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Dear Moms: How to Help Your Senior Get Off the Waitlist

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June 3, 2020

I was recently accepted off of the waitlist from my dream college of five years and will be attending in the fall. When I first found out I was on the waitlist, I actually had little to no hope that I would actually be attending the school. Some say it is the current climate of the world and the fear that people won’t go to college that took me off the waitlist, but I personally think it is due to the steps I took to ensure that the college knew I wanted to be there. I took the following steps to get off, and I whole-heartedly recommend that you share them with your seniors next year if they find themselves in the same boat.

1. Immediately write a letter of continued interest.

The second I opened my portal and saw I was waitlisted, I began drafting a letter. The first step is to research what the college looks for in an appeal letter, and if they accept it at all. For my college, it was a tab inside of the portal in which you could submit your appeal. Some schools have it a part of the portal, some schools require an email, and others require a physical letter. No matter where you submit this letter, make sure that it contains the following:

  • Any updates you may have since submitting your initial application. If you received a promotion at work, if your income has changed, if you won a special award— all of these things are little stepping stools to increase your chances of being liked by the school.
  • Your senior year grades (if they benefit your GPA). Because most schools don’t require you to submit your senior year grades, by sending your transcripts and showing the college that you have continued to excel in your classes, it will boost your chances.
  • A statement that you WILL go to that school if given the opportunity. Don’t lie to the college and tell them you will go if you don’t actually plan on it. If you are serious about the college, make sure to add a sentence or two explaining that you fully plan on attending if you get off the waitlist. 

2. This one is a little weird, but I believe it helped. Manifestation.

Every night, I would picture myself walking down the halls of my dream school. I told my friends I was going to the school, even when both of us knew that wasn’t yet true. I wore my dream school’s sweatshirt and took pictures in it.

Something that is very crucial in this process is to not feel pity or hatred toward any other schools. I originally committed to a school that I didn’t like at all. However, I chose to be grateful for the opportunity to go to college in the first place and didn’t let myself drown in self-pity. By keeping my hopes high, I manifested good things and they came to me.

(Side note. My friends look at me weirdly when I talk about manifestation. But, there is tangible proof to this and it is worth taking a couple of minutes to research the benefits. I am now going to my dream school, one that in the past has only accepted 14 people off the waitlist. And I know it is due to manifestation.)

3. Write the admissions counselor an email!

It never hurts to make sure that the admissions council at your waitlisted school knows for certain that you plan on attending. Write their admissions department email a letter and repeat again that you will attend if given the opportunity. 

Colleges look to their waitlists with the hope of filling spots easily. They want to make sure that if you get off the waitlist, you won’t immediately decline it and waste an open spot. It never hurts to make it painfully clear that you will accept their offer of acceptance and make the school proud.

Good luck to everybody who is on a waitlist and congratulations to everyone who made it to their dream school this year!

P.S. Go Gauchos!!!

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