Offers are in but what’s the deal with the waitlist?

April 11, 2016

This year has proven once again, that the college admissions process is far from fair and equal, a tough reality for Millennials who’s life has not yet been tainted too much by the unfair nature of big business. And so you may have a sad or grumpy high school senior on your hands.  Here are some tips to help them cope with the dreaded Waitlist – the ‘no-man’s land’ they feel they are in:

  1. Make sure you tell them that it’s all going to work out in the end.  
  • Every year I hear from parents, “we didn’t get into our first choice.” Or “we’ve been waitlisted for 5 schools.” There is no “we” in college admissions; this is about your kid, isn’t it? So put on your leadership hat, be strong, and tell them it’s all going to be ok.
  • Every year college seniors with phenomenal resumes who didn’t get into the ivies and most selective schools walk into my office well prepared to enter the workforce. In addition, I also see seniors from Yale or Georgetown or Swarthmore with mediocre resumes struggling to launch.  As the adult in the family, it is your job to let them know that no matter where they go, if they work hard and get involved in solving problems they see in front of them, they will have a great time and graduate and be happy. Oh, and that life isn’t fair!
  1. Encourage them to revisit (online and in person) some of the schools they were accepted to.
  • For 14 years I have listened to students tell me that their tour guide was awful and it sullied their impression of the school, even though it fulfilled many of their other requirements. But what happens if this school becomes one of your choices? Consider giving it another shot. Choose a sunny day and definitely go to Accepted Students Day. Your kid may see a different side and meet some of her future classmates who seem pretty cool after all!
  1. Jump onto Linkedin and help them do a search for some Alumni from the schools to which they have been accepted.
  • Sit down and read about the fantastic lives, internships and careers of Alumni from their accepted schools, to broaden their perspective. Chances are your kid has lived in the U.S. high school bubble for the past 4 years and their eyes need to be opened! Let us know if you would like us to conduct a couple of eye opening or Purpose Investigation sessions with your college bound student. You’ll be amazed how much happier they are when they feel more connected to the opportunities that lay ahead of them.
  1. Here are some additional thoughts on the subject of waitlists.
  1. And here is the ethical discussion:


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