There’s no denying that it can be a downer to excitedly tear open a mail response back from a college or a university only to realize the admission board waitlisted you. The concept of a college waitlist can seem like a mystery to people who are unfamiliar with it. College waitlists are relatively simple to grasp and rather self-explanatory. What is waitlisted, anyway? In a nutshell, it means that a candidate’s status regarding admission is still up in the air. In these cases, both rejection and acceptance are still possible.
What’s a waitlist?
When a student is waitlisted, a higher-educational institution doesn’t readily accept an applicant but is still open to doing so in the future. In these cases, the admissions board may decide to put the applicant on the waitlist. Colleges and universities tend to offer waitlisted individuals slots once they free up. For instance, if an accepted applicant denies admission and attends a different university, the admissions committee will send an aspiring student on the waitlist a letter of acceptance.
Why did the admissions committee waitlist you?
Some people have questions related to their waitlisted situation. Unfortunately, some students may feel blindsided by their waitlist status if they’ve worked hard to boost their GPA or participated in several extracurricular activities.
If you’re wondering why you’ve been waitlisted, there are many potential answers to that question. If you were placed on a waitlist, that might mean your credentials aren’t particularly exceptional but still worth pursuing. Waitlisting can indicate that a college has at least a shred of confidence in your ability to complete coursework, excel in your classes, and represent the institution well in the workforce. So, don’t let this outcome debilitate you.
What other factors doomed you to the waitlist? Your college application may have been riddled with errors that led the admissions committee to believe you’re negligent or complacent. In other cases, your current grade point average may not meet the institution’s minimum GPA requirements. Perhaps you didn’t take part in enough extracurricular activities, which made the admissions committee question your well-rounded nature.
Sadly, it can be challenging to pinpoint the reason for waitlisting. A multitude of factors can make an admissions team believe that your application isn’t up to par. Instead of stewing over possible explanations, you’ll need to stay proactive and advocate for yourself.
Remember, there are seemingly countless students who apply to go to colleges and universities annually. If you end up on a waiting list, it may sign that the options were just too plentiful. If a school doesn’t have adequate slots for new students, there’s nothing you can do.
If you’re on a college waiting list, don’t consider it a personal attack. Brush yourself off, as it’s never worth getting offended about waiting list status. It can be impossible to predict why the admissions committee put on the list in the first place, so don’t waste time racking your brain to recall any potential mistakes you could have made on your application.
Move on or stay put?
Some people feel helpless and confused after being placed on their dream school’s waitlist. If you fall within that category, you don’t have to continue feeling that way. You can take the initiative to do some self-reflection. Weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if you want to remain on the list.
It’s up to you to inform the school of how you’d like to proceed. Once you receive the news you’ve been waitlisted, you should ask if there are any strings attached. Does it affect you at all to keep your spot on the waiting list? If this decision doesn’t have any drawbacks and you feel like there’s a high likelihood of securing admission, then it’s wise to remain on the waitlist.
If you’d like to boost your chances of admission, you’ll need to be proactive. If you opt to stick around on the waiting list, there are other things you can do to move the process along. It may work in your favor to send a detailed message to the admissions committee. If you have any updates that may help your case, share them without delay. Perhaps you’ve won an award or received impressive test scores during the last couple of months. Your aim should be to make your case as solid as possible.
How else can you improve your odds of breaking free from your waitlist? You can do so by performing well academically and donating your time to volunteer service. Don’t use this time as an excuse to be lazy. Consider it an opportunity to showcase all of the skills that make you an exceptional candidate.
For optimal results, you should do everything in your power to improve your grades. It may even help significantly to think about new extracurricular activities that you can add to the equation. Just be sure not to spread yourself too thin. If you want to stand out from your fellow applicants, you’ll need to maintain an unwavering sense of focus. Your objective should be to accentuate the things that prove how devoted you are to your academic successes, so don’t let your competitor’s strengths distract you from your own.