What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

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What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Eric ChancySchool CounselorApex High School – 9-12

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Ramp it up! Kick your grades into high gear, and get prepped for another standardized test, depending on what the school has told you it wants to see. After all, your grades might be fine for admission, but the SAT or ACT just isn’t impressing admissions, and the reverse could also be true. It doesn’t hurt for you to be proactive and contact the school, asking if there is some specific information you can provide that will be helpful in rendering their decision. Hint, Hint: Whatever you give them needs to be highly skewed in your favor!!!

Kathryn MarchEducational and Career ConsultantKathryn March, M.S., CEP

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you are deferred or waitlisted at the college of your choice, you must continue to demonstrate interest in that school. If you are deferred that means you will be considered in a later admission round. In the meantime, you should submit any evidence of academic, extracurricular or personal success that may not have been submitted with your original application. You should also contact the admission office and thank them for informing you that you have been deferred and for considering your application a second time. If you are waitlisted, you will be asked if you would like to remain on the waitlist. If this school is still your top choice then, obviously, the answer will be yes. You should then make contact with the admission office and, if possible, the admission representative for your geographic area, and reiterate your interest in the school and confirm that it is your first choice. Additionally, submit any other evidence of achievement or success, including current grades, an additional recommendation letter, or honors awarded. A follow-up phone call asking if they have received the materials and if there is any additional information you can provide would be appropriate. In the meantime, you should also continue learning about your other school options and think about how you could best thrive in another college, even if it hasn’t been your very first choice.

Rebecca JosephExecutive Director & Foundergetmetocollege.org

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Be realistic. The odds of getting accepted from a waitlist or deferral are not high for most colleges. So please, please fall in love with a a college that accepted you. You will have so many great choices. If you do really want to try to get into the waitlisted or deferred college, you can follow my tips—update college of your interest, ask a senior year teacher to send in a letter of recommendation, ask your counselor to call, go visit the campus again, and send in any great paper or project you completed. If you do these things, then you can never regret if you do or don’t ultimately get accepted. Every student I know finds happiness at a college that really wants him or her.

meredith braccoDirectorEducational Opportunities Consulting, LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you’ve been waitlisted at a school that you know you don’t want to go to, don’t waste any time informing that school because you could get a spot that someone else really wants. If you want to stay on the wait list, reach out to the admissions officer assigned to your area and convey your enthusiasm that this is your first choice. Don’t be afraid to ask the admissions officer for advice, but don’t pester, and definitely don’t have your parents call for you. In the meantime, keep your grades up and send any accomplishments that are significant. This should be something truly substantial, not just another letter of recommendation. Don’t get discouraged! I don’t doubt how disappointing it will feel if you don’t get in to your first choice. But if the list of colleges is a thoughtful one, there’s more than one good choice on that list. The common denominator in this whole equation is you. You are the only one who can make your college experience great. Take advantage of the incredible opportunity that’s in front of you. If you do that, you’ll thrive.

meredith braccoDirectorEducational Opportunities Consulting, LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you’ve been waitlisted at a school that you know you don’t want to go to, don’t waste any time informing that school because you could get a spot that someone else really wants. If you want to stay on the wait list, reach out to the admissions officer assigned to your area and convey your enthusiasm that this is your first choice. Don’t be afraid to ask the admissions officer for advice, but don’t pester, and definitely don’t have your parents call for you. In the meantime, keep your grades up and send any accomplishments that are significant. This should be something truly substantial, not just another letter of recommendation. Don’t get discouraged! I don’t doubt how disappointing it will feel if you don’t get in to your first choice. But if the list of colleges is a thoughtful one, there’s more than one good choice on that list. The common denominator in this whole equation is you. You are the only one who can make your college experience great. Take advantage of the incredible opportunity that’s in front of you. If you do that, you’ll thrive.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

First, don’t let it get you down. Being wait-listed usually means that you met all of the college’s admission criteria and were an excellent candidate, but they just didn’t have the space to admit you. But since you can’t know the reasons you were put on the wait-list, it’s not worth wasting energy trying to figure it out. If you want to remain on the school’s wait-list, let them know by responding to their offer. If you’re extremely interested in attending the school, send them a brief, thoughtful letter expressing your continued desire to attend and letting them know about any NEW information or accomplishments that was not included on your application. Talk up what you’ve been doing during senior year and show them that you’re finishing senior year with the same commitment and enthusiasm that you hope to bring to their campus in the fall. It varies a great deal from year to year and from college to college how many people are admitted off the wait-list. Give it your best shot, but don’t hold your breath. Put your time and energy into choosing the best option from among the colleges to which you were officially admitted. One of them will more than likely turn out to be the school of your dreams.

Rebecca JosephExecutive Director & Foundergetmetocollege.org

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Be realistic. The odds of getting accepted from a waitlist or deferral are not high for most colleges. So please, please fall in love with a a college that accepted you. You will have so many great choices. If you do really want to try to get into the waitlisted or deferred college, you can follow my tips—update college of your interest, ask a senior year teacher to send in a letter of recommendation, ask your counselor to call, go visit the campus again, and send in any great paper or project you completed. If you do these things, then you can never regret if you do or don’t ultimately get accepted. Every student I know finds happiness at a college that really wants him or her.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

To wait or not to wait….that is the question

The best way to handle this situation is to move forward with applying or evaluating your second and third choices. All students should have several “foundation” schools where they are at or above the mean 50% of students who were accepted to last year’s class, several “expected schools” where they fall in the mid range of accepted students and several “dream schools” where they sit slightly below the mean 50% of accepted students. When choosing a balanced list students should be comfortable attending any of the schools because that is where they very well may end up. If you wind up getting selected for your wait listed school so much the better but if not you may just fall in love with your second or third choice and realize it was the best for you all along! Francine Schwartz M.A., LPC, NCC Founder and President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

Chris PowersCollege Counselor and Philosophy TeacherPowers College Counseling

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

The best to handle a waitlist or deferral is to consider it a maybe. You have to let them know you are still interested. Following up with a school with new awards, new accomplishments, or a new grades can be really helpful.

Jeana RobbinsCounselor

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Don’t get discouraged. It’s important to have a back up plan.

Mollie ReznickAssociate DirectorThe College Connection

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you are deferred or wait-listed by a school and it is still your top choice there are a few things you can do which might affect your acceptance. Firstly, if your application was early decision, you still have some time to bring your grades up, and you can certainly have your updated transcript sent to the school. Additionally, you should write a letter (coming from you, and not your parents) to the admissions office stating that that school is still your top choice, and if accepted you would attend. You can also use this letter as an opportunity to update the school on what you have been up to for the last couple of months and any accomplishments you have made both in and out of school.

Brittany MaschalFounder/DirectorB. Maschal Educational Consulting

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

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!

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

Wait Listed? Deferred? Let Them Know You Remain Interested

Waitlists and deferrals are very different. A deferral says the school needs more time before making a decision. It wants to what its whole applicant pool looks like and it may also want to see another round of grades from the applicant. The waitlist on the other hand may, in fact be a final decision, for if the school’s yield is strong, it may not need to go the waitlist and even when it does the choices it makes are usually based on the needs they must fill in the incoming class. However, in both cases applicants can continue to send updates about any new achievement, new scores, etc. It can never hurt so long as the updates are substantive and respectful. The commitment and desire will be noted and could pay off, but the ball is in the school’s court.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

Managing Waitlisted or Deferred Notices

The best way is to first of all not feel that something is lacking in you, know that you did not get the “no thanks letter”. Now that we feel good we keep working, contiue to apply, I typically recommend that my students choose their top five schools and apply as early as possible (usually early action because it is non-binding) if their number one school is binding then we first make sure they exceed the criteria for getting in and with a concious awareness make the decision to apply to the one school know that if they are not admitted, then we will work hard in December to get the other schools on their lists applied to. So if you apply to 5 and you know by New Years your status and you are waitlisted or deferred for the one you really want simply wait to see if they offer you admission, it is not as if you were not admitted into your other choices (we assume) you have until Spring to confirm acceptance and they will let you know in a reasonable time which way your status changed. If admitted jump for joy if you still want to go, if not jump for joy because you have other options that are still great.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

To wait or not to wait….that is the question

The best way to handle this situation is to move forward with applying or evaluating your second and third choices. All students should have several “foundation” schools where they are at or above the mean 50% of students who were accepted to last year’s class, several “expected schools” where they fall in the mid range of accepted students and several “dream schools” where they sit slightly below the mean 50% of accepted students. When choosing a balanced list students should be comfortable attending any of the schools because that is where they very well may end up. If you wind up getting selected for your wait listed school so much the better but if not you may just fall in love with your second or third choice and realize it was the best for you all along!

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

To wait or not to wait….that is the question

The best way to handle this situation is to move forward with applying or evaluating your second and third choices. All students should have several “foundation” schools where they are at or above the mean 50% of students who were accepted to last year’s class, several “expected schools” where they fall in the mid range of accepted students and several “dream schools” where they sit slightly below the mean 50% of accepted students. When choosing a balanced list students should be comfortable attending any of the schools because that is where they very well may end up. If you wind up getting selected for your wait listed school so much the better but if not you may just fall in love with your second or third choice and realize it was the best for you all along!

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Definitely follow the directions spelled out in the waitlist letter. If you are still interested, please let the college know that. If you are not, let them know that as well. If you have any increase in your grades, test scores, extracurricular performance, honors/awards, be sure to forward those to the college for consideration. Also if you have one more letter of recommendation, that says something differently than your other ones, send that in as well. If it says the same things as your other ones, I wouldn’t send it. Also, start opening up your perspective to other possibilities than this one school. Start seriously looking at the other schools that you did get accepted into!

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

A deferral or a wait list notification is now a long shot option. It is best to emotionally de-invest and move on to Plan B.

Renee Boone

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Re-evaluate your choices. Given responses from other colleges, should this deferred or wait-listed college remain on your list? If not, reply to the college with a brief note of thanks, declining the offer. If you do want to keep the college on your list, reply with a brief statement describing why this college is your top choice (or among your top choices). Give any new (new, not rehashed!) information that is important since the filing of your application and thank the review committee for their continued consideration.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Wait list is certainly better than the deny letter. The wait list is to be used by schools to let student know that they are admissible to the school but there isn’t enough room or spots in the class to admit all those students who applied and were academically admissible. So the good news is that they think you could handle the academic challenges there. The bad news is that MANY well qualified students applied and that is what is keeping you out at the moment. I indicate to students that it is important to recognize the receipt of the wait list offer. Thank the college for the offer and submit any new or updated academic achievements you may have gotten since the time of your original application. Also let the college know your specific interest in attending the school. Make sure it clearly states why you feel their program and your academic interest are a perfect match. If you have nothing more to add to your application, a simple thank you is important. As you wait on this list however, it is important to look at your other schools to which you were admitted and begin to more fully consider those options. In some instances, my students have come to the conclusion that their second or third choice was probably best all along so don’t waste your time dreaming of your wait list school. Move forward with the options on the table and if you are admitted off the wait list you can cross that bridge when it comes.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Wait list is certainly better than the deny letter. The wait list is to be used by schools to let student know that they are admissible to the school but there isn’t enough room or spots in the class to admit all those students who applied and were academically admissible. So the good news is that they think you could handle the academic challenges there. The bad news is that MANY well qualified students applied and that is what is keeping you out at the moment. I indicate to students that it is important to recognize the receipt of the wait list offer. Thank the college for the offer and submit any new or updated academic achievements you may have gotten since the time of your original application. Also let the college know your specific interest in attending the school. Make sure it clearly states why you feel their program and your academic interest are a perfect match. If you have nothing more to add to your application, a simple thank you is important. As you wait on this list however, it is important to look at your other schools to which you were admitted and begin to more fully consider those options. In some instances, my students have come to the conclusion that their second or third choice was probably best all along so don’t waste your time dreaming of your wait list school. Move forward with the options on the table and if you are admitted off the wait list you can cross that bridge when it comes.

meredith braccoDirectorEducational Opportunities Consulting, LLC

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you’ve been waitlisted at a school that you know you don’t want to go to, don’t waste any time informing that school because you could get a spot that someone else really wants. If you want to stay on the wait list, reach out to the admissions officer assigned to your area and convey your enthusiasm that this is your first choice. Don’t be afraid to ask the admissions officer for advice, but don’t pester, and definitely don’t have your parents call for you. In the meantime, keep your grades up and send any accomplishments that are significant. This should be something truly substantial, not just another letter of recommendation. Don’t get discouraged! I don’t doubt how disappointing it will feel if you don’t get in to your first choice. But if the list of colleges is a thoughtful one, there’s more than one good choice on that list. The common denominator in this whole equation is you. You are the only one who can make your college experience great. Take advantage of the incredible opportunity that’s in front of you. If you do that, you’ll thrive.

Patricia AviezerPresidentInside Track To College, Inc.

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

What should you do if you receive a “Waitlist Letter?” You want to ask yourself these questions: 1. Should I remain on their waitlist? 2. Do I want to put in the extra effort it will take to let them know 3. I’m really interested in them? If your answer is no, write them a nice letter declining to remain on their waitlist. Other questions you might ask yourself? 1. Am I going to allow this “bad news” to dampen my motivation to continue to apply to other colleges? 2. Should I place a deposit on a school that has accepted me, even if it’s not my first choice? 3. Should I do nothing and wait for them to accept me? Playing the Odds The Odds Are Against Getting In, so you need to move forward as though this is a rejection. Why? Because experience has shown that there are years when some colleges NEVER go to their waitlist for a candidate! Now, here are the questions you have the right to ask the college, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors: ? How many students have been on the waitlist in the past? ? How many were offered admission? ? What kind of housing and financial aid was available for students who were accepted later? ? What are the major obstacles to you being selected? Best advice, don’t get stuck here, keep going and file those other applications!

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

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!

Carol MorrisRegional Director of AdmissionsSouthern Methodist University

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Even though it hurts not to be admitted to a school you like, remember that they deferred or wait listed you because they felt you would be a good addition to their community, if only they had room! If this is a school you truly want to attend, let them know it! Send a letter emphasizing your continued strong interest, and if you absolutely intend to show up in August if they admit you, tell them that, too. Meanwhile, keep your grades up, and if you suspect that test scores were part of the reason you didn’t get in at first, consider re-taking them to give yourself a chance to look a bit more competitive. Finally, be patient. Wait lists can linger into the summer, and sometimes the students who are still hanging on at the end (most eventually drop off and commit emotionally to other schools) are ones who end up with a place when the school needs to fill the last few places in their class.

Patricia AviezerPresidentInside Track To College, Inc.

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

What should you do if you receive a “Waitlist Letter?” You want to ask yourself these questions: 1. Should I remain on their waitlist? 2. Do I want to put in the extra effort it will take to let them know 3. I’m really interested in them? If your answer is no, write them a nice letter declining to remain on their waitlist. Other questions you might ask yourself? 1. Am I going to allow this “bad news” to dampen my motivation to continue to apply to other colleges? 2. Should I place a deposit on a school that has accepted me, even if it’s not my first choice? 3. Should I do nothing and wait for them to accept me? Playing the Odds The Odds Are Against Getting In, so you need to move forward as though this is a rejection. Why? Because experience has shown that there are years when some colleges NEVER go to their waitlist for a candidate! Now, here are the questions you have the right to ask the college, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors: 1. How many students have been on the waitlist in the past? 2. How many were offered admission? 3. What kind of housing and financial aid was available for students who were accepted later? 4. What are the major obstacles to you being selected? Best advice, don’t get stuck here, keep going and file those other applications!

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Being waitlisted or deferred does not mean that you will not eventually be admitted to the college/university which has delayed your admission. I have worked with students who were, in fact, admitted to universities off of waitlists. I would say, however, that you should consider your chances of being admitted as being somewhat diminished. Your potential admission will hinge on your place on the waitlist, as well as on the number of admitted students who DON’T accept the institution’s offer of admission. Those non-acceptances will determine how many students the institution will be able to admit off of the waitlist. I would suggest that you turn your attention and enthusiasm to the other institutions to which you applied, remembering that there WAS a reason that you applied to them in the first place. All of your applications should have been to schools that you would be happy to attend. When you receive acceptances, rejoice in them, but when you receive denials, don’t internalize it. Applying to universities is, in many cases, an extremely competitive proposition, and being denied is not a reflection on you as a person but more of an indicator of the number of equally qualified applicants to a given institution. It’s hard not to be disappointed at admission denials, but if you consciously focus on the acceptances, you should be able to master the situation.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Being waitlisted or deferred does not mean that you will not eventually be admitted to the college/university which has delayed your admission. I have worked with students who were, in fact, admitted to universities off of waitlists. I would say, however, that you should consider your chances of being admitted as being somewhat diminished. Your potential admission will hinge on your place on the waitlist, as well as on the number of admitted students who DON’T accept the institution’s initial offers of admission. Those non-acceptances will determine how many students the institution will be able to admit off of the waitlist. I would suggest that you turn your attention and enthusiasm to the other institutions to which you applied, remembering that there WAS a reason that you applied to them in the first place. All of your applications should have been to schools that you would be happy to attend. When you receive acceptances, rejoice in them, but when you receive denials, don’t internalize it. Applying to universities is, in many cases, an extremely competitive proposition, and being denied is not a reflection on you as a person but more of an indicator of the number of equally qualified applicants to a given institution. It’s hard not to be disappointed at admission denials, but if you consciously focus on your acceptances, you should be able to master the situation. What about a worst-case scenario in which you are not accepted at any of the institutions to which you have applied? That would be an extremely upsetting situation, but don’t let it throw you off track for long. You might want to consider one of the following options: – Apply to other schools which have rolling (ongoing) admissions. Some of these schools are still able to accept students into the summer months. – Make plans for a gap-year. Do volunteer work somewhere in the world, gain work experience while earning money to pay for college, go to another country to learn a foreign language, etc., etc. etc. There are many things you could do which would broaden your experience and which would be extremely rewarding for you. I wish you luck with your applications – or with other plans which you ultimately make!

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Rather than go off half cocked, talk to a professional & get some free advice. If the school is that important, perhaps hiring someone to appeal on your behalf would be worth it. But remember, they prepare the letter – you sign it!

Helen Cella

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Continue to show interest( if you are) and focus on some schools that accepted you.

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

What if you were not accepted by your first choice college?

If you were not accepted to your first choice college, the best thing to do is realize that you are not alone. In fact, many successful people have endured disappointment during their lifetimes. The people who pick themselves up after falling ultimately realize success. Nevertheless, you must make an important decision during a time of emotional distress and need to overcome the negativity and focus on what best serves your future. Following are some options to consider if you must accept less than what you originally hoped for: 1) If one other school that stood out accepted you, then visit or look more into it. Perhaps that is the better place for you. 2) Enroll at a community college for 1 to 2 years and then transferring to your first choice college. First, you will save a lot of money for the same degree. Second, if can put your nose to the grindstone at a community college and present yourself to your current “first choice” as a total package – they’ll wonder how they could have rejected you in the first place! 3) Take a gap year – so many options exist for ways to spend a year between high school and college that you should have no problem finding the perfect option that complements your passions and gives you real world experience. You can also use this year to increase your ACT scores, learn a new language or focus on a skill or academic area that colleges will find appealing. In the long run, if you use the time effectively it could make a difference not only in which college you attend, but also your life and the choices you make as a result of what you learn during the year off. 4) You can try to appeal an admission committee’s decision, but this is not always advisable. This option works only if there is a legitimate reason for the committee to review your application. You must offer convincing new evidence that cannot be disputed. It would be a waste of time and energy to simply appeal because you “really want to attend college x”. Believe it or not, lots of other students in your position feel the same way. Remember, you want to attend a college that also wants you to be there. This process is about finding the best fit and that goes both ways. Look at the silver lining: students nearly always end up at the college that best suits them (whether you realize that now or not.)

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Waitlists/Deferrals

Let the admissions rep with whom you already have a nice cordial relationship with know that you are disappointed, but still hopeful. Ask them if they have any suggestions on how you can better your chances. Perhaps you have won an award, made an honor roll, performed in a play since you applied? Add those activities to your application by sending the information to your admission rep so they can add it to your file. Write another essay explaining how you would benefit the college by being accepted. Do what you can do, then just cross your fingers. And if you do not clear or get in, don’t worry about it. Happily go to your next favorite college. They will be happy to have you.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

The best way to handle it is to relax and think of what can be done from this point forward. There is no point in looking back and regretting something you didn’t do, could have done better or forgot to do. Those things are in the past now and you need to move forward. If you still would really like to go to the school you got deferred or waitlisted to, then make sure the college knows that their school is on the top of your list. Deferred is a bit different then waitlisted because at least you have “another shot” as you get re-evaluated with the regular decision students. Waitlisted means that you have maybe been deferred already and you did not get in regular decision. Once deferred, you should ask them what you can do to enhance your application. Most of the time it’s getting a new SAT/ACT score, writing another essay or submitting another letter of recommendation. If waitlisted, you first need to make sure your name stays on the waitlist. You need to write back to them and tell them that you would like to stay on the waitlist. Over half a waitlist sometimes will go away because those students don’t ask to stay on it. Then it is just a matter of waiting to see when you may get a response from them that you have been accepted off the waitlist. Sending them an additional letter and final grades (if they were good) may help but make sure you remind them once a week that you want to stay on it.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

The best way to handle it is to relax and think of what can be done from this point forward. There is no point in looking back and regretting something you didn’t do, could have done better or forgot to do. Those things are in the past now and you need to move forward. If you still would really like to go to the school you got deferred or waitlisted to, then make sure the college knows that their school is on the top of your list. Deferred is a bit different then waitlisted because at least you have “another shot” as you get re-evaluated with the regular decision students. Waitlisted means that you have maybe been deferred already and you did not get in regular decision. Once deferred, you should ask them what you can do to enhance your application. Most of the time it’s getting a new SAT/ACT score, writing another essay or submitting another letter of recommendation. If waitlisted, you first need to make sure your name stays on the waitlist. You need to write back to them and tell them that you would like to stay on the waitlist. Over half a waitlist sometimes will go away because those students don’t ask to stay on it. Then it is just a matter of waiting to see when you may get a response from them that you have been accepted off the waitlist. Sending them an additional letter and final grades (if they were good) may help but make sure you remind them once a week that you want to stay on it.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

While you are waiting for news, f you receive any substantial awards or there is a major improvement in your classwork or other interesting new circumstance, you can request that your guidance counselor contacts the admissions officer responsible for your geographic area. If you are wait listed, you should contact the admissions officer with a polite and enthusiastic note explaining why you believe that particular school is a good match for you and showing how you would positively impact the campus.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Handle Disappointing News Proactively

When things don’t go as planned, make a new plan. Use the set-back as a time to re-evaluate your goals and find alternate paths for achieving them. If you are prepared to attend the “bad news” school under any circumstances, take steps to express sincere interest in enrolling if space becomes available. Next, take action and apply to additional schools, revisit, or take whatever steps necessary to become comfortable with Plan B.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

express your strong interests

you may update your resume and send over your most current transcript send letter to express your interests

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Move On!

If you get waitlisted or deferred, try to move on with your life! Sure — you can let the school know that you are still interested (if you are), but other than that — try to look at your other options rather than dwelling on your waitlist or deferred status. For many schools, the number of waitlisted students often EXCEEDS the total number of freshmen spots! Isn’t that incredible? In addition, despite the sometimes 1000s of students on a waitlist, a school will only end up admitting a few dozen (or sometimes ZERO) students! For your sanity (and your family’s sanity), treat your waitlist status as a “soft” no from the school, and move on and examine the other options that you have. If you did a good job of selecting a variety of schools on your college list, you probably have more than a few great options for your college future!

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

This is a huge area in my region of the country where so many high caliber students are deferred and waitlisted. I try to prepare students and families for this possibility upfront. When a student really wants to attend a school, and this happens, he or she should carefully compose a letter to the director of admissions and rep expressing interest in the college and a very strong desire to attend if admitted. During the deferral or waitlist period, the student should continue to be diligent with studies and activities about which he or she is passionate, communicating significant developments with the admissions office. At the same time, the student has to be careful not to overwhelm the rep with submissions or information. Numbers will show that it can be very hard to be accepted once deferred or waitlisted, so the student should have a ready backup plan and not take any rejection personally.

Pam Ohriner

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

Showing continued interest in the school is crucial if you are hoping to be admitted from the waitlist or if you have been deferred. If visiting the campus, remember to sign in with the Admissions Office. Write a letter to the Admissions Office or the Admissions Counselor you have been assigned to expressing your excitement of being waitlisted or deferred and your continued interest in the school. If it is your number choice, make sure to state that if accepted you will definitely attend. Placing a call to the Admissions Office is also acceptable. However, you don’t want to be a pest. In the letter you should state your updated academic and extracurricular information including any new test scores. Remember to say why that college is a good fit for you. If you have updated official records, you can include them. Sending in one additional recommendation from a senior class teacher would be acceptable. It is best to keep the letter to one page. I would continue to make contact about once a month stating your continued interest in the college. Remember though, admittance from a waitlist or after being deferred is never guaranteed and so it is imperative to deposit at a school you have already been accepted at to guarantee that you have a spot in the freshman class.

Kathleen HarringtonOwnerNew Jersey College Consulting

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you receive word from a college that you have been waitlisted or deferred, you should continue to correspond with the school to show your genuine interest in attending. In addition to emailing admissions explaining your continued desire to attend and to update the school on your academic/extracurricular progress, you should also pick up the phone and contact admissions personally. If an interview is offered by local alumni or by admissions themselves, plan on scheduling time to sit down and articulate all that you could contribute to the college campus while completing your undergraduate studies. Many students take a WL or DF as a rejection and could not be more inaccurate about either status. Keep in mind, the admissions team would love to accept all students who want to attend their prestigious institution however, that is not a reality. Think of it this way, a rejection letter is the end of the road while a WL or DF letter is a continued journey towards a possible acceptance. Be sure to continue to show genuine interest in the school and continue to do well in your academic studies and extracurricular activities.

Wendy Smith

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

If you’ve been waitlisted or deferred, remember two words. Don’t Panic. Think of this situation as finding yourself in deep water. If you flail around out of fear, you’re more likely to drown. Keep moving. Pick a direction and move forward. Apply to more or different schools, for example, or tour the schools at which you have been accepted and decide among them. Remember that sometimes unexpected things can turn out to be amazing. Most people can be happy most places, just as most unhappy people will be unhappy anywhere. 

Tammy Smith

What is the best way to handle getting waitlisted or deferred?

A waitlist is an actual list and you might be towards the top or towards the bottom. You are well within your rights to call and ask what your status is and to politely withdraw yourself from consideration if you feel you are too far down to have a real chance of getting accepted. If you want to remain on the waitlist, contact the school to let them know you’re still interested.

But, whether you’ve been waitlisted or deferred, don’t bombard the admissions office with calls, emails, letters of recommendation, questions, or testimonials from family friends. There’s a fine line, as everyone who has been on a date knows, between being persistent and acting like a stalker. If you win a new accolade, ask your high school admissions officer to call the school on your behalf. The news will seem more significant coming from a third party.

In either case, keep your grades up as schools will continue to monitor your academic progress. If you are offered a second interview, take the opportunity. You may be able to communicate your enthusiasm better in person.

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