Waitlist Woes

It’s dangerous. It’s annoying. It’s opening a can of worms.

The truth is colleges know that when they don’t give students a definite yes or no, students (and parents) are ready to go to many lengths to get their foot through the door of their beloved university. The week that waitlist letters go out, admission offices get an obscene number of frantic calls questioning the university’s decision. To most people waitlist means waiting, and no one likes waiting.

Personally, I have a totally different opinion about waitlists. Waitlisted means that there’s hope.

You get a second chance at proving how awesome you are. You’re making a big mistake if you’re just waiting around or making frantic phone calls to the school. There’s so much you can do. Don’t just get your foot through the door, shove your way in.

1)      Send admissions’ offices valuable materials of what you’ve done since you first sent in your application. Did you write an article that was published in your local newspaper? Send in the clipping. Did you win the regional science fair? Send in a picture of your display. Did you play a solo at the winter orchestra concert? Send in a CD with your piece. Whatever you’ve done that is of substance, let them know that you did it.

2)      Include an explanation of what you’re submitting. It’s not good enough to solely send in the CD. There’s a big chance that they may never listen to it. However, it’s the effort and the explanation that counts. If you’ve been playing the viola for 7 years and had a solo at the winter concert, you clearly are going strong with your passion. Write a short paragraph and make it clear how much you love what you do.

3)      Write a Letter of Consideration. Highlight, illustrate, and underscore why you and this university are a perfect match. Write about new standardized test scores, improved grade trends, or new experiences you’ve had since you first applied. This is basically your chance to shine once again. It’s your personal statement revamped. Even if the waitlist is ranked, you can boost your rank by showing the school that you’re still ridiculously interested in them. Make yourself likeable. Also check out ivypoint Prep’s new post on this: http://www.applicationanxiety.com/pick-right-college-school/ivypoint-preps-solution-to-get-you-off-the-waitlist/

4)      Visit the school. Nothing shouts enthusiasm like showing up to the front door of the admissions office. The visitor card you fill out on when you visit can easily show up in your file. You may get a chance to speak to an admissions officer. Don’t think that people don’t remember who you are. Many times the admissions officer will go look at your file after you’ve left the building. Put a face to your file by visiting ASAP.

5)      Do-Not-Call-Them-Every-Single-Day. This is annoying. Like really annoying. I promise you that if you call, 9 times out of 10 you’re going to talk to some poor student receptionist who has no idea when you’ll get your acceptance/rejection letter.  They’re probably trying to do their Spanish reading while they talk to you on the phone.  Or more importantly, they’re cropping their profile picture on Facebook. You’re just interrupting their hard work! Keep calm and move on.



Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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