What To Do After Being Waitlisted

on March 2, 2017

As you wait for colleges to get back to you, you might find yourself on one or more waitlists — especially if you applied early. The uncertainty of being waitlisted can be unnerving. Don’t give up hope, though: With a few key actions, you can boost your chances of turning that maybe into a resounding yes.


Identify Areas for Improvement


Revisiting your application is a great first step to take after being waitlisted. You can identify any weaknesses and zero in on your strengths — perhaps you accidentally left out an impressive volunteer experience, or you need to retake the SAT. Reflecting on your achievements, as well as your flaws, will help you determine concrete next steps. 


Be Proactive


Once you figure out what you need to improve, take the necessary steps to make those changes. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words: By retaking an important test or accepting a rigorous internship, you’ll show admissions offices your commitment to self-improvement. Also, study hard in your last semester of school — you'll likely be reevaluated based on the grades you receive after being waitlisted, so resist senioritis as much as you can.


Write the Admissions Office


For many colleges, the waitlist is the only time in the application process where demonstrating your interest can make a significant difference. This is your chance to let admissions officers know about any additional factors that might sway their decision. Do research and include unique and specific reasons why you’re interested in a college’s campus and resources. 


You also should supplement your letter with any new classes, extracurricular activities, test scores and other achievements. Going the extra mile will make you stand out, but be sure not to go overboard. Calling the admissions office every day or sending personal gifts will certainly take you out of the running.


Believe in Yourself


Most importantly, don’t let one or two waitlists bring you down. Remember that making the waitlist is an achievement, and many other students don't get that far. Be prepared, stay positive and start now.



Can I get Into...

We Know Your Chances. Do You?

What Are My Chances