By: Belinda Gonzalez-Leon, Ed. D., MBA
Ph: (305) 494-9389
For college-bound students, January is the month of deadlines as well as acceptances and unfortunately rejections. Some already know what college they will be attending, and others are struggling to be accepted into one. For some of my students, there have been unexpected surprises. Several students I know were deferred by Florida International University (FIU). WHAT do you say? I thought everybody got into FIU! Well, apparently, not anymore.
When a college defers your application, it does not mean you were not accepted. It means that they have not decided and are going to wait a little longer. For the student, this means you have an opportunity to provide more supporting documentation to the college about why they should accept you. If you’ve raised your grade point average (GPA) or scored higher on the SAT test since you originally submitted your application, now is the time to put it all together in a package to present.
Gather all the information that will help prove to the university that you are a hardworking and worthy student for their school. Write a letter that explains what you have focused on during your senior year in order to improve; emphasize how much you really want to attend their institution citing reasons specific to the school; and reach out to all the admissions counselors that you’ve stayed in touch with since you began the process (What? You don’t have a contact person at the school? Well, you’d better get on that ASAP).
In my experience, deferrals from FIU have not been common. FIU has a system called Freshman Pathways which offers to apply students different ways of being accepted. For example, if your GPA or test scores were not that high, FIU might ask you to start in the summer or spring term instead of fall. FIU may ask you to attend another college and take some courses for a semester or two and show them that you are ready for college. FIU does provide very specific steps on how to appeal your deferral.
After building itself into a top-ranked public university in Miami, could it be that FIU can no longer hold all the students who apply? (Similar to the University of Florida and Florida State University). Have the entrance standards risen that much over the years as more students recognize the ability to attend a top college in their own neighborhood at a fraction of the cost compared to other colleges? Look at the numbers yourself.
This chat shows the GPA and SAT/ACT test scores on the average have risen over the years for those students enrolled at FIU: (https://opir.fiu.edu/factbook2016/dash.html)
Not being accepted is difficult news to hear, but you can choose to appeal or move on to Plan B. Be realistic in the universities that you apply to and be realistic in whether you can appeal an unaccept decision. Be sure to apply to one or two schools that you know you have the GPA and test scores to be accepted into. Miami Dade College is a great option and they are doing wondrous things there. Have you considered their scholarship funded Honors College? Many students are transferring to Ivy League colleges after graduating with their Associate degree from Miami Dade College!
Work hard on your application, do all the things you need to do, keep your eye on the goal, and make the best decision about how and where to get your education. You can always transfer after a year or two at a local college. You can also wait and enroll in your dream college for graduate school. The path is not always straight- it has twists and turns, but it does get you to your final destination.