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I've been waitlisted. Now what?

I’ve been waitlisted, what does that mean? It can be very disheartening to work very hard on a college application and receive a letter saying that you’ve been placed on a waitlist. It can often also be confusing. What exactly do they mean when they say they’ve placed you on a waitlist?

Well, the simplest way to explain it is that you are a second choice. Your application has impressed the admissions board, but not sufficiently enough for them to immediately offer admission. There have been stronger applicants than you, but they are still prepared to accept you if those applicants don’t come through.

Waitlists are a way for colleges to make sure they have enough students to fill all their vacancies. They send out admission letters to the right amount of students, but they know that not every student who is accepted will choose to attend. They might decide that they have a better offer elsewhere. When that happens, someone on the waitlist gets his or her place instead.

You should be aware that the waitlist is ranked in order of preference. Most colleges won’t include your ranking on your waitlist letter, but they will tell you if you ask. If you are at the top of the list, then you have a much better chance of getting in than someone at the bottom.

Sadly, if you have been waitlisted, then you should be aware that your chances of getting in aren’t great. Most of the colleges that operate waitlists tend to be very selective institutions. If you haven’t been selected immediately then chances are you won’t make the grade at all.

Even so, you should maximize your chances by writing a letter to the admissions board stating that you would definitely enroll if you were accepted. You should also double check your application and make sure you’ve submitted everything that you were supposed to.

You should also submit some applications to your second choice schools if you haven’t done it already. If you are accepted somewhere else then you should assume that you are going there. Enroll and pay your deposit. If your first choice decides to take you off the waitlist and put you on the admissions list, then you can always change your plans.

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