What To Do If You’re On The MBA Waitlist

What To Do If You’re Waitlisted

Everyone loves winning. Eventually, the losing side learns to cope. There’s nothing more disheartening than a tie – always wondering where you stand and what you could’ve done better. That’s exactly how MBA applicants feel when they’re waitlisted by their top choice b-school.

What exactly can you do once you’re waitlisted? Admissions experts at mbaMission recently discussed waitlist strategies for MBA applicants and how they can improve their chances of admission.


Experts say it’s important to understand what the admissions committee is telling you when you get waitlisted.

“If the committee tells you not to send follow-up material of any sort, then do not yield to temptation and send material that you think will bolster your case,” according to mbaMission. “If you misguidedly choose to do so after being specifically instructed not to, you will most definitely identify yourself in a negative way—not the type of message you want to send to the group that will decide your fate.”

The only exception to this rule, mbaMission says, is if you have a connection who can speak on your behalf.

“If you know a current student or an alumnus/alumna who can tactfully, diplomatically, and independently work on your behalf, you can have this third party write a letter to or otherwise contact the admissions committee in support of your candidacy. But again, this is acceptable only if this individual truly understands the delicate nature of the interaction. If you have no such person on your side, you will have to wait patiently, as difficult as that may be.”


On the other hand, if you are asked to submit information that may strengthen your application, it’s important to understand what you should submit.

“First and foremost, if you have worked to target any weaknesses in your candidacy—for example, by retaking the GMAT and increasing your score, or by taking a supplemental math class and earning an A grade—the admissions committee will certainly want to hear about this,” according to mbaMission. “Further, if you have any concrete news regarding promotions or the assumption of additional responsibilities in the community sphere, be sure to update the admissions committee on this news as well.”

Additionally, it may help to remain engaged with school stakeholders.

“Showing continued interest in the MBA program will demonstrate your commitment to the school and assure the admissions committee that you are likely to accept an offer of admission, if one is eventually extended,” writes Nisha Trivedi, a Ross MBA and admissions consultant with mbaMission, in P&Q. “You can do this by arranging calls or coffee chats with students or alumni, visiting campus (especially if you have not already done so), or attending program-related events in your area. In your subsequent update to the admissions committee, communicate what you learned about the program from each touchpoint and how this has reinforced your interest.”

Sources: mbaMission, Poets & Quants

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