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What To Do if You're Wait Listed

The decisions are in, and students now know where they’ll be going to college. Unless they’ve been wait listed*, in which case, they’re still… waiting. If you’re a student in limbo, here are a few strategies for tipping the scales in your favor:

1. Let them know you care: If you’ve been wait listed at your first choice school, let the admissions staff know you like them -- you really, really like them. Send an email to the admissions office, preferably to a person you’ve met, corresponded with, or who is in charge of the geographical area in which you live. Make it clear how much you want to attend their school and why.

2. Give them an update: Have you had a success in school or in your extra-curricular activities that was not included in your original application? Tell them about it and how it enhances your desirability as a candidate for admission.

3. Say yes to someone else, if necessary: Your first choice may not give you a final decision until after May 1, which is the deadline for saying yes to schools that have accepted you. If necessary, say yes to one of those, and make your deposit. Just be ready to forfeit that deposit if your first choice comes through. Then graciously let the school whose offer you accepted know that you’ve decided to attend your first choice. You won’t be the only student to do this; they will understand.

And remember, if you’ve constructed a well-balanced college list, any school that’s on it will be a good choice for you. If the wait list decision doesn’t go your way, move on, and embrace a great school that said yes.

*If you’ve been wait listed at a school that you have no intention of attending, take yourself out of the running and let someone else move up a spot.

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