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5 Tips for Students Waitlisted at Their Top-Choice College

Wed, Mar 28, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

students waitlistedA Waitlist Decision Can Be Confusing, So What Should You Do?

So you’ve been placed on the dreaded waitlist. Now what? There’s actually a lot that students can do to maximize their chances of admission off the waitlist.

Decision time can be very exciting for students, but it can quickly take a confusing turn if you’re neither rejected nor accepted, but rather placed in limbo with a waitlist decision. As part of this last big week before all decisions are out, we’re posting a series of blog posts with advice for students who were accepted, rejected, or waitlisted from the first, second, or even third choice colleges.

Being waitlisted can be extremely confusing, especially if a student chooses to remain on the waitlist. While many schools make decisions on their waitlists pretty quickly, some students might not hear back from colleges until well into the summer. That’s why it’s important for waitlisted students to know what to do next. Here are five tips for students who were waitlisted at their top-choice college.

Take Time To Process The Decision

Just like with a rejection, a waitlist decision can evoke a lot of emotions. It’s normal to feel disappointed, and you should take some time to work through your feelings about the decision. Parents, try to be as supportive as possible, but don’t rush students through this time.

Decide If That School Is Still a Top-Choice

It’s important to take time to process your feelings about a waitlist decision because next you’ll have to decide if that decision has changed how you feel about that school. Is it still a top-choice? Or has this waitlist decision made that school fall out of the top contenders? Often times a waitlist decision can help push a student toward a different best-fit institution. Other times it can only reinforce what they already know – this is their dream school!

Accept the Waitlist Spot and Send Additional Information

If you decide that the school is still your top-choice, let them know! Accept your spot on the waitlist, and then reiterate your commitment to attending if admitted off the waitlist. You can do this by writing a letter that reinforces your interest in the school and updated admissions officers on what you’ve been doing since you submitted your application. Work with your college counselor to determine what materials that college will accept from waitlisted students and work quickly to get them together and sent to the appropriate people.

Evaluate Where You Did Get In and Send In an Enrollment Deposit

Even though you’re dealing with the waitlist, you still need to enroll somewhere for the fall just in case you are not admitted off of the waitlist. If you applied to balanced college list, you should have a few offers of admission to choose from. Take your time to evaluate each one carefully, including financial aid, and decide where you’ll want to attend in the fall should you not get off the waitlist at your top-choice institution. Visit the schools you were admitted to again if possible in order to make a more informed decision, and get excited again about the places where you were accepted!

Stay Positive!

While getting off the waitlist isn’t easy, it’s also not impossible! Follow the university’s instructions for following up after a waitlist decision, evaluate your current offers of admission, and stay positive! At the end of the day you will attend a great-fit institution. Keep your head up and enjoy the rest of your senior year. You earned it!

Being waitlisted can be confusing, but IvyWise is here to help! Contact us today for more information on our Waitlist Consultation, where a member of our team of expert counselors will work with you to evaluate your application, come up with a plan of action to address the waitlist decision, and help you decide where to enroll while you wait for the final verdict on your waitlist status.

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