For students on the Princeton waitlist, you should first of all know that Princeton didn’t admit any students off of its waitlist last year. It’s always good to know that data point so that you can adjust your expectations accordingly. Having reasonable expectations is the name of the game in highly selective college admissions. The Dean of Admissions at Princeton University, Janet Rapelye, did a little video with “Philly.com” about what waitlisted students should do to try to get off the Princeton waitlist. In the video, Rapelye also discusses the Tina Fey movie “Admission” since the story is supposed to be loosely based on the Princeton admissions office and takes place on the iconic campus.
In the video on waitlisted students, Rapelye discusses how for students on the waitlist, their final transcript and all of their senior year grades will indeed matter. She states that “this is the time to be stepping up your efforts.” She tells waitlisted students not to come to campus (there is no point in doing that after being waitlisted) as the university has “everything” they need with respect to your candidacy. She mentions how students should send updates on “late breaking news” like awards, appointments, and honors earned since their applications were submitted months ago. Additionally, as we’ve long talked about, students should craft a letter to the admissions office stating why they still want to attend Princeton, what they’ve been working on senior year, and why they’d be a great addition to the Princeton incoming class. This letter, of course, should be in the student’s own unique voice and it should be heartfelt. These letters really can help, affirms Rapelye.
The Princeton Dean of Admissions also urges students not to send cookies, like in the movie. Sure, they’ll eat the cookies. Why not. But it won’t impact your admissions decision. Not even if they’re really good chocolate chip cookies that are still warm upon their arrival. Did anyone really think that this would do the trick? Amazing!