Congratulations! You have been offered a spot on a college waiting list! But...wait. Is this a positive thing? Or just a confusing and frustrating area of limbo for you as you wait for a final decision? Kind of both, actually. However, if you've been waitlisted by a school and you just aren't ready to abandon the possibility that there MIGHT be a chance of admission, here are 5 steps you can take to (potentially) increase your chances:
Tip 1: Respond Promptly and Positively
First and foremost, you should respond promptly to the notification of being waitlisted. This means letting the college know that you are still interested in attending and that you will accept the spot on the waiting list. This positive response shows your continued interest in the college and may help keep you in consideration. Most will ask you to reply via your applicant portal or through a specific email address.
Tip 2: Keep in Touch with the Admissions Office
Keep in touch with the admissions office throughout the process. This shows the college that you are committed to attending and interested in the school. Reach out to the admissions office and express your continued interest. You can also ask questions about the waiting list process, such as when decisions will be made and what the college is looking for in a candidate. One caveat: if a college specifically asks you NOT to reach out or send anything additional, it's best to follow their direction.
Tip 3: Update Your Application
If there have been significant changes since you submitted your application, update your applicant portal with this info. This can include any new awards or accomplishments, improved grades, or new standardized test scores. Send an updated transcript and any other relevant documents that highlight your achievements. This helps the college see that you are continuing to excel and may help tip the scales in your favor.
Tip 4: Write a Letter of Continued Interest
A letter of continued interest is a letter that you write to the college that explains why you are still interested in attending, updates the admissions office on any new achievements or accomplishments, and expresses your gratitude for the opportunity to be considered for admission. This letter should be brief and to the point, but it should also be sincere and heartfelt. The admissions office may use this letter to help make a final decision, so make sure that it is well-written and thought out.
Tip 5: Move Forward With Another Option
While you wait for a final decision from the college, keep your options open. This means that you should continue to explore other colleges that you are interested in attending. You should also plan to submit an enrollment deposit at one of the schools to which you've already been admitted. Many colleges admit very few students from their waitlists so it's important that you have other plans lined up.
Being placed on a college waiting list can be a frustrating experience. Hang in there during this stressful time and remember that the ultimate admission decisions are in no way a reflection of who you are as a person. Good luck!