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Waitlisted? What Next?

It has been an incredibly exciting few weeks for the BIS College & University Guidance team...


Our year 13 students have been receiving news back from universities around the world. Some news was good and some not so good.


Some US universities offer students the opportunity to stay on waitlists and this can be confusing to students. In order to demystify the college waitlist, below, you can find some information about the waitlist and what the next steps are.


What is a waitlist?


Congratulations! First and foremost, a place on the waitlist means the college liked your application. You are an admissible candidate but the college didn’t have the space to admit you in the regular pool of applications. The colleges are now waiting to see how many admitted students accept their offer by paying the deposit by May 1. If they do not fill all their places, they will go to the waitlisted students to fill these places.


So, being waitlisted means you still have a chance but everything you do from now on can either help or hurt your chances of getting in.


What’s next?


You need to decide if you want to stay on or off the waitlist. Some students may be happy with their other university options and may not want to remain on a college waitlist. If this is the case, please do let the college know. This will potentially free up a place for someone who really wants to be on the waitlist.


If you do want to remain on the waitlist you need to confirm this. The letter/email from the college will provide you with details. There will usually be a deadline to respond by. It is important at this stage to come and speak to your counsellor so we can assist in advocating for you. You may want to consider the following things:



  • What are your chances of admission? Try to find out whereabouts you are on the waitlist. Find out if there is a priority list. Find out how many waitlisted students they accepted last year etc...

  • Letter of interest - Show compelling interest and start communicating with admissions reps. You know you have met the academic requirements for the university. Now is the time to give them an update on your activities, achievements or academics since the time of application. Let them know you are still keen to attend their college if that is the case. Students who show a keen interest in enrolling can be moved from the waitlist – but remember – only include this in your statement if this is true!

  • You need to put a deposit down for another college. Typically, waitlisted students will not receive an offer until after May 1. Students are strongly encouraged to place a deposit at one of their other colleges by May 1.


It is crucial to keep your counsellor up to date so we can best assist you in the process!


Lieve Perera | University Guidance Advisor

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