3 Keys to Getting Off Your College Waitlist

Every year, college admissions season brings both joy and sorrow. Caught in the middle, however, is the mixed disappointment, relief, and confusion of being deferred or placed on a school’s waiting list. What are you to do? Do you simply wait, or do you send even more materials to convince the college admissions committee? While the chances of getting off that waitlist are small, there are three things that can make your odds just a little bit better.

Show Continued Interest in Your Top Schools of Choice

If you want to have any chance of getting off a school’s waitlist, you need to out-compete everyone else on that same list. That means convincing your school that you are still intent on attending. Promise that you will go if accepted or, if this is not possible, maintain that it remains your top choice. Send letters & emails to your local admissions representative gushing about the school and how much you would be honored to be accepted. If possible, visit the campus again and take another official tour.

Keep Busy To Get Off the Waitlist

As you communicate with your admissions representative, talk about any new accomplishments or activities you’ve engaged in since you submitted your application. Make clear that all your achievements were not simply for the purpose of that application; you are a leader in your community and have kept on leading even when an admissions committee was no longer watching. Additional letters of recommendation can also serve this purpose, but be careful to research each school’s policies; do not go over the limit of recommendations allowed you. You don’t want to annoy your school and have your recommender’s efforts be counterproductive.

Be Personable to College Admissions Representatives

As you compete with others, remember that it is more than just the content of your emails and letters that must stand out. Admissions representatives are not going to read an email sent in the form of an essay, nor will they remember the contents of a letter that simply describe your actions in mind-numbing detail. Be funny! Make an impression! If the admissions committee is told that you are a uniquely personable applicant, you could be that much closer to getting into the school of your dreams.

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