Waitlisted For College Admissions? 3 Things You Can Do To Get Accepted!
About this time of every school year we get questions from a number of students that got waitlisted for college admission. Naturally, their first reaction is to PANIC! While it is discouraging to get this type of response from any of the colleges you’ve applied to, it’s not the end of the world. Look at it this way: you didn’t get denied! And if you’ve seen our 10 Reasons You WON’T Get Accepted To College, you most definitely avoided those pitfalls.
So what exactly is a college waitlist for admission?
Is there anything you can do to move yourself off the waitlisted for college list…and onto the ACCEPTED list?
First, we’re going to outline what the college wait list means, and then give you 3 things you can do to significantly up your chances of getting accepted to college. So let’s begin with an explanation of the college wait list actually is…
“I Got Waitlisted For College!…what does that mean?”
We feel for you, we really do. College admission standards are more competitive than they’ve ever been. Students with great grades that were once considered a “sure thing” for admission, are now being looked at a little closer…hence, the college wait list. Basically, colleges will put applicants on a wait list if they are considered to be “on the fence” academically. That means that according to their admission standards for that given year, your grades and scores are good enough to be considered, but not good enough for them to grant you admission without seeing something extra.
One reason this happens is because that college or university that you’ve applied to may be experiencing an influx of exceptional students applying for admission. If that’s the case, those students are being granted admission first, then they will re-evaluate the “fence sitters” once they see more updated grades and/or test scores.
Something to remember: Not every student who’s been granted admission to a university will accept and attend. Even though you weren’t initially admitted, you still can be once they receive their commitments and denials from prospective applicants. In the meantime, here’s what you can do to put yourself in the best possible position for admission…
3 Things You Can Do To Get Accepted
Improve Your Grades & Test Scores
When you are waitlisted for college admissions, it means you didn’t initially qualify for admission. What the college wants to see now is what’s called 7th Semester Grades. In other words, they want you to resubmit your high school transcript including your grades from your first semester of Senior Year. Sometime in January, depending on when your high school adds semester grades to your transcripts, you will resend them to that college. If you’ve done well, chances are you will move your GPA and Class Rank up helping your chances of admission. If not, you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.
Also, if you have a more updated (higher) ACT or SAT score that wasn’t included when you initially applied, make sure you get that sent to the school you are waitlisted for! Some colleges have a minimum ACT or SAT score for admission and you just may have qualified yourself if you’ve improved upon your original score that you applied with.
There are always Fall dates for retaking the ACT and SAT. If you’re serious about getting admitted, get yourself signed up to retake one, or both of them. The worst that can happen is that you score the same or lower than your original score. In that case, it won’t matter at all as colleges only take into consideration the HIGHEST ACT composite score.
Once these updated scores, GPA and Class Rank get resubmitted, the college or university you’re applying to will re-evaluate your admission status and give you a decision then.
Make a Contact
Making a person contact with the school is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways of improving your chances of gaining admission. This is an often overlooked technique, but colleges want to see some initiative on your part. Why do you think they have deadlines for applying? One of the reasons is they want to see which students are responsible, prompt and willing to take ownership over their future education.
It’s no different once you’ve already applied. Many students that are waitlisted for college admissions will either email or call the school’s admissions office and make some inquiries that include:
Why was I placed on a wait list? (if that wasn’t made clear on your letter)
What can I do to better my chances of getting admitted?
When will you begin your re-evaluation of waitlisted students?
An email is good, a phone call is better. But, be careful here! Colleges do want to hear from you, but not every day…not even every week! If you are so persistent that it becomes annoying and deters them from doing their job, that is like shooting yourself in the foot. One phone call is sufficient, then send an email every couple weeks to follow up. This will be acceptable and also show your interest in being accepted.
And please…for the sake of everyone, DO NOT have your parents call the admissions office!
Send a Recommendation Letter
Lastly, sending an additional recommendation letter may get you a favorable look the second time around. If you’ve already sent a letter or two when you initially applied, adding another may do the trick. But, if the college required 3 letters of recommendation for admission and you already sent them, DO NOT send another one unless they ask or say that it’s acceptable. Going overboard and submitting more than what’s required is generally frowned upon and shows that you have a hard time following directions.
Be sure that they will accept another letter of recommendation first. Then, do your best to find someone to write a good, quality letter for you. Have them write about things that weren’t already covered in your initial letters (if you sent them). Outline special talents, experiences and involvement that you may have had that wasn’t mentioned anywhere else on your application.
INSIDER TIP: Finding an alumni of the college or university that you’re waitlisted at can be a HUGE plus and really make a significant difference. If you are trying to gain admission to a local or state college, chances are pretty good that some of your teachers are alumni of that school. Seek them out, and have them state in their letter that they are alumni and feel strongly that you would make a great addition to their university.
Keep in mind that getting waitlisted for college admissions isn’t the end of the world. It’s really not that bad of a thing, but make sure you’re diligent about getting that college to notice you and realize that you as serious about attending and would jump at the chance if offered admission!
Are you waitlisted? Let us help you out!
Comment below if you have questions or comments….