Getting waitlisted is not the end of the world. In fact, the National Association of College Admissions Counselors found that 39 percent of colleges put some students on a waitlist in 2009. Once college admissions committees know that they have the space to admit more students, they turn to their waitlist of college applicants and reevaluate whom they want to admit.
If your child has been waitlisted, there are several considerations to help you determine whether to wait or move on to Plan B:
- Decide if it’s worth it to wait. If your child has been accepted to attend school elsewhere, he or she might want ask to be removed from another college’s waiting list. However, if this is your child’s first-choice school, or if this school is significantly more affordable, it may be worth the wait.
- Contact the admission’s office. To help make your decision, The College Board recommends that students contact the admission’s office to get an idea of their chance of admission. Some colleges prioritize some waitlisted students over others, so if your child has been waitlisted it’s important to know where they stand.
- Encourage your child to continue to work hard. If your child’s chances are good and they decide to wait, it’s important that they continue to be a good candidate for admission. This means keeping up with their grades in the 3rd and 4th quarters, and staying involved in high school activities.
- Notify the admission’s board of any new accomplishments or accolades. The College Board recommends that the candidate write to the admission’s board emphasizing why they are so well suited for the school. Your child may write about outside interests they did not discuss in their admissions essay, or new information such as honors or achievements they received since applying to the school.
At the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that getting waitlisted is an achievement in its own right. After all, being waitlisted means that your child has the academic requirements to be accepted. Anything they do now should seek to put them over the top.