5 Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting Off a College Waitlist

April 2, 2023

A waitlist offer from a college can be upsetting, especially if it is one of your top choices. However, being waitlisted means you will have a chance to attend the school. Staying positive and doing what you can to improve your chances of being accepted from the waitlist is essential.

According to the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the average acceptance rate for students placed on a waitlist in 2020 was 23%, while the average admission rate for all applicants was 66.7%. However, the acceptance rate can vary widely from year to year and by college, with some colleges admitting as many as 53% of students on the waitlist. It’s also important to know that your chances of getting in off the waitlist can change depending on the program you want to study. Some highly competitive programs admit fewer students off the waitlist.

Here are some tips for boosting your chances of getting off a college waitlist:

Respond to the waitlist offer promptly

When you receive a waitlist offer, you must respond promptly to show that you are still interested in attending the college. Colleges have limited spots available and will need to know if they can offer you admission as soon as possible.

Express continued interest

Let the admissions office know you are still interested in attending the college. You can do this by sending them an email or letter saying you are still interested and telling them about anything new that has happened since you sent in your application. For example, let them know if you won an award or received a higher GPA.

Visit the college

If you haven’t already, consider visiting the college to show your continued interest. You may meet with an admissions officer, tour the campus, or attend an information session. This can help the admissions office get to know you better and see that you are committed to attending the college.

Submit additional materials

Check with the college to see if they allow waitlisted students to submit additional materials, such as an extra essay or letter of recommendation. If they do, take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your application.

Have a backup plan

While it’s important to increase your chances of getting off the waitlist, it’s also important to have a backup plan in case they do not admit you. Think about other colleges you might want to attend and send in a deposit by May 1st if you’re going to enroll.

Getting off a college waitlist can be challenging, but possible. You should stay positive, take action to show your continued interest, and have a backup plan in case you are not admitted. Remember that colleges accept students from the waitlist based on various factors, including their needs, so keep the faith and work towards your goals.