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.