While being placed on the waitlist is not an ideal outcome, they do and will happen for some of us. Receiving this notice doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world and your chances of being accepted to that particular school is impossible. The good news is, if you’re on the waitlist you’re still in the game. The truth is, this can be turned into an acceptance, provided you stay engaged with the admissions officer. However, having said this, it’s helpful to be realistic and understand that it may not be an easy process.
Below we offer some suggestions to help you potentially get off the waitlist:
1) Among the schools that you have been accepted to, you need to decide which you would enroll in. You may have already previously prioritized your choices, but it does not hurt to re-evaluate those decisions. In the few months between the application deadline and acceptance notifications, you may have obtained new information that can change your mind.
2) Decide if the school you’ve been waitlisted for is one that you do want to attend. If the school did eventually accept you, will you enroll? Go through the list of reasons why you like this particular school and see if those reasons are still valid. You may have been waitlisted for your dream school, but keep in mind that you may be a better fit at a school that did send you a full acceptance.
3) If you do decide to pursue the waitlist make sure to immediately contact the admissions officer you have previously been in touch with, first to thank them for keeping you on the waitlist (hey, at least you’re not outright rejected!), secondly to confirm you are still interested in the school and thirdly to ask where you stand on the waitlist (this works better if it’s a smaller school or private school) and how many they typically accept from the waitlist. If you are absolutely sure you would enroll should they accept you, make sure they know; do not lie however, it is poor etiquette to falsify your absolute interest. The earlier you indicate your interest to be taken off the waitlist, the higher your chances may be. If the admissions officer is not the one who wrote your waitlist letter, do a Google search on this person and send them a reply too. Be specific when indicating your interest.
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This post first appeared on February 17, 2014 on Prep Beijing and written by Alicia Lui.
Alicia Lui is a co-founder at Prep Beijing!, a coaching company focusing on core soft skills such as effective communication, social and emotional skills, etiquette, critical thinking and leadership skills. Prior to founding Prep Beijing! She has worked in management consulting and in banking. She holds and MBA from INSEAD and Bachelor’s from University of Chicago.
Photo courtesy of fruitnet (flickr)