Have You Been Put On A College Wait List?


If you applied to several colleges and got accepted by some and rejected by others, there is a third category where you could find yourself: on the school’s wait list. You weren’t rejected, but you have been provisionally accepted: the provision being that if a spot opens up for you and/or you can demonstrate a reason why you should be accepted, then you may still be able to get in.

According to a recently published article (US. News & World Report, April 16, 2008), titled How to Get Off the Wait List and Into College, fewer than 30% of the students who agree to stay on a college’s wait list are eventually accepted. At high tier colleges the numbers are much lower.

Admissions officers, the gatekeepers who decide whether you will ultimately gain admittance to a particular school, recommend the following steps to take in order to increase your chances of admittance:

  • Send your deposit money and commitment letter in by the May 1 deadline. Enroll in a community college while waiting as a backup plan.
  • If you aren’t interested in pursuing acceptance, do not agree to stay on the list; you could be keeping an interested student from enrolling.
  • Contact the school to find out what your chances are of being accepted and learn what criteria the school has to get on and off of the list. Students who have demonstrated that they are interested in a particular school (by visiting the campus, for example) have a better chance of acceptance than other students.
  • Update the information the school has about you. Perhaps certain extra-curricular activity not mentioned by you earlier could sway the decision in your favor.

With the percentages of acceptance by wait-listed students being so low, it can seem to be a waste of time to take steps to increase the chances of your being accepted. However, many other students are likely to give up, therefore remembering nothing ventured, nothing gained should be all the impetus you need.

Futher Reading

How to Handle a College Waiting List


Financial Aid Charts

Understanding the Financial Aid Process


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Categories: Education Tips