How To Get Off The MBA Waitlist

7. RETAKE THE GMAT. Let them know your plans in your update letter— including the date you intend to take the test—and send them the result in a “ping” email. If you’ve already got a 700-plus GMAT, or at least an 80 percentile quant score, raising your score further won’t likely help. If you were waitlisted with less than a 680 GMAT, raising it to at least 680 may dramatically increase your chances of getting off the waitlist. If you were waitlisted at a very competitive school with less than a 680 GMAT, chances are the school really liked you—they simply have concerns about your score. Raising that score removes the most likely reason you were waitlisted rather than accepted outright.

8. VISIT THE CAMPUS AND VISIT AGAIN. No matter why you’ve been waitlisted, you should get yourself to campus ASAP. Ask to see an admissions officer; include this request in your update letter. Many schools will be happy to accommodate you; for the ones that won’t, camp out in the admissions office and ambush someone. Seriously—that has worked for many of our candidates in the past! Tell them you were in town on business and you simply wanted to put a face to the name. Don’t spend more than five minutes with an admission officer unless they invite you to stay longer.

9. PING THE COMMITTEE. Your first contact will be your update letter, and you’ll continue to ping the committee after that with a brief note. Send a brief note to your waitlist manager (if you were assigned one) or to the director of admissions expressing your continued interest in the school, willingness to provide further information, or anything else you feel is appropriate. “Ping” emails should go out about once every three weeks. When decision time comes, it is your name they will remember.

Evan Forster and David Thomas are the founders of admissions consulting firm Forster-Thomas Inc. and the authors of The MBA Reality Check.



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