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.
Through student ministry and educational consulting (career and college planning), I have enjoyed guiding teenagers to discover their higher calling.