What to Do When You’re Waitlisted without Feedback

It is true: The world would be a better place if all b-schools offered application feedback to their waitlisted applicants. But alas, few do, and life goes on. If you’ve been waitlisted feedback-less, then the following advice will help you tip the scales in your favor and turn that waitlist status into the acceptance you deserve.

1.     Complete your own application assessment.

Why wasn’t your application stacked on the top of the “instant admit” pile? Why are the adcom readers hesitating? Evaluating your application objectively will help you determine which additional information will help increase your chances of acceptance off the waitlist (including items 2 and 3 below).

2.     Let the school know that you’re working hard to ameliorate your weaknesses.

For instance, if you had a bad semester in a college Econ class drag down your GPA, then enroll in a college Econ class and inform your target program about it. If your leadership skills are on the weak side, then let the school know that you’ve taken a stronger leadership role at work or in a volunteer capacity.

3.     Update the program of any recent developments.

If you’ve published an article, increased your community service responsibilities, or received a promotion at work, then you should tell your target school about it, provided they are open to updates.

4.     Be considerate.

Compile the above information into a short, respectful letter. Adcom readers are likely to just glance over super long letters, writing them off as application spam. To receive the readers’ full attention, write a succinct letter that they’ll actually want to read.

5.     Do what you’re told.

If your target school asks waitlisted applicants to submit updated information, then you should jump at the chance to provide them with the relevant documents (as suggested above). If, on the other hand, you’re told not to contact the school at all, then you should do just that: not contact the school at all. Sending in unrequested info, even if it shows the extremely impressive initiatives or improvements you’ve made since submitting your application, will work against you, not in your favor.

6.     Don’t stalk the adcom.

I hope this point is obvious. Even if additional information is welcome, flooding the adcom with rude or persistent phone calls or emails is never welcome.

Please see MBA Waitlist 101 for more resources on how to get off the waitlist and into your target MBA program. And if you would like to access the expertise of someone who has helped applicants get accepted from the waitlist, please explore Accepted’s MBA Waitlist Advising Services.

By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and author of MBA Admission for Smarties, the premier admissions consultancy and essay editing company that has helped applicants around the world gain admissions to over 450+ top schools since 1994. Visit Acccepted.com for all your MBA admissions consulting needs today!

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