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Some Colleges Tinker With Option of Deferred Acceptance

When it comes to college admissions, students can be accepted, rejected, or wait-listed. Now a small, but increasing number of selective schools are trying a new strategy: offering deferred admission after a student goes to another institution for a year and maintains a certain grade point average.

A story in The New York Times yesterday explains the dilemma that students face when they get accepted to their dream school—a year late. Do you tell the college where you intend to go for only a year that that's your plan? Do you only dive into campus life and friendships halfway, since you know you'll be leaving?

It's a tough situation. Students may feel that the trade-off is worth it to get into their top-choice school, but there are some drawbacks to transferring after freshman year. It means moving and settling in at college twice. Also, students who take this route may be signing up for their one-year college experience later, missing the best choice of housing or classes.

But for colleges, it lets them capture more in their growing pools of applicants and helps them rebound from accepted students who drop out, transfer, or leave campus to study aboard or work. It will be interesting to see if the trend picks up traction and how students react to the option.

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