Got Waitlisted? Here’s What You Should Do

Got Waitlisted? Here’s What You Should Do

You just got waitlisted by your top choice business school. You may be thinking, “This is it, my chances are slim to none.” But experts say being waitlisted doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. In fact, according to waitlisted MBA applicants are often very much still in the game.

“While few candidates celebrate landing on the waitlist, don’t give up hope,” Stacy Blackman, founder of Stacy Blackman Consulting, writes. “First of all, waitlist status by your target school is a good sign. You’re someone they would like to have in the class, but something is holding up a final decision.”


 In most cases, Blackman says, applicants will get waitlisted due to three reasons.

“The top three reasons candidates get waitlisted: unclear post-MBA goals, low test scores or GPA, and lack of quantitative preparation,” Blackman writes.

If you do get waitlisted, Blackman recommends evaluating your interest in the particular business school.

“If it’s your top choice, you may want to remain on the list until school begins,” Blackman writes. “That could mean moving quickly and giving up a deposit on a school that has offered you firm admission. If the program is not your first choice, or you would like to settle your MBA plans before school starts, you may choose to remove your name from the list. If that’s the case, do so promptly and give someone else a chance at their MBA dream.”

You’ll also want to take into consideration the business school’s waitlist policy.

“Some schools ask that you refrain from submitting additional materials,” Blackman writes. “But most schools allow and even encourage meaningful updates.”

Meaningful updates can include improved test scores or GPA and even taking new classes to bolster your skills and knowledge.

“If your GMAT score was on the low side, consider a retake,” according to Vantage Point MBA. “If your GPA was below average, consider enrolling in an online class (think statistics, accounting, finance, etc.) from an accredited institution to provide further evidence of your academic aptitude.”

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Vantage Point MBA

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