How to Get Off the College Wait List… and into your dream school

Dear College Made Simple Reader,

It’s estimated that roughly 10% of today’s college applicants are placed on one of their desired schools’ “wait lists.”

So it stands to reason, anyone who’s on a school’s wait list wants to know…

What’s next, and is it completely out of my hands?

Today, let’s go over some insights that can help you get off the wait list… and actually help to push you closer to a “yes” – and into the freshmen class.

– Scott

How to Get Off the College Wait List… and into your dream school

More students are applying to more colleges these days… in an effort to maximize their chances of getting admitted.

But the good news is that those applicants are also applying to a wider variety of schools, which means many of the students will decline admission.

And that’s where the wait list comes into play.

If you’re on it, you could be next in line for consideration.

Keep in mind, there are a few things you CAN do to turn that wait list spot into a spot on campus in the Fall.

  • If you do get wait listed, respond quickly to the school. How long it takes you to get back to them is a big indicator of how eager you are to attend if offered admission down the line.
  • If a school is your first choice, make sure the school knows that. Colleges want students who want them. There’s no better way to show them that than letting them know they’re #1 on your list.

  • If you receive a new set of grades after you get wait listed, make sure you send them along, provided they’ll help your cause. A great set of final semester marks can be a real eye opener.
  • If you’ve got a “hook” you can contribute to the class (you’re a great lacrosse player… you’re leading a community service trip… you just got the lead in the spring musical), let them know. Colleges want students who are going to stand out and contribute something to the school. Show them what you can bring.
  • If you have a good relationship already with a coach or faculty member at the school, get in touch and ask for advice. Don’t ask for a favor, because this will likely rub them the wrong way and look like you’re trying for special treatment. But asking politely for any wisdom they can share on some good ways to get yourself front and center to the admissions committee certainly can’t hurt.
  • Keep in touch but don’t be a pest. An email or two or a phone call to your admissions contact or recruiter will keep you at the forefront of their mind. But don’t overdo it. A little goes a long way here.
  • Make sure the college knows what you can afford to pay. The wait listing could have been a financial decision. Be positive they have all your numbers correct and everyone is on the same page money-wise.

Wait listing can certainly be disappointing, especially if it’s coming from a school you’re intent on going to. But it’s not the end of the world.

Remember, it’s not a “no.” You may have to do a bit more work to get to your goal, but the goal is still attainable.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold
Co-founder, College Planning Network, LLC

Publisher, College Made Simple – The Free Educational Resource of College Planning Network, LLC

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