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FAQs about What to Do If You’ve Been Waitlisted

This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Yesh Datar in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info. 

 

What’s Covered

 

 

How Can I Accept My Spot on the Waitlist?

 

Official Response

 

The first thing to do when you’ve been accepted to a school’s waitlist is to confirm your spot. Most schools require students to indicate that they are accepting a spot on their waitlist either through an online form or by sending an email. The school should tell you exactly how to confirm or turn down your spot on the waitlist. If the school does not give specific instructions, you’ll need to write to the admissions office with a formal letter notifying them of your decision. 

 

Be Proactive 

 

For most schools, when you’ve been accepted on the waitlist, you will submit a letter of intent with your decision to join the waitlist. You should be proactive with this letter and any communication with the school going forward. In your letter, make sure to convey your strong and sustained interest in attending that college. Make sure to express that you will attend the college if they choose to admit you. Colleges only want to admit students off the waitlist who are going to attend their school, so this is an important step in getting off the waitlist. 

 

Keep your letter relatively short and straightforward. The admissions committee already has access to your application, so there is no need to repeat information that they already know. You should include any new information or accomplishments you’ve achieved since you submitted your initial application. These new accomplishments can be anything from an award, higher standardized test scores, or a change in your GPA.

 

It’s important to note that these accomplishments should be fairly significant if you want to include them in your letter. If you’re uncertain about whether to include a particular achievement or piece of information, it is always a good idea to have someone read your letter before you send it. Their feedback could be a good indicator of what you should include. 

 

Will Colleges Review Any Supplemental Materials I Send Them?

 

It is always important to understand what the college will accept. If you want to send in supplemental materials, make sure to check if that particular college will accept this new information and consider this when evaluating your position on the waitlist. Some colleges won’t even look at supplemental materials so sending them in would be a waste of time.

 

If the college tells you they don’t accept additional letters or information from waitlisted students, you shouldn’t send them in. This will only hurt your chances of getting admitted off the waitlist because it shows you cannot follow the rules. No matter the information you send, you will be presenting yourself in a negative light by breaking the rules they want you to follow. 

 

The college already has your application, so while you might be able to make updates, you can’t submit a new application at this point. Once you’ve been admitted to the waitlist, you can submit small updates like awards, exams, or research. Your letter of intent and any new accomplishments are the only supplemental materials you should send to the college. 

 

When Will I Hear If I Have Been Accepted?

 

Most colleges set their decision deadline around May 1st, so waitlisted students won’t hear back until at least this deadline. This is because colleges need to see how many students end up accepting their admissions offer before they can admit anybody else. During this time, you will need to practice a lot of patience.

 

It can be a very stressful time waiting to hear if you’ve been admitted off the waitlist, so make sure to take care of your mental health during this time. Trust that you will hear back from the college with their decision around early May. For some schools, the process can even stretch out over the summer, but colleges will often give you an exact date in your waitlist offer.


Short Bio
At CollegeVine, experts host weekly livestreams on college admissions topics, including application advice, essay writing tips, and college information sessions. To register or check out more livestreams, visit www.collegevine.com/livestreams.