Admissions Question of the Day

What happens if I'm waitlisted?

After you have received all of your decisions, you should reflect upon the choices you have and decide a plan of action. It may be that you feel that the school(s) that waitlisted you are not worth pursuing; if that is the case, you should ask to be taken off the waitlist.

On the other hand, if you decide that you do want to pursue the school(s) that waitlisted you, you have a little bit of work ahead of you. The first thing you need to do is notify them of your continued interest. You should also write a brief statement about why you are perfect fit and list any awards, honors, grades, or other compelling factors that you have accrued since you sent off your application. If there are any skills or extracurriculars that you left off of your application, you should include them here.

At the same time, however, it's important to remember that a lot of what will happen is out of your hands. Many colleges use the waitlist to fill gaps in their class—not enough oboists, say, or too few lacrosse players—and if you do not fall into one of the desired categories, then you may be passed over. So while that doesn't mean that getting admitted off the waitlist is impossible, it does mean that you shouldn't count on it. At the same time as you are preparing your waitlist materials, you should also spend time looking into the schools that did admit you and seeing if perhaps one of them wouldn't be the right fit after all.

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