Given the time of year, it’s hard to go into any store and not hear Christmas music. Recently, I heard Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and, while it’s particularly focused on the festive nature of the current holiday season, I suppose it does apply to those of us in Admissions too. It’s the time of the year when we can begin to see the incoming first-year class form and dream of the impact students will have in our classrooms, on our campus, and in the community. It does, in many ways, feel like “a wonderful time of the year.”

While this time of year brings wonderful news to many, we also recognize that some of you are processing the news of being deferred. First things first: What does being deferred actually mean? It means several things: that the Admissions Committee needs more time to consider you and your application; that you’re still considered for admission (in the Regular Decision applicant pool and without the binding commitment that accompanies applying Early Decision); and that your application is still “open.” To that last point, you can — and should! — share with us updates to your grades; we want to know how you’re doing in your classes and how your year has progressed since clicking that “Submit” button. You’re also welcome to send additional recommendation letters too, especially if you feel they will add significant value to your application or include something of which we weren’t initially aware. And one more directive: please be in touch with your admissions representative. Each of our Admissions Deans reviews applications according to where you attend school; this individual not only knows the most about your school but is also best equipped to advocate for you. I wouldn’t say that you should necessarily reach out to them every week, but please do let us know that you’re still interested and why. (And if you don’t know who your admissions rep is, you can learn more here.)

Wake Forest is fortunate to receive a lot of interest in joining our community. Last year was a record year for us in terms of the total number of applications received, and the trend continues this year: our Early Decision I applicant pool was up 15%. So, while being deferred isn’t perhaps the “most wonderful” news, it is still a wonderful accomplishment. It speaks to your successes as a high school student and is a reflection of our Admissions Committee’s belief in you. With a little more time for us to deliberate, and your continued efforts in your classes, you too may have the happy opportunity to call Wake Forest “home.”

I’ve come to think of the whole college search process as an exercise in reflection – of thinking through what you have accomplished, of the choices you’ve made, and of what you have endured – but also of what you hope the next few years to be, the experiences you hope to have, and what you hope your life will become. Take in the news of being deferred – and then take a step back to reflect and think about where you go from here. There are so many options out there for college that will help you to realize your dreams. At the end of the day, our hope, as admissions officers, is that you find the place that is best for YOU.

Whether “home” becomes here in Winston-Salem or somewhere else, we wish you only the best in your college search process. 

Happy Holidays,

Thomas Ray

Associate Dean of Admissions

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