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Can You Beg Your Way Off the Wait List?

What happens when you're waiting on a "yes" or "no" to plan your future and you just get a "maybe" instead? Many say, just beg!

Elizabeth Hoyt

February 07, 2019

Can You Beg Your Way Off the Wait List?
Most people will agree that one of the most frustrating things in life is waiting for an answer. Yes, patience is a virtue, but what about when you’re waiting to hear about your own future and you receive a “maybe?” Many students find themselves in this difficult position after being wait-listed by the college of their choice. You can sit back and wait to hear whether or not you’ve been accepted or take your acceptance into your own hands, a growing trend. Determination is key - many students set their sights on their prize college and do whatever it takes to get noticed. From writing letters and sending gifts to personalizing their application with photos or videos, students are getting increasingly creative in attempts to become noticed in the admissions process.

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One student, for example, planned a Twitter campaign, tweeting at his college daily, until he was finally accepted. Others send baked goods, high-school projects and even personalized gifts to admissions officials. Colleges claim it doesn't impact the decision-making process, but some students seem to believe it makes a difference. For many, it’s merely a matter of doing something versus doing nothing. Some applicants feel helpless and act out of resentment for not being accepted in the first place. Applicants or sometimes an applicant’s family will hound admissions departments demanding an interview, insulting the department’s judgment or the process. These actions can seriously impact a student’s chances of acceptance.

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Wait listed students are better off sending in a letter indicating their continued interest in attending the school; however, other items and materials often become cumbersome to an admissions department. Admissions officials agree that reaching out to indicate interest after learning about being wait listed is important – as long as it’s done in a professional, mature manner. What works the most? Focusing on the academics offered, rather than how much you love the school in general. At the end of the day, you’re applying to educational institutions and they want to know that you desire to participate and learn from their programs. After all, nobody likes a pest. While sending other items may seem fun and creative, admissions departments swear it won’t make a bit of difference in their decision.

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In just one sentence: What scares you most about the college admission process?

Whether or not you believe them is up to you. What do you think about reaching out to colleges in pursuit of acceptance?

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