If you are waitlisted, the news is *much* better than being rejected. If you fight intelligently, you can often be admitted. Fighting to get off of the waitlist involves a bit of work, but often yields good results. You do need to be willing to wait to hear back until as late as even August.
Here is exactly what you need to do to fight your way off of the waitlist:
Decide how badly you want to attend the school. If it’s a top choice, research the school in detail and list 5-7 reasons why you really, really think it’s the perfect place for you. Make them diverse and make nearly all of them academic. Be specific (names, professors, clubs, majors, specific classes you could take there, etc).
Draft this into a letter and find a teacher/coach/boss/advisor (or two) who can write you a new rec letter to send to the school. Review your “research letter” with the teacher and ask them to incorporate some of it into their letter.
Edit your letter carefully, with an adult that you trust.
If the school is your clear, first choice, then tell them so in your letter and tell them why. State very clearly that if admitted you will certainly accept and enroll; yes, even if you’ve already said it before–say it again.
If they are not your clear first choice then you don’t want to say that.
If there are any updates to your resume, send an updated resume with your “school research” letter. CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO ACHIEVE/UPDATE YOUR RESUME. KEEP YOUR GRADES HIGHER THAN EVER. You will report them.
If you do not send a school research letter, because the school is not a top choice, then you can still send an updated resume to any of your waitlist schools.
So, you can:
1. Send an updated resume
2. Have a new teacher/coach/boss/mentor (NOT family member) (or two) send a letter stating your love for the school.
3. Send your own research letter.
4. Call and ask if you can interview AND schedule an overnight visit where you could sit in on classes. If the school never offered interviews in the first place, ask simply to meet with your admissions rep when you are on campus. It will still be an “interview” but he/she is not allowed to call it that.
5. Keep achieving and earning great grades; make sure the school gets your great grades.
DO send in your deposit at your other current top choice school where you were already accepted. Hold that spot and, unfortunately, be ready to lose that money.
DO send the waitlist college any paperwork they have asked for.
DO focus on the fact that you were accepted at your other schools; this is great news and represents much hard work and success. Go for it, if you want to get off of the waitlist, but be proud of the acceptances you already have, too, and remember that all of the schools on your list are great choices!
That’s all you can do, but that’s a lot! Do your very, very best and hang in there!
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