UFit College Consulting
This college application season, we are expecting to see longer waitlists as colleges try to predict yield rates in an unprecedented time. Not only did many colleges receive a record number of applications, but they are also confronting an influx of gap-year students from the previous admissions cycle. This situation has created more noise about how applications are evaluated and how many students are ultimately admitted. Decision deadlines have been pushed back and students are feeling more anxious than ever.
As decisions roll in, take a deep breath! There will be excitement and disappointment as you receive these decisions. Through it all, remember that there are multiple colleges that will be a good fit for you. If you get waitlisted from one or several of your top choices, don’t lose hope. Although frustrating, being waitlisted indicates that the college did consider you to be a good fit for their community, but the admissions committee needs to see how their incoming class will ultimately take shape to make a final determination on your candidacy. It is not a rejection, which means there is still a chance you could be accepted to that college.
What should you do if you are waitlisted?
Since most colleges do not move students off their waitlists until after college decision day, which is typically May 1 or May 2, you should absolutely commit to attend a college that has offered you admission, before their deadline.
Make sure you are excited about the college you are committing to because a waitlist option may not work out. Despite the pandemic, some competitive colleges may not see much movement in their waitlists because they continue to enjoy very high yield rates. Others might see significant movement in their waitlists because of the uncertainty Covid has caused.
Next, you need to assess whether you want to remain on a waitlist.
How do you decide if you should remain on the waitlist?
You should consider all of your acceptances to determine if you truly want to invest your time and emotions by remaining on a waitlist. Many students prefer to commit to a school that they have been accepted to, so that they can start getting excited about their college years and start building friendships and connections with that college, instead of adding the stress of being on a waitlist.
Remaining on the waitlist means that, if accepted, you will be faced with changing your college choice later in the summer, perhaps after having invested a significant amount of time in the college where you have accepted admission. Students need to evaluate whether changing their decision would be worth it, depending on their academic goals and finances, especially, if financial aid is involved in the decision.
Therefore, it is very important for students to reflect on why they would want to stay on a waitlist. Perhaps the college that has waitlisted them provides a greater breadth of academics, or it has a particular location that is more appealing, or the college has greater proximity to close family, etc. All of these factors need to be considered and weighed.
If you have decided to stay on the waitlist, how do you remain visible?
What should be included in the Letter of Continued Interest?
By communicating with your regional admissions officer, you are reiterating your interest in the school. Your letter should include any updates, honors, or awards you have received since the time of your application.
Here are some suggestions for when and how you should correspond with your regional admissions officer after a waitlist decision:
If you would like help with crafting a Letter of Continued Interest, or general guidance as you make your college and waitlist decisions, please reach out to our certified college counselors at UFit College Consulting.