10 Actionable Tips to Follow While You're Waitlisted

Posted by Sandy Lashin-Curewitz | April 22, 2016

By now, we're sure you've received a handful of college acceptances in the mail. But if you're holding out hope for a school that waitlisted you, there are a few things you can be doing to stay front-of-mind to admissions counselors. Start here...

10 actionable tips to follow while you're waitlisted

1. Stay positive. Your waitlist status does not have to be a negative. Think of it as another chance to market yourself to your first-choice college, and a time to strongly consider the schools you may have put on the backburner until now.

2. Respond accordingly. Some schools may ask that you submit a waitlist acceptance form, reply to inquiry emails, or log into their admissions portal. Follow their directions to show your intent and stay on the list.

3. Meet with your guidance counselor. ...And ask him or her to review your application. If your counselor can point out any weaknesses, you may be able to address these in a conversation with, or in a letter to the admissions team.

4. Ask for a recommendation. A teacher, guidance counselor, or mentor who hasn't already written a recommendation for you can offer new perspective on your capabilities and potential for success. (Unlike during the regular application process, this letter might go into more detail about your fit at this school in particular.)

5. Send updates. Have you received an award or other distinction since you applied? Highlighting your recent accomplishments in a brief letter or email is an easy way to show admissions counselors that you're still working hard and could be a perfect addition to their next class.

6. Contact your interviewer. Thank them again, remind them that you're still interested in their school, and ask for any additional tips. No interview? Get in touch with a tour guide, admissions rep, or anyone else you met with along the way.

7. Revisit. Returning to campus is a good indicator that you'll be a committed student if you are accepted. On your visit, stop at the admissions office and ask to speak one-on-one with a counselor about your candidacy.

8. Consider cost. To secure a spot at your second-choice school, you'll need to submit your deposit by May 1; however, if you are accepted into your first-choice school later, you may lose the money you submitted with your original deposit. Just be sure that you (and your parents) would be okay with that down the road.

9. Be patient. It will take some time after Decision Day for the college to determine how many students they can accept from the waitlist. Have your materials ready to make your decision and meet deadlines, but be patient in waiting for the final word.

10. Evaluate all of your options. Make sure you give each of your prior acceptances careful thought (and proper celebration!). Any of these schools might be a great match for you—and the best part is, you're already in.

Still looking for the perfect school? Becker is accepting applications...

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Topics: Advice

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