What To Do If You Are Waitlisted or Is There Hope after Waitlist?
The dreaded waitlist. Is there anything more agonizing? Instead of a simple yes or a no, your school of choice instead puts you on (insert dramatic music here) “the waitlist.” You may be wondering what to do next and might be asking yourself, “Is there hope after waitlist?”
Colleges sometimes use a waitlist because – they just don’t know how many students are going to decide to enroll when offered admission. Sure, they can guess and they usually have some sort of general idea – but, just in case, they set aside a few students that were oh so close to getting in.
That way, if less than the expected number of accepted students choose to attend college somewhere else – they still have a pool of varied and talented candidates (like you) to choose from and fill in the gap.
Think of it like this: if you hold a spot on the college waitlist, you are the equivalent of a basketball player keeping the bench warm, just waiting to be called into the game. Sometimes the coach lets you in, sometimes – s/he doesn’t. In the case of the college waitlist, it depends a lot on the college you applied to as to what your actual chance of gaining college acceptance really is – some accept a very large percentage of waitlist students while others – not so much.
It is also possible that college admissions simply wanted to review your application one last time before making the final decision (another reason why you might want to check out our tips to increase your odds of admission after sending in your college application). At this point, it doesn’t hurt to send in a brief summary of your current achievements, have an updated version of your grades sent in, and be careful regarding your online image.
You should probably start thinking about sending in your (probably non-refundable) tuition deposit to your next college of choice, where you did receive a college acceptance. If things don’t turn out the way you had hoped, that could be where you end up spending your first year of college but it’s not the end of the world: the first year of classes is usually pretty similar between colleges. That first year at your second choice college doesn’t have to turn into four.
After you have a year of college under your belt, you’ve done well, you’re involved, you can then choose to apply again to your original first choice college and transfer if you are accepted – although you might find that you like the friends you have made and the college so much you don’t want to leave!