March 2008 Newsletter
In the March 27th edition of The Boston Globe, the article, “Student agony grows along with top colleges’ wait lists,” mentions specific numbers of waitlisted students at some highly selective colleges in the northeast. While this is by no means a new phenomenon, for the Class of 2012, the number of waitlisted applicants has reached record highs. Factors that have made admissions officers question which applicants are most likely to attend are the extraordinary number of regular decision applications received, and the increased number of applicants who will be applying for financial aid in an economy bouncing along the edge of recession and beginning to suffer from rising unemployment. Harvard’s elimination of early action and Princeton’s elimination of early decision had an additional affect as the students who would have been accepted under these plans remained in the pool.
Below is a letter that Stanford University sends to its waitlisted students:
We have just completed our evaluation and selection process, and I am writing to offer you a place on our waitlist. While we cannot offer you admission at this time, you should know that students offered a place on our waitlist are among our strongest applicants. Your application demonstrated great promise and you are among a select group that will be re-evaluated by the admission committee should space become available in the freshman class….
More than 32,000 students applied this year for admission to a freshman class of 1,675. Our decision to admit applicants from the waitlist will depend entirely on the response rate to our initial offers of admission. We appreciate your patience with this process and your willingness to be flexible. I hope you understand how impressed we were with your application and how much we value your interest in Stanford.
With best wishes,
Richard H. Shaw
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
So what’s a waitlisted candidate to do? While some colleges ask that you do nothing except let them know that you wish to remain on their waitlist, in most cases you need to be proactive. To do so, let the admissions committee know that if you are accepted off the waitlist, you will most definitely attend. But you can’t just say this; you need to demonstrate it! Start by emailing your regional admissions counselor and letting this person know that you would like to meet. While the admissions counselor might discourage this meeting, if you have not already done so, you need to visit the college, and then follow-up with a heartfelt letter showing your interest. In this letter, cite specifics about the college that you learned from your visit, and explain how you could contribute to the campus community.
For help in writing a powerful ‘Letter of Enthusiasm,’ and for more information in regard to other ways to turn a waitlist status into a letter of acceptance, contact Ivy Coach.