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What if I’m on the waitlist?

As college acceptances roll in, some students may receive word that they’ve been placed on a college’s waitlist. Neither a “yes” nor a “no,” the waitlist decision allows a college to delay the admissions decision for any number of student applicants. Waitlists can include hundreds of students, and it’s anyone’s guess from year to year how many students, if any, will be accepted off a particular college’s waitlist.

If your son or daughter receives notice that he or she has been placed on a waitlist, pass along our tips below.

  • Write an email or letter to the admissions representative responsible for your application. You can find the name of that person by checking the college’s admissions webpage, or calling the office. Stress your continued interest in the school, and if the college is your top choice, include that in your note.



  • Maintain a strong GPA throughout senior year. Communication from the admissions office offering a place in the freshman class can come as late as August. You’ll want to show that you worked hard academically until graduation.



  • Keep the college updated on any new awards or honors you receive inside or outside of the classroom as you wait for their decision.



  • Check in periodically. Every few weeks, give the admissions office a call to let them know that you’re still hoping for an acceptance.



  • Make sure you submit a deposit by May 1st to one of the colleges where you’ve been accepted. If you don’t end up admitted to your waitlisted school, you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured a place in the freshman class elsewhere. Keep in mind that these deposits are usually non-refundable.


Do you have additional questions about the waitlist? Call us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332), email us at info@mefa.org, or connect with us on Twitter or Facebook.





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