In today’s episode of “College Admissions Real Talk”, Dr. Legatt talks about what to do when you get waitlisted.

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VO: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk with Dr. Aviva Legatt, a podcast for students seeking to get admitted to top-tier colleges. Each episode will feature an important tip for your college admission success, delivered with candor and love. If you’ve ever wanted to take a peek inside the mind of a college admissions officer, this is your chance. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222-5762. So, what’s your dream school? 

AL: Welcome to College Admissions Real Talk. This is Dr. Aviva Legatt, founder and Elite Admissions Expert at Ivy Insight. Today, we are going to be discussing five things to do If you get wait-listed. First, let me say that getting on the waitlist for any college can be one of the toughest decisions to receive about your candidacy. Why? Because there’s a lack of closure and you have the knowledge that you could still be rejected. So, the first thing to do when you receive a waitlist decision to pause and breathe then you should celebrate. The decisions you receive are not a reflection of your character, but rather of limited capacity at the college’s where you’re seeking admission. There may be a difference in priorities between what colleges are looking for and what you can provide at this time, which means it’s no fault of your own that you didn’t quite make the cut. So here’s what you can do next when trying to advocate for yourself or take yourself off the waitlist. First, try your best to choose a variety of colleges that allow you to get some acceptances. I know that sounds like common sense, but believe me I’ve seen many times where students will create a list that’s extremely top-heavy and hope for the best after applying to the eight Ivy Leagues and 12 other highly selective colleges. So what I’d like you to do is sit back and review where you’ve submitted so far and where else you might like to submit. Perhaps there’s a special program at a close by college or a college you haven’t yet considered that would be really interesting and appealing to you. If the college is still accepting applications, throw your hat in the ring. Make sure that you have a place to go second review your candidacy in general a lot may have happened since you submitted your application Second, review your candidacy in general. A lot may have happened since you submitted your application. What new activities, awards, life circumstances, or experiences have you had since you first applied? When reviewing this newer information, ask yourself: How is it relevant to your future goals for study and what that college might be seeking at this time? three, you can write to the director of admissions and your Regional admissions representative to let them know that you are certain that you would attend this college if you’re offered a place from the waitlist. Make sure that in your letter, you provide updates about your candidacy and share how enthusiastic and eager you are to attend. Insider tip: colleges care about increasing something called the “yield rate”, which is the rate at which students accepted to the college actually go and actually enroll the first day. So, when you write, it’s important to say that you are planning to attend that college if you get off the waitlist because colleges don’t like when people are just hedging their bets on the waitlist. They want people who really want to be there. Four, get a new letter of recommendation from your counselor, and, if you can, an additional letter of recommendation from a teacher and/or alumni of the college. As you’ve listened to in my other podcast episodes colleges really care about their relationships. They want to maintain good relationships with people who are affiliated with the college who are not you. So, the more people who are invested in your success at the college, the better it is for your chances to get admitted. Five–and this is the last option–you can cut your losses. So, if you don’t really love the college that wait-listed you, don’t bother advocating for yourself and pitching yourself at a place where you’re not that excited to be anyway. As one of my friends Foley says, when you’re trying to make a really big decision in life, if it’s not a “heck yes”, it’s a “no”. So if you’re not still “heck yes” about this college, just let it go regarding admissions decisions in general. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about what the colleges are looking for. Colleges only have so many available seats and have to make tough decisions all the time. If you’re on the waitlist, it means that the college believes you are highly qualified and would be successful at their campus. If you still want the college that has waitlisted you, go for it.

VO: College Admissions Real Talk is hosted by Aviva Legatt, edited by Stephanie Carlin, and produced by Incontrera Consulting. I’m Caroline Stokes and this has been your daily boost of college admissions insight. Have a question? Text Dr. Legatt at 610-222- 5762. For more information on Dr. Legatt and Ivy Insight visit www.ivyinsight.com. And you can pick up Dr. Legatt’s book, “Get Real and Get In”, at major retail outlets across the world. Insight out.