How can you get in off the wait list?

Admissions Decisions

Our counselors answered:

How can you get in off the wait list?

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How can you get in off the wait list?

A well written and compelling appeal letter that updates the school on your academic progress and indicates your continued interest is most important.

Brittany Maschal
Founder/Director B. Maschal Educational Consulting

How can you get in off the wait list?

Be proactive! Although it is common knowledge that not many people get in after being deferred or waitlisted, it is not impossible. First you should have your high school counselor call and see if they can get any info s to why this was the decision that was made. They should also advocate for you throughout this process, sending updated grades and other accolades or updates from teachers as applicable. They need to be making these calls! Students should also write an update letter - deferral or waitlist letter - this letter should provide any/all updates since the time you applied in terms of academic, extracurriculars, awards/honors, anything that will ADD to your file. If you can get to campus again to show your continued interest that is also a plus!

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

How can you get in off the wait list?

You can do many things to help set yourself apart from other students on the waitlist. First, make sure to communicate anything new that has happened to you since you first applied to the admissions office. Highlight academic accomplishments, awards, activities, etc. Then have a senior year teacher write you an additional letter of recommendation. Also have your counselor contact the college. Send in a project or paper that you wrote recently that reflects your intellectual or activity strength. Visit the campus after May 1 and check in with the admissions office. Don't overwhelm the college but keep submitting this information until you hear. But remember that none of this means that you will get off the list as it is often factors way beyond your control that affect who gets off a list. You can and will find happiness at another college.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

How can you get in off the wait list?

Send a letter expressing your strong continued interest. If you're comfortable, let them know that you're committed to attending if admitted off the wait-list. Share any new information, including improved grades, honors you've received, or other spring term accomplishments that weren't noted on your application last fall. After this, cross your fingers and get on with making the best choice from among the colleges that accepted you. Don't waste your time with hounding or gimmicks like cookies for the admissions staff; they won't help your case, and they might even hurt it.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

How can you get in off the wait list?

First, follow the college's instructions precisely. Write a letter to the admissions office stating why you wish to attend this particular college. The more specific your one page letter the better. If indeed, the WL college is your first choice, let admissions know that if you are taken off the WL you will attend but only do this is it is true. Often when students are taken off the wait list they are offered 24 hours to accept of decline the offer so have your answer ready.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How can you get in off the wait list?

Yes, but it takes tenacity and a superior appeal letter. In some cases a personal visit to appeal in person & speak w/whoever sent you the letter.

Kris Hintz
Founder Position U 4 College LLC

How can you get in off the wait list?

If the college is still your first choice, express your interest to your guidance counselor and communicate it directly with admissions as well. Beyond that, that is all you can do. Do not pester the admissions department; they know you would like to move off the wait list. Make sure that a deposit is sent in by May 1 to a school that has outright admitted you, and which you would very much like to attend. Wait lists are a long shot! You need to de-invest emotionally in the wait list school, and wrap your mind around the most likely outcome.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

How can you get in off the wait list?

First, contact the admissions office to see if you can learn where your application fell short. Address those issues in a letter, expressing your continued interest in the institution. If they offer interviews and you didn't have one yet, by all means try to schedule an appointment. Quite possibly it is your transcript that is a concern; all the more reason to not slack off senior year and definitely send along your grades as soon as they are available. Whatever you do, don't badger the admissions office, don't stalk them on facebook, remind yourself that everything happens for a reason and this is why you applied to other schools. Good luck!

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Getting Off the Waitlist: It is About Institutional Needs

Waitlists are tricky. Some schools use them extensively, regularly going to the list to complete their class. However there are others that know their yields so well that they seldom resort to the list, and actually use it only as an alternative to denial for political or alumni related reasons. In general if a school goes to the waitlist, the choices they make are usually based on filling whatever needs they may have in the incoming class. If when the dust has settled and the school sees they have five spots available but recognize that a particular state remains unrepresented they are apt to see if they have a waitlist candidate who can fill that void. And so it goes. In the end there really is not much an applicant can do they are on the waitlist beyond making sure the school knows that you want to be a part of their community.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

keep the communication going

you should send transcript or middle term report to the college you may write letter to confirm you as the wait list student other than that, you really has little to do unless your counselor would work for you on this one.