The Ivy Coach Daily

April 20, 2011

Getting off the College Waitlist

College Waitlist, Getting Off Waitlist, University Waitlists
Getting off the college waitlist is a science. There’s a right way and a wrong way (photo credit: Patrickneil).

There’s a nice op-ed piece in Georgetown University’s “The Hoya” by a freshman, Maggie Cleary, who got off the waitlist at Georgetown and earned a spot in the freshman class. Getting off the college waitlist can be a science. The cardinal rule of accomplishing this is to be proactive, to show continued interest in the university, and to update them on any new achievements since your application. That’s what Maggie did and that’s likely one of the reasons Georgetown chose to offer her admission.

Maggie describes getting off the college waitlist as an entirely new round of the college admissions game. Writes Maggie, “Having received acceptance letters only to schools which I did not want to attend, I had no choice but to play the waitlist game. An entirely new college application process within itself. It involves more recommendations, letters about why you want to go to that school and updated resumes. Some of my college counselors even recommended that I physically visit the schools at which I was waitlisted to show how much I cared. It also involved a lot of anxious waiting in the lead up to another deadline — one that some schools adhere to and others don’t. Some universities give their waitlist-ers a four-month window during which a student ’may’ hear from them. Those were probably the worst.”

In fact, Maggie writes that she would have preferred to have been outright rejected than to have been waitlisted. She hated the idea of waiting in limbo when all of her friends already knew what university they intended to attend. But while Maggie may have had that feeling back in high school, she’s sure glad she played the waitlist game because instead of having to attend a college she wasn’t particularly passionate about, she ended up at Georgetown University.

Maggie may not have been invited to accepted students weekend at Georgetown. She may have not gotten to meet alums in her area. But now she’s a Hoya all the same, just like every other Georgetown University student. There’s an important lesson in Maggie’s story. Just because it may take a little effort and just because it may extend your uncertainty during high school, in the end it just might be worth it. If you don’t give it a shot, you’ll never know.

Check out the article in “The Hoya” here.

And check out our newsletters: The College Waitlist and Waitlisted? Welcome to Limbo.

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