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Getting Off the Dreaded Waitlist

Have you been recently waitlisted by your dream school? It can be a stressful and scary result from the hours of preparation and hope during the application process. Well, I am here today to help you understand your best chance of getting off that waitlist.

First, we need to understand why you might have been waitlisted to begin with, why it even exists. There are a few reasons schools may put students on waitlists. Sometimes it’s a nice rejection, especially for legacies. Sometimes it’s because they don’t think you’ll attend due to the fact that you’re applying to much more prestigious schools that you’ll likely get into. The main purpose of the waitlist is to make up for not having enough of the admitted students to accept their admissions. So with that in mind, it should be clear that the primary reason you would get off of a waitlist is if they truly believe you will attend.

So how do you help a school understand your intention of attendance?

  1. Demonstrate your desire to attend by replying to the waitlist immediately. For most schools, this is as simple as submitting a form online. This is the minimum you need to do, but it should be done right after you receive the waitlist notification.
  2. Send an update. Think about if anything exciting has happened to you since the mid-year update. Write a letter to send to admissions updating them on any new achievements as well as again expressing your interest in attending. If you will attend if they accept you, let them know.
  3. Visit the school again, if you can. Visiting the school again and talking with the admissions folks can be another great way to show that you are really interested in the school and plan to go if accepted. This isn’t necessary, but if the school is close I definitely recommend it. Obviously, for this year, many campuses are shut down, so you can’t visit the campus in person. Instead check out what the school is offering virtually.

Even after you do these things it is possible that you will not get off the waitlist, but at least you’ll know you’ve given yourself the best shot possible. With that in mind, remember that waitlists can be stressful, and there’s no guarantee that you will be accepted to the school. It’s important to not put all your eggs in the waitlist basket. Get excited about some of the other schools you were accepted to. Start planning your college experience at some of those schools. This is an awesome way to get excited and see all the possibilities at the school.

If you have any questions or are seeking personal support from me, feel free to contact me at jessica@impresstheivies.com.

And if you want ongoing support from me then join the Impress the Ivies Membership HERE.

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