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 would like to attend.
1. You Need to Respond to the School in Some Way
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 (AKA a LOCI or Letter of Continued Interest) stating your continued interest to the office of admissions. Often times you can look up the regional admissions representative or whom 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. One letter is usually enough. 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 share about or establish anything that didn’t make it on your original application that occurred from your application date until 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 school counselor to send an updated transcript if it reflects your increased GPA. You could also include the equivalent of an additional essay — which should be right around a paragraph– if you believe one of your “best” essays did not fit on that college’s original application. You can either share something about you that might not have been apparent in your original application or you can address why this particular school is a good fit.
3. Be Realistic
When you are waitlisted, research the statistics, i.e. what your chances are of getting off the waitlist. Stay tuned, as our April 1, 2022 blog will be compiling a full rundown of these stats from the last few years for top 50+ ranked universities. Work on LOCI letters for universities where historically some students have been admitted off the waitlist. Also, if you still don’t hear back from your waitlisted options by May 1st, make sure you pay your deposit to your second choice school on time– this may cost you a few hundred dollars if you do end up getting off the waitlist at the school of your choice, but will hold your spot at another college. Remember, also, if you end up not getting in at the school you were waitlisted at, you might be able to transfer.