You’re beginning to hear back from colleges and you see that you’ve been waitlisted at one of your top schools of choice, what do you do? In this blog, we’ll give you three things you should do if you were waitlisted at a school you want to go to.

1. You Need to Respond to the School in Someway

Some schools will be explicit with what you need to send and what they don’t want to receive. These schools may supply you with a form to fill out and that’s all they need to keep you under consideration. But if a school doesn’t give you anything, you SHOULD do something. At the bare minimum, you should send an email stating your continued interest to the office of admissions. Often times you can look up who to send the letter to on the school’s website. If you can’t find who to contact, you can call the office of admissions and ask who to send your email to. Don’t overdo it, however, as it may come off as annoying. What you do want is to make yourself stand out and have them thinking about you atop the waitlist.

2. Send a “Get Me Off Your Waitlist” Letter

Try to give colleges as much evidence as possible that makes you seem like an even better candidate than you were when you originally applied. If you aren’t given an official form to fill out to show your continued interest, send an email that usually should be less than 500-650 words. In this email, you should brag about or establish anything that didn’t make it on your original application that occurred from that point and now. Let the school know of any updates you have including higher grades, awards you may have received,  or any additional activities you’ve picked up. Ask your guidance counselor to send an updated transcript that reflects your increased GPA. You should also include the equivalent of an additional essay — which should be right around a paragraph. The essay should say why you’re a good fit for that school and include some emotion that will put you over the edge as a candidate.

3. Be Realistic

When you are waitlisted, you should look up the statistics and research what your chances are of getting off the waitlist. Don’t your breath, however, and bank on getting in. Make sure you pay your deposit to your second choice school just in case. It may cost you a few hundred dollars if you do end up getting off the waitlist at the school of your choice but it’s better to play it safe than sorry. And if you end up not getting in at the school you were waitlisted at, you can always transfer.