College Admissions

How to Navigate the College Waitlist Process

How to Navigate the College Waitlist Process

It’s a bittersweet moment for parents and children. While your child has gained acceptance to some of the colleges they’ve applied to, they may have also been placed on another school’s waitlist. For many families, this is new territory, and you might be unsure of how to navigate the college waitlist process — especially if the college is your child’s top choice. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of steps you and your child can take to make the process easier and less stressful.

What to Do If You’ve Been Put on a College Waitlist

A question many parents and prospective students ask after receiving a college waitlist notice is, “What do I do now?” The answer is you can start with the following steps:

  • Recognize your success: For many children, finding themselves waitlisted is disheartening. It’s vital that you remind them of their success, however, as the college has not actually denied them and many students do indeed get accepted off a waitlist. It’s not unusual for slots to open as other students decline and move onto other offers, which could make your child’s waitlist experience brief.
  • Contact the admission office: The wait-list letter should include contact information for the admissions office so go ahead and reach out with a few questions such as: How does the school rank its waitlist? What is your status on the list? How long is the list? In most cases, the admissions team will let you know where you stand, giving you a better idea of your wait time.
  • Emphasize your skills: If your child is passionate about this school, it is entirely appropriate to express your desire to attend the college. Go ahead and brag! Send an email emphasizing your desire to attend the college and emphasize the qualities that make you stand out as a student. You can request an interview, for instance, and establish a personal contact at the college. The student should also remain committed to their current studies because mid-semester grades will be evaluated.
  • Make your plan: While you wait for a decision off a waitlist, you may have to go ahead and commit to another school, especially if the May 1st deadline is approaching. The worst-case scenario is you lose your deposit if your child ultimately gets into their dream school!

Prepare for the Future With Ecliptic Financial Advisors, Inc.

At Ecliptic Financial Advisors, we understand the uncertainty that a college waitlist brings. We also recognize the opportunity it offers, too, providing your family the chance — and time — to develop your college funding strategies. Our knowledgeable team can help you plan for the future and make your child’s education financially feasible through workshops and one-on-one consultations.

Learn more about our services by contacting us today, or register for one of our upcoming workshops in New Jersey.