On the Wait List? Don't Give Up
Decision deferred? Ugh!
- If you applied early admission but were put on the wait list, you'll get a second chance. Most schools will re-review your application with the applications for regular admission.
- If you applied regular admission and were put on the wait list, don't panic yet. You still have time to change the situation.
What You Can Do
Find out where you rank.
Some schools rank the students on the wait list. When an opening becomes available, the school then extends an offer to the student ranked first. So if you're high on the list, your odds of getting in are better.
Schedule an interview.
If you've already had an interview, schedule another one. An interview gives you an opportunity to talk about your strengths. You can also emphasize how much you want to go to the school. Admissions counselors like to know you're truly interested.
Update the school on any new accomplishments.
If you're on the wait list, keep the school up to date on any new achievements since you originally applied. Send your final transcripts, report academic or athletic victories, document any volunteer work. Continue to stress why you should be accepted.
Write a personal letter.
Write to the Dean of Admissions explaining how much you love the school and why. Tell him or her what strengths you would bring to the school as a member of its upcoming freshman class. Be sincere and try to differentiate yourself.
Enroll at a different school.
Play it safe. If you're on the wait list at your first-choice school, accept an offer from one of your second-choice schools. If you are then offered admittance at your first-choice school, you will be out only the small deposit you paid to hold your spot.
Other Details to Consider
- A school will not put you on the wait list unless you agree to it. Only agree if you really want to go to the school.
- Students on the wait list may be admitted too late to qualify for housing or student aid. Consider this before you decide on any next steps.
- If you're on a wait list, be aware of the following two dates:
- May 1—By this time, most schools know many students have accepted their initial round of offers and how many vacancies remain. Based on this information, schools will begin to make offers to wait-listed students.
- August 1—Schools are legally obligated to tell you if you've been accepted or not by August 1.