And Now. . . We Wait.

Many seniors applying to schools across America will be introduced to a singular phenomenon in the world of college admissions: the waiting list.

Waiting lists, usually utilized by top-tier private universities, are exactly what they sound like.  They are lists of applicants who meet the university’s academic criteria for admission, but, because all available spots have been filled, cannot be immediately accepted.

Spots are then offered to wait-listed students only if space becomes available.  When this happens, the chosen applicant will have to decide very quickly whether or not to accept the position, lest it be offered to someone else.

Waiting lists can be very tricky.  Due to the increase in application volume over the past couple of years, many colleges are offering even more spots on waiting lists than should be reasonably available.  Because of the nature of these lists, student facing this predicament need to keep a number of things in mind.  Most notably: how badly do you want to go to this particular institution?

If the answer is, “very badly,” then you should be prepared to stay in active communication with the university.  Letter writing, second interviews and constant involvement with the university is extremely important.  You want your name to always be shuffling around the top of the stack.

If the answer is anything less than “very badly,” then it might be wise to reevaluate the colleges to which you have been accepted.  There is something to be said for the amount of gratification that is gained simply from knowing.  And as long as you have worked hard and stayed selective with your colleges of choice, then any college smart enough to have you will be worth your hard work and precious time.

For more information about the very detailed world of college waiting lists, feel free to contact our All-in-One Applications experts at (713) 256-1004, or e-mail your questions to