If You Have Been Wait-Listed, You Have Some Decisions to Make
Being wait-listed means the school is interested in you but there are other students with who, for whatever reason, the college is more interested. As first choice students turn down their admissions offer, the college will begin to invite students from the wait-list. If you are nearer the top of the wait list, you have a better chance of getting of receiving an offer for admission but there is no guarantee. Should you be wait-listed, it will definitely impact your financial aid offer from the college.
For this reason, you have some hard thinking to do. How important is this school to you? Are there other colleges which are essentially equal in your mind? How vital is financial aid for you to be able to attend this university? Do you still want or need to maximize financial opportunities? Your answers to these decisions will determine whether you should pursue admissions to a college where you’ve been wait-listed.
Things to Remember When You are Wait-Listed
- If You Still Want to Pursue the School, Notify Them Immediately
- You Should be the One Contacting the School, Not Parents
- Learn Everything You Can About the College or University
- Maintain Regular but Not Frequent Contact with the School
- There Will Be Less Financial Aid Available For You
If You Still Want to Pursue the School, Notify Them Immediately
In your communication to the admissions representative, let them know…what? Then starts the very delicate job of moving your way up the wait list.
You Should be the One Contacting the School, Not Parents
You are trying to impress upon the admissions representative that YOU very much want to attend their university so YOU should be the one contacting the school. Of all communication a college receives regarding a student, 15% comes from guidance counselors, 80% comes from parents, only 5% comes from students. So if you want to stand out, you need to step up.
Learn Everything You Can About the College or University
One way to demonstrate your interest in a college or university is to learn everything you can about that school. Comb through the school website and materials you’ve received. Then make up a list of questions that you cannot readily find the answers to. What questions? That’s up to you. But make sure they are questions which show you’ve done your homework. They should be substantive and show your passion for the school and/or knowledge of your desired field of study.
Another important thing to learn? The name and email address of the admissions representative handling your file. Why is this important? At this point in your pursuit of admission, you are trying to develop a relationship with someone at the school. You do this by communicating consistently with the same person, every time. Be friendly and polite but not too familiar when communicating with them. This is a business relationship, not a lifelong friendship.
Maintain Regular but Not Frequent Contact with the School
Make contact with the admission representative on a fairly regular but not necessarily frequent basis. You do not want to be a pest! You want to make sure they know you are serious about the college, and want to be top of their mind when it comes time to decide who is coming off the wait list.
There Will Be Less Financial Aid Available For You
There is a very definite downside to sitting on the wait list. If you’re wait-listed and eventually accepted, you will be near the bottom of the incoming class. As such, your case for financial aid will be considered after the majority of the available funds have been allocated. Do not expect to get a good financial aid offer if you are admitted to a school from the wait list.