Advice for Getting Off the Waitlist from a College Advisor

Waitlisted? We’ve got recommendations for you!

We know that being waitlisted at your top choice school was not your ideal outcome, but it’s not a hopeless situation. If you’ve found out that you were waitlisted, there’s still a chance that you could have a spot at your dream school.

Most universities cannot currently predict how many students they will take off the waitlist; so while nothing is certain, there are a few things you can do to increase your admission chances. A-List Director of College Advising, Anna Marie Smith, who has worked in admissions at NYU and Rice University weighs in with some advice for getting off the waitlist:

  • Your primary goal should be to communicate to the school that if you’re given the offer, you will accept it.
    Send an email explaining that the school is still your top choice, and you plan on attending, if admitted. Mention some of the reasons you would be a great match for the school. Ask to have this letter added to your application.
  • If the school has a representative for your region, reach out to them.
    Check out the school website to find the most appropriate person to contact for advice. You can always call the school’s admissions office to ask what could increase your chances, since schools have different priorities.
  • Maintain your straight A’s.
    Your current quarter grades could be evidence that you are serious about getting off the waitlist, so keep studying!
  • Stay in touch.
    Find reasons to email them, whether it is passing along another recommendation or communicating that your interest in the school has not changed. 
When a school decides to take someone off the waitlist, you want to be a name they remember! There are no guarantees, but if you really wish to attend a particular school, it’s certainly worth a shot. Check out this  article for some more insight into factors that go into college admissions: 10 Things to Know about Getting into your Dream College

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