What to Do If You're Waitlisted by a College

March 13, 2024
College Admissions

Getting waitlisted by a college can be a frustrating experience, especially if it was one of your top-choice schools. However, being waitlisted does not necessarily mean that your aspiration of attending that institution is over. In fact, there are several things that you can do to increase your chances of being accepted. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips that can help you improve your chances of getting off the waitlist and into your dream college.

Try to See the Positive Side of Your Waitlist Status

The first thing you should do is try to see the positive side of your waitlist status. While it may be disappointing not to be accepted outright, being waitlisted still represents an opportunity, as it means that the admissions officers of the college to which you applied think that you are a strong candidate but are unsure if they can offer you a spot at the moment. Focusing on the positive side of your waitlist status, while still mentally preparing for the possibility that you may not be accepted, will help you approach the situation in a constructive way.

Write a Letter of Continued Interest

Once you receive notification of your waitlist status, respond to the admissions committee promptly, politely, and positively. Writing a letter of continued interest, which can take the form either of a formal, physical letter or an email, is a great way to demonstrate your continued interest in attending the college. In this letter, you should let the admissions officers know that you appreciate the opportunity and that you are still very eager to attend the school if a spot becomes available. You should also explain, in a way that does not duplicate the information in your application, why you are a good fit for the college and provide any additional information that may strengthen your application.

Provide Updated Information

If there have been any changes or updates to your application since you initially applied--including any updated grades, test scores, activities, or awards--make sure to let the college admissions committee know. Any additional information that can strengthen your application should be provided to the college as soon as possible.

Stay Active and Involved

While awaiting a final decision, it is vital that you stay active and involved in your academics and extracurriculars. This continued involvement can include continuing to achieve strong grades, taking leadership roles in extracurricular activities, and volunteering in your community. By demonstrating your ongoing commitment to your education and community, these activities can strengthen your application and increase your chances of getting off the waitlist and into the college.

Consider Other Options

While waiting to hear back from the school by which you have been waitlisted, it is important to consider other options, including applying to other colleges or universities or considering gap year programs. While it is important to maintain a positive attitude about your chances of being accepted, it is also imperative to keep your options open and have a plan in case you are not accepted off the waitlist.

Being waitlisted by a college can be a vexing experience, but it is not, by any means, the end of the road. By seeing the positive side of your waitlist status, writing a letter of continued interest, providing updated information, staying active and involved, and considering other options, you can increase your chances of being accepted off the waitlist and achieving your goal of attending the college of your dreams.