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?

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.

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

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

Determine the % of gift aid vs self-help, and the amount of unmet need. Make sure all aid you're qualified for is offered - very often it's not. It's always best to have an expert give you some no cost advice before you make a costly fatal error.

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.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

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

Do you still love the college? Will you life be so much better there? Can you afford the college? Can you afford to lose the deposit at the school you accepted? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you should consider evaluating the offer of acceptance from a college that waitlisted you. You may need to go and visit again. You will want to find out about housing and access to classes first semester. You will want to compare financial aid packages and talk with your family. Many kids get off waitlists and don't accept the offer as they have fallen in love with a college that accepted them. While others, take the offer and jump.