.
  2. Waiting for someone to tell you what to do.

@JustOneDad Does my request for suggestions imply that I have not put in effort on my own? My research in regards to the best course of action to take for deferrals has led to conflicting information for me, and that is why I am asking for advice. Would you be able to explain what you meant by “managed” instead of:

  1. Providing a list of what it doesn’t mean.
  2. Insulting my request for advice.

@SadSquirrel23, here’s one article you might find useful to read.

What did your deferral letter say?

[Then, read this.](

I just came across some data that it’s around 25% of Stanford deferrals that turn into acceptances . . . pretty good odds, as these things go.

@bluewater2015. I don’t know where you got the 25% number from…but that is incorrect. I am pretty certain the letters received by the deferred this past month went something like this:

Last year’s letter said 15% as well…and this year…most likely said 15% also…they are fairly consistent with this percentage for the past 6 years now…

We want to support the deferred as much as we can…but we don’t want/need to exaggerate…they just need honest optimism…

…and by the way…that letter was from @clairebear29. She was ultimately accepted! Not only that…she received early academic “likely letters” from both Harvard and Yale in the regular round…

@gravitas Interesting. If the deferral letter says 15% then I guess that’s right. 25% is what someone from Stanford admissions said at an event I attended.

@bluewater2015. The 15% they quote every year may be on the conservative “low” side (in all honesty)…and may actually be “higher”…but, since we never really get a breakdown of how many “actually” get in with reference to the great hordes of applicants in the regular round…and since CC sampling (REA deferred group) is so limited…one can only be cautiously more optimistic about the “real” numbers for the deferred…

…just as they low-ball the number of expected regular applicants as 30,000 for the past several years…when in reality it is encroaching 40,000…

@gravitas2 Yes, nobody really knows for sure outside the admissions office. It’s plausible to me though that they would quote a lower figure in the letter, so as not to give people false hope.

@gravitas2 where do you get the 15% admit rate off deferrals? So those deferred sit separately from the other RD applications?

Don’t give up hope. My daughter’s best friend applied REA last year and was deferred. She wrote a continue interest letter and updated her accomplishments and ultimately was admitted in regular round. So both of them are at Stanford University now. My daughter applied regular round to Stanford. I don’t think sending a continue letter of interest is going to hurt you at all, however, definitely update on major awards or accomplishments your Senior year.