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What Can I Do If I've Been Waitlisted?

Being waitlisted isn't easy, but you don't have to sit back and do nothing. Here's some expert advice on things you can do to secure your admission.

Jeannie Borin, MEdJeannie Borin, MEd
President and Founder
College Connections
If you've been waitlist, here are some things you can do to secure admission.

  • Write a cover note to the college and re-emphasize why you're a good match and what you'll do to be an asset to the school's community. Keep it short but detailed.
  • Contact the admission office via to demonstrate interest in attending, as colleges like to accept students they know will attend, especially mention if the school is your first choice. Ask an admission officer what you can do to increase your chances.
  • Update the admission office with any new achievements, activities, or transcripts. Don't repeat anything on your original application.
  • See if an interview can be arranged. Especially do this if you didn't get an interview in before you applied.
  • Ask the college to keep your name on the waitlist until the end of summer.
  • Learn who the school's regional representative is and contact them. They could be a potential advocate. It's okay to contact them every few weeks to confirm continued interest. 
  • Contact the college to update financial aid information if your financial situation has changed and you wouldn't need as much assistance in attending. 
  • Carefully review the colleges where you've been accepted, as you should send in a deposit by the May 1 deadline. If you get off a waitlist, you may lose your deposit made at another institution.
  • Remain proactive and notify the college every month you're still interested in attending. Especially after May 1 as colleges need to know you haven't decided to attend elsewhere.

For more expert advice on the college admission process, visit our Ask the Experts—College Admission section!

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