What to Do if You Have a Place on a College Waitlist
When a college does not accept or reject a candidate, they get a place on the waitlist. If you understand the implication of being on a waitlist, know about the functioning of waitlists, and what options are available, you can make better decisions.
Function of Waitlists
Every college tries to have full classrooms. When admission officers send acceptance letters, they estimate how many students will enroll themselves in the college. Some students are neither accepted nor rejected. They are on the waitlist. If fewer students enroll in the college, some students from the waitlist get admission to fill the classrooms.
In case your name is on the waitlist, you can do the following:
Decline a place on the list: If you have successfully got admission into a college of your choice, you can politely refuse the invitation sent to you from another school for being placed on the waitlist. It is bad manners if you do not do so. Moreover, if you continue to remain on the waitlist of a college that you do not want to join after being accepted, it can inconvenience other students.
Accept a place on the list and wait: If you are still interested in joining the school, you must accept the invitation to be on the list and wait for the outcome.
Accept a place on the list and make efforts to get off the list: You may have to wait for quite a long time, and there is no guarantee of getting admitted. If your name is on the waitlist of a college that you would like to join, you should make some efforts. For example, you can send a letter to show your continued interest.
Chances to Get Off a List
Do not look at the waitlist acceptance rate of colleges and get dejected. You need to know all the details to understand them correctly. Usually, 10% of students get accepted. But this rate may change every year in each college. So, there are some chances of getting admitted if you are on the waitlist. However, you should not have very high hopes of gaining admission just because your name is on the waitlist.
Be practical and acknowledge the fact that you have not been accepted or rejected. Do not get frustrated or discouraged by uncertain circumstances. Make efforts to move ahead instead of becoming overwhelmed by the situation.
If you are put on the waitlist by the school that was your first-choice school, accept your position on the list and make all efforts to get admission. At the same time, explore and make yourself ready for some other options. Deposit your money in the college that is prepared to admit you. In case you are fortunate to come off the list and get accepted into your first-choice college, you may lose this deposit. But that may not be a loss because after all your efforts, finally, you would be able to get admission to your favorite college.