Parent College Coach Tip #58: Ditch the Wait List
Mar27

Parent College Coach Tip #58: Ditch the Wait List

It’s college decision time and there will be disappointed teens receiving those words from the college, “You have been placed on the wait list.” My advice: ditch the wait list and move on. Look at the colleges that DID offer admission.

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How to Improve Your Chances of Admission when Wait-Listed
Apr12

How to Improve Your Chances of Admission when Wait-Listed

According to Stephanie Klein Wassink, founder of Winning Applications, a college and graduate school consulting firm, "It is possible to improve one's chances of admission when wait-listed." It's safe to say that Wassink knows a thing or two about the college admissions process and, in particular, what it feels like to be wait-listed. Once on the wait-list for University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, Wassink went on to secure admittance. Years later she became a member of the admissions committee for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School where she read and evaluated 2000 applications annually, performed as many as 50 interviews per week, and made admit, deny, deferral and wait-list recommendations to the Director of Admissions. Today, an independent college admissions counselor,Wassink offers the following advice to students who find themselves on the wait list: If you have not interviewed with someone from the admissions committee, now is the time to do so (preferably on campus). Be sure to practice your interview skills with a seasoned interviewer until you are confident that your skills are strong. (We'd like to add that you take care to dress appropriately for your college admissions interview). If you can, visit the campus again, attend an admissions information session, and take time to ask these Important questions:     "What percent of students are typically admitted after being deferred?"      "Is there anything I can do that might increase my chances of gaining admission?"  According to Wassink, not only will this earmark you as a deferred candidate, but the information session speaker may note your visit and strong school interest in your application file. "When your application is reevaluated that interest will shine through. Since schools are more inclined to extend offers to students they believe will accept admission, this is critical." She also recommends asking someone who has NOT read your application to read it and offer constructive criticism. This may give you a fresh perspective on why you were deferred. Perhaps, unknowingly, you gave the wrong impression or neglected to include something important. Not only will you hopefully be able to "fix it" by sending the school that deferred you some clarification, but you may also be able to head-off a similar miscommunication at other schools. And, most importantly, without becoming a nuisance, keep the admissions committee abreast of any NEW accomplishments on a regular basis. *** For more information about Stephanie or Winning Applications, please visit the company web site or send an email to...

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Top 5 Steps to get off the Wait List
Apr02

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...

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