Top 5 Steps to get off the Wait List
Admission status letters have been mailed to high school seniors nationwide. An applicant will either be accepted by their first-choice school, rejected, or deferred, which is also referred to as "wait-listed." If you've been wait-listed, then waiting passively for the college to contact you again is not best course of action according to Edward B. Fiske, author of the #1 bestselling "Fiske Guide to Colleges 2010."
Instead, Fiske recommends that if you've been deferred, you should "go on the offensive" and send a deposit by May 1 to your first-choice school among those colleges who did accept you as a student, and then follow the steps below to get off the wait list and get accepted to the college of your choice. Visiting a college at this stage may be the most important college visit you make.
- Send a letter ASAP to the admissions director emphasizing your unyielding desire to attend. State specifically why you think the match is a good one and highlight new information.
- Call to see if you can arrange a campus interview. "Students who have been offered regular admission wait-list status are well advised to pay a visit by mid-April, perhaps with a set of recent grades in hand," says Peter Van Buskirk, former Dean of Admissions at Franklin and Marshall.
- Send examples of impressive work. This is particularly relevant if you have an area of special talent or if you have produced new work of which you are especially proud.
- Ask a current teacher to write a recommendation highlighting your recent achievements. Ask teachers who wrote letters for you previously to send updates.
- Ask your guidance counselor to write or call and see that the admissions office is kept up to date with your grades and other achievements.