I applied to a summer program and the email stated that I was deferred.

We are pleased to inform you that your application has made a select list of deferrals to the regular application round.

The text that is in bold looks odd. Can anyone help me clarify whether it's correct or not? If it is correct (which probably is, since the email came from MIT), can you please explain the usage of has made a select list because I've never seen that grammatical structure ever before.

Thank you.

  • "Your application has made" is being used to signify that you have made it to the next step, similar to saying "you made it to the first checkpoint" in a race. It's kind of like saying the application process is an obstacle course and your application has made it over the first obstacle. "Select list" refers to a list of applications/people that have been carefully selected alongside you/your application. – Hank Mar 1 '17 at 14:08
  • Thanks for your input. See this, "has made a select list", doesn't it sound like there's something missing? Won't it sound better had it been "has made it to a select list"? Let me know what you think :) – Anoneemus Mar 1 '17 at 14:10
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    Both are technically correct, but I would say that your suggestion may be a little more clear. "made a select list" is using the same structure that "make the cut" uses. – Hank Mar 1 '17 at 14:15
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    I'm scratching my head about the question. To me, the obvious question mark is the use of "deferrals". Defer means to postpone or to yield, neither of which makes sense in that sentence. – fixer1234 Mar 1 '17 at 17:10
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    @Hank: My reading is that "select" is used as an adjective synonymous with "exclusive". – grateful Mar 1 '17 at 20:01

One of the meanings of the verb make is

6.2 Achieve a place in.

these dogs seldom make the news

they made it to the semifinals

Oxford Dictionaries Online

The phrases make the list and make the cut are common in AmE.


The sentence is correct. The usage of "has made a select list" is also alright. I assume what is odd for you is the usage of word "select" instead of selected. Generally, people use "selected" (selected list in this case). Just see the meaning of the word "select" as an adjective from Merriam-Webster:

adjective se·lect \sə-ˈlekt\

Definition of select: chosen from a number or group by fitness or preference

Thus, using "selected" instead of "select" is totally wrong (e.g., A select number of people are invited).

Also "has made a select list" means that your application is one among the chosen!

Hope I have cleared your doubt. Best regards!

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