Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA

The Knight Crier

The weight of the waitlist

What does being wait listed mean? How does one get off of it?
MJ Tareq
“WE WOULD LIKE TO OFFER YOU A PLACE ON THE WAIT LIST”: What can an applicant do to get off the wait list and hopefully be accepted.

“There has been an update in your applicant portal.”

This is a message all too common to seniors especially during this time of year with universities releasing their regular decision admissions. Applicants will eagerly log into their portal expecting to see either an acceptance or rejection, but there is a third possible outcome.

The waitlist.

Being waitlisted at a university means the university is saying “maybe” to the applicant. You’ve been neither accepted nor rejected, rather placed on the waitlist, and if a spot opens up you have a chance of getting accepted.

The weight of the waitlist is heavy on ambitious applicants, but what if this was an applicant’s top school? How can one possibly try and get off the waitlist? 

“When a student is waitlisted they should go on the website, or read the email, or read their portal as to what the directions say from that particular university,” Mr. Patrick Brett said, North Penn High School’s college counselor. “Sometimes a university will say there is nothing more you can do. [But] most the time they say you can write a continued letter of interest, you could provide updated grades, etc.” At this point, the student could either reach out to Brett via email ([email protected]) or go and stop by the Future Plans Center.

A crucial part of getting off the waitlist is submitting a strong letter of continued interest. In this letter, a student would write to the university reiterating that this school is their top choice or one of their top choices, and also update the university on what you have been doing since you applied.

“Maybe you were elected into a new position in a club, started a new volunteer opportunity at a local place in the community, named captain of a sports team or a club team, or maybe you worked hard in taking a B to an A in an AP level course,” Brett explains, updating the school on strong recent achievements throughout academic or extracurricular activities that have not already been mentioned in your application is crucial.

Sometimes a college will also ask for updated grades as well. From there, the Future Plans Center will send off “either your mid-year report or end of third marking period to send first, second, and third marking period grades to that school,” Brett said. 

Another critical stepping stone to possibly getting off a university waitlist is to send an additional letter of recommendation. This could be from a new teacher, new counselor, or anyone who has not already written one for you for said school.

Lastly, for students who are not currently waitlisted at a university, “if they have committed to their school or put a deposit down on a school… let the other schools know by going into their portal and declining the acceptance. This helps our students and all students who are currently waitlisted at a school,” Brett explained.

For every student who has been accepted and has not told the university whether or not they will attend, that is one waitlisted student waiting for a spot. 

If a student is placed on a waiting list, the best things they could do are to send a strong letter of continued that reiterates that this university is their top choice, and to also get another letter of recommendation in. 

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