Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What to Do if You're Waitlisted?

By: Naimeesha Murthy
World Education Services

If you’ve been waitlisted by a college, that means the college likes you, but there just isn’t enough room to accept all of the candidates the college wants.

The advantage of getting waitlisted is that you haven't been denied admission, and you can take steps to try to change your status to "admitted." Listed below are things you can do to boost your chances of being accepted:


Evaluate your admission status. Contact the admission office and try to gather as much information as you can about the waitlist, if there is a priority list, and where you stand. Most are willing to let you know your status. The higher you rank on the list, the better your chances of being accepted. 

Write a letter to the admissions office. The college has already determined that you have the academic qualifications for admission. Now’s the time to stress the areas that make you stand out and mention any nonacademic factors that might help your case — especially any new achievements, certifications or supplemental information. Emphasize your strong desire to attend the college and make a case for why you're a good fit. You can tell them that you'll enroll if they accept you, but only do that if you're absolutely certain you will. 

Request an interview. If you haven’t done a Skype or a telephone interview, this may be a good chance to connect with someone personally, to reiterate your interest.


Have alumni write to the school for you. It's rarely effective to find alumni who are willing to write letters recommending you. Such letters tend to be shallow and they make you look like you’re too desperate. Ask yourself if such letters will really change their decision. Chances are they won’t. 

Communicate excessively. Don’t send lots of emails or call non-stop. The extra communications don’t add much value but add more work for the admissions office. Send a brief, sincere letter instead.

Being on the wait-list isn’t fun – we get it! Understand, admissions officers have an incredibly difficult job of selecting a class. Don’t take their decision personally. Don't forget—you’re not the first wait-listed candidate and you certainly won’t be the last.

We hope the above tips give you some direction – good luck!

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