In my experience, those who receive a defer notice from their Early Decision school are confused about how to react. The news is not good, but it is also not all bad. In many ways, the news is that your reactions are going to be delayed for another three or so months. Yes, we understand that more waiting is not what you want to hear at this time, but unfortunately defer decisions are part of the Early Decision process.
Disappointment is absolutely reasonable, but you do not need to lose all hope. Every year ED defers are admitted during RD, and defers are provided the same chance of admissions as the applicants who apply regular decision. It is very important to note that at Hopkins we do not just politely defer Early Decision applicants into our Regular Decision applicant pool to delay bad news. We deny applicants Early Decision, in fact we deny more than we defer. Those who are deferred by the Admissions Committee still have a legitimate chance for admission, otherwise we would not have deferred the decision.
However, your reactions need be tempered. Being deferred does mean there were weaknesses in your application that raised concerns with the Admissions Committee. Though we do and will admit ED defers during the Regular Decision round, statistically the majority of deferred applicants will not be offered admission. During the Regular Decision review process we will offer admission to less than 20% of all applicants. The competition will be difficult during Regular Decision, however as I stated above, all deferred applicants will be re-reviewed and given a fair shot for admission. There is no advantage nor disadvantage for deferred students ... just a second chance.
What do you have to do as a deferred applicant?
Nothing. Deferred ED applications are automatically moved into the Regular Decision round of application reviews. There is nothing a deferred applicant must do. No new application needs to be completed.
There is though one thing you must do, and that is make sure you apply to other schools. Though obvious, your chance for admission to Hopkins is not guaranteed and you want to make sure you have options next year.
What should I do as a deferred applicant?
I have provided a lot of detail on the Deferred Student Discussion Thread on the Hopkins Forums, so I thought I would just share that advice here:
(2) Make sure you update the academic portion of your application. This would include mid-year grades (which will play a MAJOR role in your re-review), additional standardized test scores you may have taken, and maybe even an updated letter of recommendation from your guidance counselor.
(3) Consider updating the non-academic portion of your application. Though not required, an updated resume and an additional letter of recommendation (especially from a senior year teacher) can always help. Just make sure anything you add does contribute in a new way to your application. Do not be redundant.
(4) Write a letter to the Admissions Committee. Though not something all deferred applicants need to do or even should do, some of you may consider writing a personal letter to the Admissions Committee stressing your interest in Hopkins and why you feel you are an appropriate candidate for admissions. Consider this a cover letter to your overall application.
The most important thing you have to do is have a stellar senior year academically. By far, the most important part of the review of a deferred applicant during the regular decision round will be the academic progress and success throughout the senior year. Make sure that any updates to your application are submitted by February 1st and your mid-year report and transcript are submitted by your school by February 15th.
Also, please make sure you pay attention to the list of what not to do that is posted on the Deferred Student Discussion Thread.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have questions, do not hesitate to post them.