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wait list3 Steps To Getting Admitted Off The Waiting List

“The best things come to those who wait.”

Yeah, right. Try telling that to someone on a waitlist. Your life is basically on hold. And you have those nagging doubts: Am I really good enough for this school? Are they just stringing me along? Why can’t they just make a decision? 

If you’re stuck on the waitlist, you probably feel pretty powerless. And that’s normal. But there are steps you can take to improve your chances of being admitted. And remember: Once you get in, no one will ever know you were stuck in limbo. When classes started, it doesn’t matter how your GMAT, GPA, or resume stacked up against your classmates.

This week, Shawn O’Connor, CEO of admissions consulting firm Stratus Admissions Counseling, tackles what candidates can do when they get a “maybe” back.

First, O’Connor notes that being waitlisted isn’t an insult. “…The admissions committee saw something they liked in your profile and have decided to continue evaluating your candidacy.” What’s more, you’re not “a second choice or undeserving of the school.” For example, O’Connor cites white male students with finance backgrounds as candidates who often get waitlisted, due to being overrepresented in the applicant pool. “The admissions process is competitive and sometimes the odds are simply not in your favor.”

If you’ve been waitlisted, O’Connor also advises that you should re-examine your application. With time and distance, you can better see the flaws in your essays (or recommendations). He also recommends that you review the school’s statistics and admissions criteria and identify gaps like low GMATs and GPAs or a lack of extracurricular activities and demonstrated leadership.

From there, you need to take action. “If your GMAT is low within your dream school’s range, retake it,” says O’Connor. “If your GPA is low, take some additional coursework in an analytical area…If you have realized that your community involvement was lacking, get started on a new activity outside of work. Do not just show up–lead the team, recruit new volunteers and spearhead new initiatives! I also recommend managing a new project at work.”

Finally, O’Connor stresses that waitlisted applicants should remain passionate about the school. And that starts with staying in touch with the admissions team. “After you make changes that could impact the admissions decision, be sure to inform the school. You may do so through an update letter, in which you include your new, higher GMAT score (or your intention to retake the exam), new grades, work achievements such as a promotion, and/or initiatives you have started or joined. You should also reassert your commitment to attending that business school, and mention programs about particularly appeal to you.”

He also suggests sending another recommendation letter, particularly from an alum, to reinforce your credentials and add new details. What’s more, O’Connor advocates treating your communications like a marketing campaign to stay top of mind: “Plan any of your communications so that the admissions office does not receive all updates and endorsements simultaneously. First send an update letter, and then, in another three to five weeks, an additional recommendation. Finally, in another month or so, the alumnus letter can arrive.”

In addition, visit the campus again and meet with admissions when you do. “Your efforts and dedication will not go unnoticed.  Remember, business schools want to accept students who are passionate about them.”

Source: Forbes

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