Plan For College

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Waitlisted for College? Here's What to Do

Being waitlisted by a college leaves you somewhere between rejected and accepted, and in a tough spot for decision making purposes.  It's college application limbo. Colleges will place you on the waitlist if you meet the application requirements, but the school has already accepted the number of students they can handle. So first, pat yourself on the back. You meet their standards!
The problem is, although you could still get offered a spot, it won't come until after the May 1st decision deadline. Here are the steps you should take if you've been waitlisted for college:

1. Decide how important this college is to you

It's your choice to stay on or take yourself off the waiting list. If you're really interested in attending the college, keep your name on the list and return the form indicating your interest in the college as soon as possible. Even if you stay on the list, plan on attending another college and sending your deposit to another school. 

2. Ask questions

Less than 30% of waitlisted students eventually get accepted to that college. Therefore, you should ask the college admissions office questions about your probability of getting in. If the college does not share your rank, ask for some statistics from the waitlists over the last few years. 

3. Write a letter

The college already feels strongly about you as a candidate. Now is the time to set yourself apart by making your case about why you'd be a good fit and what else you can bring to the table beyond what they already know about you. Be specific in showing why you want to attend the school and how it'll be a great decision for both parties.

4. Study and stay involved

Colleges will take a look at your third and fourth quarter grades and activities. Don't slack off! They want to see that you've continued to work hard and stayed active in sports, clubs, and positions. 

5. Make plans to attend another school

The fact of the matter is, you'll have to choose another college and send in your deposit so that you don't miss out on college for your scheduled freshman year. If you finally do get accepted by the college that waitlisted you, you'll have to forfeit the deposit at your second choice. However, you'll notice how much better you feel by committing to your second-choice college. 


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