Deferment might discourage students from attending MSU
Tyler Pratt almost didn’t attend MSU. As a high school senior last year, Pratt thought for sure he was going to be able to attend MSU in fall 2011, but that was before he was deferred by the Office of Admissions.
Pratt, a journalism freshman, finished high school with a 3.5 grade-point average and a score of 26 on the ACT. In fall 2010, students in the freshman class averaged between a 3.4 and 3.8 high school GPA and between a 23 and 28 on the ACT, according to the Office of Admissions website.
“I thought about it long and hard, but I’m not sure,” Pratt said of being deferred. “A lot of my friends, who had a lower GPA and (weren’t) as involved got in, so I was a little discouraged.”
MSU’s Director of Admissions Jim Cotter said there are various reasons a student might be deferred.
“It’s not all numbers like (some students think),” Cotter said. “But, we recalculate their GPA (to focus on core classes), the trends of their grades and quality of their high school class.”
Although the Office of Admissions does not keep track of the number of deferments each year, Cotter said MSU will offer the deferment option to slightly more students next fall. Cotter said the number of students who are deferred depends on the amount of space at the university based on freshman to sophomore retention rates and the number of applicants who apply each year, among other things.
He said each year MSU offers about 750 incoming freshmen the deferment option depending on the size of the incoming class — about 250 to 350 accept the offer.
Being deferred might not seem stressful, but for University of Iowa freshman Frances Thompson, it was frustrating and painful. The Michigan native said MSU was the only college she was interested in, but was deferred and decided not to wait a semester to become a Spartan.
“I felt if I didn’t get to go first semester, I would miss out on the experiences,” Thompson said, “I would be a little behind everybody (since I) was coming in a semester late.”
Thompson also said she doesn’t know why she was deferred.
“I didn’t think my grades were that bad,” Thompson said. “It was also embarrassing a little, because all of my friends got in. The only reason (for not getting accepted) I could think of is my essay on my application, because other than that, I was just as qualified as some of my friends that got in.”
Iowa got rid of its deferment program three years ago and has seen record enrollment numbers, said Michael Barron, Iowa’s director of admissions and assistant provost for enrollment management.
“It’s just not a technique we use anymore,” Barron said. “Students who apply junior year and are on the bubble, we take their first semester grades of their senior year, but that’s as close as we get to deferment.”
Instead of attending another four-year university, which some students do when they are deferred, Pratt was determined to attend MSU and decided to attend Oakland Community College for the fall semester to save money.
Although it took him a while, Pratt said he’s glad to finally be a Spartan.
“I’m here now, so it’s no big deal to me,” he said.