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How to Get Off the College Waitlist

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essay writing clockWaiting is tough. We here at CEA stand by the microwave and watch the numbers count down as our frozen mac n’ cheese transforms from a big yellow block into gooey noodles (which is probably not good for our health — nor is eating frozen mac and cheese. Don’t tell our moms). Sometimes we take the mac out early and begin to feast until we realize that the center is still frozen. That’s never a pleasant surprise. So we understand the displeasure involved in waiting for something you really, really want.

Waiting to hear from a dream school that has waitlisted you can be a lot like waiting for your mac n’ cheese to heat up. You’re impatient and wish there was something more you could do to Hurry! It! Up! Already!

Well, the good news is there is something you can do about it. Send admissions a letter (error free, please). And not just any letter. Write them a letter in which you demonstrate your interest and update them on any new accomplishments you may have achieved since your submission. For example, has your GPA gone up since you applied? Were you promoted at your part-time job? Did you take on new leadership responsibilities at your internship? You should also make a concerted effort to reconfirm your interest in the school and reiterate some of the points you may have made in your supplements regarding your reasons for wanting to attend. Or if the application didn’t give you ample opportunities to demonstrate your interest, you can detail your application motivation in this letter.  Schools want to make offers to waitlisted students who are highly likely to attend,  so make sure the admissions team at your dream school knows that [Awesome University] is your first choice and you will accept if an offer is made.

Some advice that is slightly less popular, but, we believe, valuable: you may also want to start thinking about alternate options for your education. Attending one college or campus isn’t going to be the determining factor in your future success. What are your second and third choice schools? Can you envision a future at either of them? You are the one in control of your efforts and achievement — maybe it’s time to expand your options and think about where else you might be happy and how you will accomplish your goals if you have to go with Plan B. That side road — the one you didn’t expect to take may even be a more interesting one to travel in the end.

So crack those knuckles, get ready to type and don’t wait — unless it’s for some mac and cheese, which is definitely better fully cooked. You have a letter to write and some thinking to do!

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