How To Get In To College When You’ve Been Wait-Listed

You received your application response from the college of your choice and it wasn’t the news that you wanted to hear. You were hoping for a “you’ve been accepted” letter and instead you got the news that “you’ve been wait-listed”. Yes, this is disappointing, and you should take some time to process how you feel about it. But then you should pick yourself back up and get back on the ball. Just because you’ve been wait-listed doesn’t mean that you can’t go to college. In fact, you can probably still go to the college of your choice so get yourself back in the game.

It is Okay to Be Sad

Give yourself a chance to feel sad or frustrated about the fact that you didn’t get in to the college of your choice on the first go-round. If you don’t process these feelings, you’re just going to be angry, so let yourself have that time. Listen to your favorite CD on repeat, eat a gallon of ice cream or have a sit-down session with your friends to complain about how stupid the school is for not seeing how great you are. Then get over it. If you still want to go to the school, you need to stop being angry and start taking action.

Notify the College That You Want to Remain on the Wait-List

You’ll need to let the school know that you do want to remain on the wait-list if that’s what you want to do. You’ll probably stay on the wait-list of most schools without any input from you but this is your chance to make an impression by letting them know that you appreciate being wait-listed and still want to be considered by the school. Contact the admissions contact person listed in your wait list letter via phone. Putting a voice with your name will help keep you in the mind of this person. Be polite and clear in expressing your interest in the school.

Follow up with a Thank you Letter.

Follow up this phone call with a essay proofreading thanking the person for his or her time on the phone. Express clearly the reasons that you want to continue to be considered by the school for admission. Do not be whiny or desperate. Simply reiterate why you meet the qualifications for the school and how pleased you would be if you were moved from being wait-listed to being admitted. This letter is like a second chance to let your personality shine through in your writing.

Keep Up the Good Work.

Once you’ve followed up with the school, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to remain an impressive candidate in case they do consider you in the near future. Many high school seniors get that “senioritis” problem and start slacking off. If you carry a full load of classes, keep your grades high and remain involved in your school and community, you’ll stand out over others who have been wait-listed with you. This puts you ahead of the game.

Don’t Fight a Losing Battle.

Of course, you also have to know when to cut your losses. If you got wait-listed at the school of your choice and you’re killing yourself to try and get into it, you might be fighting a losing battle. Really assess whether the work you’re doing to get in to the college after being wait-listed is worth it. You might want to consider another school. Or you may want to consider going to a community college for a year before applying to the school again. There are many different ways to approach a college education, so when you get wait-listed, consider your options and make the right choices for you.

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