Jay Mathews of The Washington Post had some great advice today for those on the wait list for their favorite college. I thought I'd pass the advice along to you:
There are at least 300 colleges and universities with all the resources of the well-known schools mentioned above. Most of them have wait lists and admit students from them. As the May 1 deadline for making a choice looms, there is a way to increase your chances of being one of those picked. I have been sharing this strategy with the wait-listed children of friends for 20 years. So far it has worked every time.
Accept admission to whatever you consider the best fit among the schools that accepted you. Then tell the one you still want to keep you on its wait list. Ask its admission office for the name of the staffer deputized to communicate with people in your situation, and write a letter.
Tell the admissions officer in the first paragraph that the college is still your first choice, and you want to explain in detail why that is. Give three reasons, spending at least a paragraph on each, why the school matches your dreams. Perhaps the well-respected English department suits your desire to write and teach great literature. Maybe the chemistry department was mentioned often during your summer internship at a local lab.
Then identify three of your personal strengths you think would enhance the school. Perhaps your experience at food drives fits its work in the local community. Maybe your design ideas match what’s happening in the art department. Explain what you and the school can do together. You have shown not only that you want the college, but why. That can have a powerful effect.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.