What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Admissions Decisions

Our counselors answered:

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Helen Cella

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Cost of attendance

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Think about your requirements for a college experience and reevaluate the two colleges that you are considering attending. Examine the costs of attendance and carefully compare the financial aid packages. What kinds of special opportunities exist at each school? Have you visited both colleges? Look at your notes. This is your decision but it might help to discuss your options with your family or a trusted friend.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Accepted after Waitlisted

If you really want to go to the school that waitlisted you, than choose to go. It is irrelevant that you were waitlisted but that you got in. Nobody looks back after you graduated or moved in on the first day and says "well you know she/he almost didn't make it" everyone is so elated and you should not be offended at the notion of being waitlisted when someone simply got a thanks but no thanks letter. Pride aside....go where you want to go and have a blast learning.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

If cost is of concern to you and your family, remember that no merit money is offered when you clear the waitlist. If cost is not a concern and the college you were waitlisted at remains your first choice, stay on the waitlist. Call the admissions office and ask if you can submit anything else to your application to help them with a decision.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

The real question is how badly do you wish to attend the school that wait listed you. if you want to stay in the game, then accept the offer from your next favorite school by paying the deposit, understanding that you will not get it back if you get into the other school off the waitlist. Then tell the school where you were waitlisted that you still wish to be considered. Different schools use the waitlist in different ways, but even places that go to it have variations from year to year.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

I would normally evaluate it very positively. Being admitted off the waitlist does not make you a second class student. Since you were not a top admit however, you probably will not be getting a merit scholarship which would be a negative if you were awarded merit aid at other colleges. These are issues that each student and family must evaluate individually.

Rana Slosberg
Owner Slosberg College Solutions LLC

After being waitlisted

If you are waitlisted for your #1 college, and you get into your #2 college, accept the offer of your #2 college and pay your non-refundable deposit. If you subsequently are accepted to your #1 college, you will be able to attend it if you want. Recognize that you will lose your deposit from your #2 college and you will probably not get any financial aid from your #1 college.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Whether you receive an offer via early decision/action, regular admissions, or off the waitlist -- an offer's an offer! If you are waitlisted and then offered a spot -- you should accept it IF it is still the number one place that you'd like to attend. Be sure to ask about your financial aid package, however! Also -- make sure you have some solid housing options still available as well. Once you are on campus, no one will know if you were a waitlisted student or not. However, if you decide to take an offer after being waitlisted, be sure to contact the school immediately to discuss any financial aid issues you have.

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

revisit the school and stay over night

if you are not sure about the accepted school compare to other choices you may have, you should still take the advantage of staying over night and revisiting the campus again. The open house will be different this time and you should get the rigth feelings by seeking out the questions left on your mind.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

What's the best way to evaluate an offer of acceptance after being waitlisted?

Situations vary, especially if a student is a candidate for financial aid and the waitlisted school does not offer as strong a package as the student has received from somewhere else. The student should weight the various factors that led to applying to that school and assess for certain if he or she would happy there. Sometimes, it's a good idea to visit the school in question and compare that school to others which have offered a spot to the student. Nothing beats the feel of walking the campus! Also, so many schools have set up websites and Facebook pages for accepted students, and that is another way to feel good about a selection of schools.