There is however another possibility, one that for some is worse than the rejection letter… the dreaded waitlist! For some, college acceptance letters are hardly black and white, they can be a painful, confusing, frustrating shade of grey as they must decide whether or not to go to another college or try their luck at remaining on that waitlist.
The reality is that most of those waitlisted students will not end up getting into the school that placed them on that list. As an example, Trinity College in Connecticut has hundreds of students on the waitlist each year and last year only 30 students from that list were eventually accepted; the year before that no one was taken from the list, and in 2011 over 100 students were accepted from the list. College admissions officers say that students should treat a waitlist letter like the lottery. If it comes through, great! But don’t plan on it.
So what can students do to help their chances of getting off the waitlist? Admissions officers say that students and parents should avoid personal phone calls, promises of gifts, and anything else which could be seen as unprofessional. These are academic institutions, and any actions taken by prospective students or their parents which are unprofessional or foolish will result in the student being removed from consideration.
Jessica Marinaccio of Columbia University says that students should send a brief letter affirming their interest in the school and updating the school on the progress of their senior year. Students should absolutely avoid extra letters of recommendation or any other supplementary materials.