Guest Column

Wait List Frenzy: How to Choose a College

Nicole Oringer, Ivy Educational Services

With so many students applying online  - and hundreds of colleges using the Common /Coalition/Universal Application, students can apply to more schools simply by clicking the “send” button.  

The result of multiple applications? Wait lists. The reason? How do admissions offices know how many students to admit when they don’t know who will accept them? So, they wait list. The wait list, by the way, is the school’s way of saying that you are completely a qualified candidate and admissible…but that we want to see how many accept our offer of admission before we go to the wait list.

High school students awaiting to hear from their dream schools sometimes find themselves on Wait Lists.

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What is a college-bound senior to do when wait listed?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Decide if you want to remain on the wait list and fill out any pertinent forms. Carefully read the directions that the school sends about their wait lists.
  • Deposit at a university or college to which you've been admitted and get excited for that school, as you never know what will happen with wait lists. (Make sure that you don't "double deposit," however. It is against the rules.)
  • At the same time, if you still want to attend a school to which you've been wait listed, advocate for yourself by writing letters/emails to admissions. Keep them posted on third marking period grades, any new accomplishments, and how much you want to attend their school. Start communicating with the university's NJ reps.

Students: How to make a decision with multiple acceptances?

1. Attend "Accepted Student Days" and review what colleges have to offer.

2. Visit the career websites of colleges so that you can be a "consumer." Find out where graduates obtained jobs, where they are going to grad school, AND realize that when colleges give statistics on the number of students with jobs, it's often for those who responded to the survey, so find that out as well!

3. Remember that there are four kinds of college fit criteria: academic, social, financial, and career.

Here are some helpful consumer websites:

The college websites themselves and Facebook are great sources of information as well. We have also noted an increase in blogging amongst admitted students to various colleges and universities.

It is very important to compare four-year graduation rates and here's a helpful site:

Editor's Note: Nicole Oringer is Founder and Partner of Ivy Educational Services

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

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