Steps You Can Take If You've Been Put on the Waitlist
Mother's Day is notorious for having extremely long wait times at restaurants, even if you made reservations.
And don't get me started on the waiting line for an amusement park ride!
Through March and April each year, while many students (who did not apply early) are waiting to review their award letters or an appeal letter response from the college, a few have been placed on a waitlist. For the most part, students have until May 1 to finalize their decision and notify the college.
CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS
For waitlist students who are undecided, community college might be the best option if their top choice is unavailable or if financial aid remains an obstacle. Also know that NACAC releases their College Openings list (4-year colleges) soon after May 1st indicating available options for incoming freshmen, financial aid, and housing.
Students, if you were waitlisted at one of your top choices, you may have to select another college option. Overall, the odds of being selected from the waitlist are very slim, especially at most selective colleges. Consider these waitlist admission rates from the class of 2018: Carnegie Mellon (4%), Princeton (5%), University of Pennsylvania (8%), and Vanderbilt (4%).
WRITE A LETTER
IvyWise, a college consulting firm, suggests that students “express their interest in attending through a waitlist letter.” A letter still demonstrates interest and gives college’s additional information for forming their class from the waitlist. Since waitlists are not ranked, admissions officers will look for special interests or certain majors to complete their class: a female agricultural major, an engineering major from the Southwest, or another tuba player.
Once a decision is made you should notify colleges of your intent. Jessica Velasco, former admissions officer, encourages students to let other colleges they won’t be attending as soon as possible. Here are four benefits:
As you approach the end of your college selection journey, it's important to make good, timely decisions and notify the colleges when your decisions are made.
Originally posted in April 2015. Updated in May 2019.
The University of Oklahoma exists “for the benefit of the Citizen and the State.” OU believes that higher education is hard work as represented by a farmer sowing fields. “It takes hard work to plow a field, sow it with seeds, tend the plants, and harvest the crops. It also takes hard work to learn new things, like a new language, or a new way of looking at the world, but the work yields tremendous, life-sustaining benefits.”
Located south of Oklahoma City, in the 3rd largest city in the state, Norman is home to one of the friendliest student bodies I’ve encountered. Students greeted guests with “Boomer – Sooner” and responded to my questions. OU is a doctoral degree, space-grant, research university serving the educational, cultural, economic and health-care needs of the state, region and nation. Student interested in health science, the OU Health Sciences Center is one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional colleges.
OU accepts 80% of their applicants using a holistic admissions process which factors in academics with service and potential. Sheppard McConnell, an Admissions Director, emphasizes OU’s demonstrated academic achievement which includes core GPA, rigorous high school courses, and standardized tests. They may also consider an essay, school and community activities, leadership positions and awards, and participation in athletics and work experience, summer activities and special circumstances. While an essay will improve a borderline application (remember they accept 80%), OU values a campus visit more.
On average, the 22,000 undergrads entered OU with above average grades: 3.59 GPA, 1060-1340 SAT (CR/M), and a 23-29 ACT. Even with a high acceptance rate, students stay (84% retention) and graduate (32% 4-year, 63% 6-year) which is above the national rates. OU ranks No. 1 in the nation among all public institutions with more than 750 National Merit Scholars!
The standout majors include Native American Studies, Geographic Information Science, Petroleum Geology, Musical Theater, Dance, and Advertising. The School of Meteorology (NOAH) is #1 in the nation for severe storm and mesoscale research. As an Entrepreneurship major, you’ll create a real business plan, product, and profit. At the end of the semester you donate to a real charity! It’s about learning to get (earn money) and give (be charitable). It is one of the few colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in Air Traffic Management or Professional Pilot. But you better excel at calculus and physics if you want to become a pilot!
And since each major concludes with a Senior Capstone Experience, you will be able to share a culmination of what you’ve learned.
OU provides fully furnished residence halls with various bed/bath combinations, computer labs, free tutoring, and laundry facilities. Their meal plan includes dining at the Couch Restaurants, home to the world’s only all-you-care-to-eat Chick-Fil-A. (Road trip!) Along with the 400+ organizations and 40 club sports, you can enjoy Big 12 athletics, NBA basketball, Native American history, and many museums.
One reason OU attracts and admits students who are actively volunteering in their community, is so that they can continue serving. OU offers Camp Crimson (new student camp), OU Cousins (to connect and develop unity between U.S., International, and exchange students), and Big Event (OU's Official Day of Community Service where 5,500 students serve the Greater OKC area).
The University of Oklahoma is an affordable school. The resident cost of attendance (COA) is $19,000; non-resident COA is $32,000. And if you are a National Merit Scholarship finalist who names OU as their first choice on their NMS application, you are guaranteed $66,000 (resident) and $120,000 (non-resident) for four years. The average debt upon graduation is $22,140.
To succeed at Oklahoma, you’ll need to read, take notes, and read. They value the written word! So if you want to join alumni like Blake Griffin, DeMarco Murray, Helen Walton, and Fred Haise (Apollo 13 astronaut) then plan to visit soon. With a high acceptance rate and above average graduation rate, OU is perfect fit for students who want to major in meteorology, dance, entrepreneurship, or Native American studies. At OU, you will not only learn, you will learn to give.
Juniors, if you are ready to start thinking about your Common Application (CAPP) essays, here are the new prompts for 2015-2016.
Once you contemplate and respond to question four, you'll have a better idea of what type of career you would enjoy and which major to pursue in college.
Since application season won’t start until September, you should focus on improving your GPA, taking the standardized tests (if your desired colleges require them), and taking campus visits. These are a few more steps towards success.
Combining my youth ministry and educational consulting experience, I guide students to connect higher education with God's calling.