Waitlist essay (order an essay inexpensively)

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Waitlist Letter David Sauvage

Given that you are on the waitlist, why do you feel you should be granted admission? (As asked by my college counselor)

Columbia is still my absolute, number one, pick-of-them-all college. I intend to hold my ground here on the wait-list. If a spot does indeed open up for me, I will immediately enroll.

Columbia matches me better than any other college. I alluded to three reasons for that on my application: the core curriculum, the creative writing program, and New York.

The core curriculum for me is about background. I'm set on being a writerif only an opinionated starving novelistand for that I need focus. I need to understand the history of Literature before I can claw my way in. I need to understand Literature in the context of Art, as a historical and philosophical concept, before I can build on that concept. And I need to be around peers who feel the same way.

Of course, all the while, I will continue writing. I'll be getting better and better, as the rule "Write what you know" encompasses more and more. It will be a painful but exciting process of sharpening and deleting, retreating and reforming, shaping and attacking. I badly want teachers who understand that process; in my experience, only the very best do.

Friends of mine and fans of Columbia often say that the academics alonethe core, the writing program, the language.

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University of California – Admissions

Accessibility

Counselors

When are waitlist offers announced? When will students hear a decision?

Freshman applicants will receive waitlist offers by the end of March, with an opt-in deadline of April. Students will be notified of their final status by the end of June. 

Transfer applicants will receive waitlist offers by the end of April, with an opt-in deadline of May. Students will be notified by the end of July. 

For students who were offered and accepted a space on a waitlist at one of the campuses, can they do anything to increase their chances of selection? Are students ranked?

Whether or not a campus will offer admission to students on a waitlist depends on a number of factors, including the number of students initially offered admission who accept a space by the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline (May 1 for freshman, June 1 for transfers), and campus and department enrollment goals. There is nothing that a student should or can do other than opt-in to the waitlist by the stated deadline. Any additional information submitted that was not requested by the campus will not be considered.

The process for selecting students from the waitlist varies at each campus. A campus might have enrollment goals for a particular major, leading to the admission of students who applied to that program, but not others. Or a campus might admit broadly.

Can a student accept multiple waitlist offers?

Can students who have been admitted at one campus and waitlisted at another accept both the admission and waitlist  offer?

Yes. In fact, we highly recommend students who have been admitted to either a UC campus or another college or university accept that offer since a waitlist offer is not a guarantee of admission later.

How many students are usually admitted from the waitlists?

The number of students who are ultimately admitted varies from year to year, campus to campus. There is no way to tell how many students, if any, will ultimately be offered admission for any particular year.

Can a student who was waitlisted appeal their admission decision?

Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles and San Diego will only allow appeals from students who were denied admission. Applicants offered a waitlist space may not appeal.

Irvine will allow waitlisted applicants to appeal only if they opt-in to the waitlist. If a student’s appeal is denied, they may remain on the waitlist.

Those on the waitlist may not appeal their admission decision.

Merced and Santa Cruz are not using a waitlist for transfer admission.

Can a student who was denied admission appeal to be on the waitlist?

Applicants may not appeal to be on the waitlist.

If a student did not receive an offer of admission from any campus to which they applied, but was waitlisted by a campus, will they receive an offer from UC Merced?

Yes, this is true for freshman and transfer students, provided that the student meets all of the criteria for referral. Freshman criteria include meeting the statewide or local guarantee.

When a student is admitted off the waitlist, will the student still be guaranteed housing and receive a financial aid offer at time of admission?

Most campuses will guarantee housing for students who are admitted from their waitlist, provided students submit their SIR and housing application by the deadlines stated in the offer of admission. In all cases, campuses work with incoming students for access to on- or off-campus housing.

If a student is admitted from a campus waitlist after submitting a statement of intent to register (SIR) and deposit to another campus, can the initial deposit be refunded or transferred?

No, the SIR deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Waitlist Essays and Letters: 12 Tips to Game Them

For the first time in the eight years I’ve been helping students with their college application essays, I’ve had a flurry of requests from students asking for help with waitlist essays and letters.

What torture for them!

Most have been waiting for months and months and now they get a “maybe?”

Which really means “probably not,” but keep trying anyway. (Sorry if you didn’t know that.)

That’s what I call admissions purgatory.

At least if you are on a waitlist for your top choice school, you weren’t outright rejected.

You do still have a chance.

Colleges and universities all have their own ways to give waitlisted students opportunities to tip the decision their way.

Many schools ask students to send in a “wait list letter,” where you need to confirm your intent and update them on accomplishments or experiences you have had since they got your original application.

If they ask for this or state they accept them, do it!

You never know how many students end up going to other schools and what spots could open up. Or how many students don’t opt-in on their wait list spot at all.

Might as well get your name in the running.

Some schools are requesting full-on waitlist essays.

This year, University of California at Berkeley has been sending out the following to students on its wait list:

“You may utilize this personal essay as an opportunity to share more about yourself with the selection committee. Your essay will be considered along with your original application. There is no essay prompt; however, you may review the Wait List Frequently Asked Questions for topic ideas. Share, in 500 words or less – anything we may not have already learned about you through your application. Topics to use for the statement may include: Awards and recognition obtained since the point of application, explanation of any course changes, challenges faced since the point of application. Please remember there is no right or wrong answer, simply the opportunity to share additional information.”

Another personal essay? Talk about going through the ringer.

But if you love Cal, go for it!

Some schools don’t ask for anything further from students.

It’s your choice whether to send something if they don’t ask. I would confer with your parents, school counselor, teacher, or private college admissions counselor on figuring out the best strategy.

Again, I believe these waitlist essays and letters are cruel and unusual punishment. Many students have already waited for more than half a year!

I admire students who are willing to hang onto a thin thread of hope and put in the extra work.

I just don’t think it’s humane or fair given their slim-to-none odds.

That said…if you want to give yourself the best chance possible to get off that agonizing waitlist, here are some tips to help you craft your wait list essays or letters.

A Dozen Tips to Handle Waitlist Essays

One : Read very carefully what they ask of you in the essay or letter. Give them exactly what they ask for. Anything less or more is a risk in itself.

Two: Reply as soon as you can craft a solid response. These schools are under the gun to finalize their acceptance lists. Also, a prompt reply is a great way to express your passion.

Three: Make sure to assure them that you will attend their school if you are accepted. Be clear, firm and enthusiastic about this. It seems to work best to include this commitment at the end of your letter or essay.

Four: Only include information that is new and do not repeat what you shared in your original application.

Five: Emphasize why you are a fit for their school, and why, as opposed to spewing generalities about why they are a great school.

Six: Support the reasons that you are a fit for their school with specific details about courses, special programs, professors, facilities, location, etc.

Seven: If you were asked to explain any weaknesses in your original application, such as a lower GPA or other issues, make sure to focus on how you have worked on the problem, elaborate on your progress and share what you have learned in the process. Stay positive!

Eight: Include details on what you have to offer the school as opposed to everything the school can do for you.

Nine: As in all good writing, try to make your letter engaging and unique, especially at the start. Consider opening with one of your most interesting or unexpected updates.

Ten: Keep the tone direct and serious, but don’t shy away from making it personal. A little humor can go a long way in making your letter readable and memorable.

Eleven: Proofread your letter closely. Don’t give them any reason to think you don’t deserve the coveted spot.

Twelve: Don’t just list your updates. Even if your letter or essay is only a couple hundred words (ie short!), try to find ways to make it personal, readable and even surprising. This is literally your LAST CHANCE to stand out from the crowd. If you are considering take a bit of a risk with what you say or how you say it, I would go for it.

Here’s a simple sample outline for waitlist essays:

  1. Start with your most interesting, unique or impressive accomplishment, achievement, improvement or experience since you sent in your original application.
  2. Mention a couple others (2-3 at the most).
  3. Explain each update and what it means
  4. Share what you learned through these new accomplishments, achievements or experiences, and any way they have changed you or how you think about yourself or future.
  5. Conclude by expressing your commitment to attending that school if you are accepted.

This is just to give you some ideas.

My understanding is most waitlist letters ask for about 200 words.

I hope this helps.

Just remember that you will end up in a great school. Even if it’s not the one that waitlisted you, you should feel good about yourself for giving it your best.

It will all work out in the end!

If you found this information helpful, please consider sharing it with your friends!

Also, you can probably handle these yourself, but if you need help, I offer tutoring and editing services.

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College Waitlist Essay Help

Here is my essay (200 words):

Starting of my adult life as a student at UC Davis is an incredible opportunity. After learning of the extensive career opportunities one can gain as a student at UCD, I have confidently decided to spend the next four years of my life at this university. Being a student at this university would mean I can focus on my work when I need to, visit family whenever I want, and have fun at the various places located around the campus. My time at UC Davis would also be spent by me contributing some of my time to the school by volunteering at events, be social when it comes school spirit and overall be a hardworking individual. Davis would provide me with many opportunities to advance in computer science. UC Davis meets all my university needs with the courses it offers, the various internship and research opportunities, and social events. I believe this university will challenge me to the right amount where I can learn but still be able to maintain a social life. With technology constantly improving, this major offers more opportunities than any other, and my passion for this department of study combined Davis will lead me to success.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please let me know how it is and if you have any ideas to improve it.

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Waitlisted: Turning “Maybe” into “Yes”

There’s the thick envelope from the college admissions office bearing congratulatory news; the very thin envelope signaling rejection; and the slightly thicker thin envelope with a post card enclosed explaining that the admission people have not rendered a final decision on your application. Welcome to Wait List Limbo Land.

Waiting in limbo need not be a passive activity. Many savvy applicants have launched successful campaigns to gain admission.

The first step is to understand the wait list situation.

All colleges and universities desire a full entering class. The school’s financial health is dependent on revenue from students. In order to avoid an oversubscribed situation with crowded dorms and classrooms, admissions officers tend to conservatively estimate yield (percentage of admitted students who will enroll) when deciding how many students to admit. Yield varies from year to year, and can fluctuate significantly based on student preferences, the economy, and the availability of financial aid. When yield is less than projected, admissions officers turn to their wait lists to fill the incoming class.

The wait list contains a pool of qualified students to draw from to replace admitted applicants who chose to enroll elsewhere. The protocol at most schools is for wait listed students to complete a post card indicating their desire to remain on the wait list. Some schools encourage students to send in a letter indicating their interest, along with any additional information for their file that they wish to add. Some schools rank their wait listed candidates, while others do not.

For most colleges the deadline for regularly admitted students to notify the school of their intentions is around May 1, after which admission officers reconvene to discuss yield and decide on the wait list.

Since most colleges are concerned about yield (a proxy for selectivity, and a component of many popular college rankings), admissions people tend to favor applicants considered likely to enroll if admitted. This is especially true when it comes to the wait list, where the yield can be managed to approach one hundred percent.

While politely demonstrating sincere interest and providing updates often helps, tread carefully because going overboard can diminish your chances. Brainstorming strategy with your school guidance counselor is a good idea. In addition to providing helpful advice, your counselor may be willing to contact the school’s admissions office to find out potentially helpful information and/or to write an additional letter of reference letter on your behalf, highlighting other aspects of your candidacy.

Many colleges state that they do not require any additional information. However, students who send well-written letters assuring admission officers that they will enroll, if admitted, in general stand a better chance. For those who do not need financial aid, clarifying and reinforcing your lack of need for the institution’s financial resources, can be helpful. Full pay students are often preferred when admitting students from the wait list. An offer to visit campus for an interview can be helpful too. Successful candidates often provide updates on their second-semester senior grades, awards, and other achievements. If you are a strong athlete, musician, artist, or performer, contacting the coach or director may also help. Another strategy, when appropriate, is to follow-up with your alumni or on-campus interviewer, or with an admissions officer if you built a relationship during the admissions process. The regional recruiter for your area, in the school’s admissions office, can be an excellent point of contact. A well-timed, and well-received, telephone call to the admissions office can increase your chances.

Some schools go on record with the number of students on their wait list, while others do not. Judging from the size of the list, past yield, and class size, you can get a sense of your odds. Usually they are not very good. At some prestigious colleges and universities the wait lists are very large and relatively few students are admitted. It’s been speculated that it is not unusual for these schools to place qualified, but unremarkable children of alumni, or those recommended by influential people, on the wait list for courtesy or development purposes. Depending on their qualifications, these candidates may not be real contenders and may have a lower probability of admission than others on the wait list.

Whatever you do, do not make a pest of yourself, flooding the admissions office with irrelevant updates and questions. Bribery is also considered taboo. Generally, it also does not make sense to visit the campus hoping to meet with an admissions officer. Sometimes, however, a planned visited to campus can be helpful.

While some students seek creative opportunities to stand out from other waitlisted applicants, they run the risk of doing something considered childish or inappropriate that could dim their chances completely.

While most students are admitted off of the wait list in May and June, it is not unheard of to be accepted much later, even on registration day. Most schools advise students on the wait list to commit to another school, even if it means sending in a deposit to another college, and to only remain on the wait list if they are seriously interested.

Finally, while your parents may be key members of your college planning and admission team, it is best for the student to be their own advocate when seeking admission from the wait list. Mom or Dad should not be the ones communicating with the admissions office.

University of California – Admissions

Accessibility

Counselors

When are waitlist offers announced? When will students hear a decision?

Freshman applicants will receive waitlist offers by the end of March, with an opt-in deadline of April. Students will be notified of their final status by the end of June. 

Transfer applicants will receive waitlist offers by the end of April, with an opt-in deadline of May. Students will be notified by the end of July. 

For students who were offered and accepted a space on a waitlist at one of the campuses, can they do anything to increase their chances of selection? Are students ranked?

Whether or not a campus will offer admission to students on a waitlist depends on a number of factors, including the number of students initially offered admission who accept a space by the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline (May 1 for freshman, June 1 for transfers), and campus and department enrollment goals. There is nothing that a student should or can do other than opt-in to the waitlist by the stated deadline. Any additional information submitted that was not requested by the campus will not be considered.

The process for selecting students from the waitlist varies at each campus. A campus might have enrollment goals for a particular major, leading to the admission of students who applied to that program, but not others. Or a campus might admit broadly.

Can a student accept multiple waitlist offers?

Can students who have been admitted at one campus and waitlisted at another accept both the admission and waitlist  offer?

Yes. In fact, we highly recommend students who have been admitted to either a UC campus or another college or university accept that offer since a waitlist offer is not a guarantee of admission later.

How many students are usually admitted from the waitlists?

The number of students who are ultimately admitted varies from year to year, campus to campus. There is no way to tell how many students, if any, will ultimately be offered admission for any particular year.

Can a student who was waitlisted appeal their admission decision?

Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles and San Diego will only allow appeals from students who were denied admission. Applicants offered a waitlist space may not appeal.

Irvine will allow waitlisted applicants to appeal only if they opt-in to the waitlist. If a student’s appeal is denied, they may remain on the waitlist.

Those on the waitlist may not appeal their admission decision.

Merced and Santa Cruz are not using a waitlist for transfer admission.

Can a student who was denied admission appeal to be on the waitlist?

Applicants may not appeal to be on the waitlist.

If a student did not receive an offer of admission from any campus to which they applied, but was waitlisted by a campus, will they receive an offer from UC Merced?

Yes, this is true for freshman and transfer students, provided that the student meets all of the criteria for referral. Freshman criteria include meeting the statewide or local guarantee.

When a student is admitted off the waitlist, will the student still be guaranteed housing and receive a financial aid offer at time of admission?

Most campuses will guarantee housing for students who are admitted from their waitlist, provided students submit their SIR and housing application by the deadlines stated in the offer of admission. In all cases, campuses work with incoming students for access to on- or off-campus housing.

If a student is admitted from a campus waitlist after submitting a statement of intent to register (SIR) and deposit to another campus, can the initial deposit be refunded or transferred?

No, the SIR deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

MBA Waitlist

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  • What do you need help with?
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Congratulations! You’ve been waitlisted to a top-tier business school! You may feel bummed that you didn’t get the instant acceptance you had hoped for, but the good news is that you haven’t been rejected either. The other good news is that there are concrete steps you can take that may tip those scales in your favor and transform your waitlist status into acceptance.

The following resources provide waitlisted applicants with tips on how to write winning business school waitlist updates, advice on how to secure stellar letters of support, and do’s and don’ts during the waitlist process.

General Advice

  1. Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!, a podcast episode
  2. Waitlisted. Now What?
  3. When to Give Up Your Acceptance in Hopes for “Greener” Pastures
  4. What Should You Do When You’re Waitlisted Without Feedback?

Waitlist Letter Tips

View our catalog of MBA waitlist services to receive individualized assistance during every step of the waitlist process.

“I’m circling back to let you know that I got in off the Yale SOM waitlist with the Round 3 admits today.

Thanks for your good thoughts on my update letter and your strategy pointers for additional recommendations, my school visit, etc. I am delighted to be able to share the great news with you!”

Waitlisted? Here's What To Do Next

Acceptances are rolling in, but you still haven’t heard from your first–choice school. Then it happens. You get waitlisted.

We know it seems unfair, after all your hard work, for a college to say, “No, but if something opens up, we’ll let you know.” It’s an emotionally rocky time, and this type of uncertainty doesn’t help. Should you rest your hopes on a long-shot? Commit to your #2 school? Here are some strategies that will help you chart your next move.

College Waitlist Strategies

1. Keep Communication Open

If you really want to attend a school that waitlisted you, communicate that message quickly and clearly.

Write a letter or email and ask that it be included in your file. You should state in no uncertain terms (assuming you mean it) that if you are accepted, you will without question attend. It’s important to mention specific reasons why you continue to believe the school is the best fit for you.

Request an interview , even if you interviewed with the school already. Face time can make a difference. Use this opportunity to showcase your most recent accomplishments (awards or quarterly grades) and to reiterate your commitment to attend the school if chosen.

Most importantly: do not let your GPA slip even a bit. Work with a tutor if you need to get your senior year grades up.

2. Put Down a Deposit at Another School

If you are put on the waitlist, you’re at the mercy of the college. You can’t be sure if they will or will not call upon you, and you may not hear either way until after the deposit deadline at your second choice (most likely May 1, “Decision Day”). Hold out hope, but put down that deposit. You might wind up losing it if you’re later admitted to, and choose to attend the school that waitlisted you. But if you don’t put down a deposit and you don’t get off the waitlist, you’ll find it very hard to enroll anywhere, even at schools that initially accepted you.

3. Consider Re-Taking the SAT or ACT

Check with the admissions office to see if the college will accept additional application materials, including final grades or new test scores. If you submitted either SAT or ACT scores with your college application, you may want to give the other test a try. We’re seeing increasing numbers of students submit scores on both tests.

4. Be Persistent

You might feel tempted to take a year off from academics altogether and apply to your first-choice school again next year. We caution against this route! It is easier to transfer to the school of your choice from a less prestigious school than to start again from scratch (even if you spend your year off doing something productive and character-building). Your best option is to attend your second-choice school for a year or two and work diligently. Earn good grades in challenging courses.

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