Getting waitlisted for colleges is like academic purgatory. In some cases, you would almost prefer a rejection than a long, drawn out period of wondering what to prepare for. Then again, you don’t have to just idly wait and twiddle your thumbs. There are several things that you can do to get a better idea of your placement on the waitlist, or prepare for other schools. In any case, you can’t speed up the college’s decision, so you need to accept that your patience is going to be tested, and you will need to rise to the challenge. Here is what to do when colleges waitlist you.
Apply for More Colleges
If you’ve been waitlisted by multiple colleges, then you might not have a lot of clear options in the event that all of them reject you. In this case, you are going to want to see if there are any other colleges that you still have time to apply to. There are hundreds of colleges strewn all over the country, and beyond, so instead of waiting, you should start cruising the internet like crazy and learn about all the different colleges that might appeal to you.
Contact the Office of Admissions
You don’t want to harass the office of admissions with tons of emails and phone calls, but you should definitely try to place a call or send an email as soon as possible. It’s unlikely that you will be given your number on the waitlist, but some schools will actually tell you. Some will even claim that the waitlist isn’t ranked numerically, but this simply isn’t true. When you do speak with them, though, you want to ask if there’s any information about yourself that would help you to qualify. For example, if you’ve broken any athletic records, won any academic awards, or published any noteworthy stories in the school newspaper.
Send Updates on Recent Accomplishments
If the college would like you to update them with news on recent accomplishments that might increase your chances, then you want to make sure that they don’t trickle in one at a time. If possible, you want to give them as many updates as possible within a single email. Then again, if you won’t know until late May or June whether or not you will win an award, you may want to simply notify them that you’ve been nominated for an award and include the date when the winner will be announced.
Stay Involved on Campus
If you are the leader of any clubs or organizations on campus, or if you play any high school sports, then you want to make sure that you stay involved all the way until the end. When colleges like University of San Francisco get around to making their final decisions, they often contact high schools to check on the students who are waitlisted. If they find out that you have abandoned your responsibilities due to senioritis or disillusionment, then it will be easy for them to cross you off the list and move on to the next person.