So, you’ve been waitlisted.

Not the ideal situation but not entirely bad news. Being on the waitlist means you still have a real chance of getting in. According to a report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), schools accepted 20% of waitlisted students on average. While you can’t guarantee you’ll be accepted off the waitlist, there are a few things you can and should do that may help your chances of getting in.

Commit to Staying on the Waitlist

When you receive notice of being waitlisted, the school will ask for confirmation whether you’re still interested in attending or not so they can narrow down the pool of waitlisted students. If you still want to be considered for admission, be sure to complete any other steps the school requires to remain on the waitlist. If you’re hoping to get accepted, this is a mandatory step.

Update Your Application

Hopefully you’ve been making the most of your senior year and have accomplishments and awards to add to your résumé. If that’s the case, definitely let the school know about your new accolades. Will Geiger, a former counselor at Hopkins School in Connecticut, says it’s worth sending an update for a wide variety of achievements—from being named captain of a sports team to starting an internship. You never know what might move the needle.

Submit More Recommendations

An extra recommendation or two could make your application stand out from the pile of waitlisted candidates. Sarah Hall, a high school counselor at Whitefish Bay High School in Wisconsin, points out that when you initially applied to the school, you likely asked for recommendations from teachers you knew from earlier in your high school career. By this point in your senior year, you should have stronger relationships with your current teachers who can offer a more up-to-date perspective on you. You can also get recommendations from nonacademic contacts like your coach or employer to supplement your application.

Get in Touch

Personal relationships can make a real difference in terms of getting more information on the waitlist situation and could help your acceptance chances, says Camille Crites, an associate director of admissions at Syracuse University. She suggests reaching out to your admissions officer directly if you know them. If you interviewed with someone at the school, she says to reach out to them as well. If you haven’t had direct contact with anyone at the school yet, that’s fine. Still get in touch with the admissions office. “Write a thoughtful note elaborating on you wanting to attend the school,” Geiger says. “If the school is your first choice and you would attend in a heartbeat if admitted, I would also mention that.”

Talk to Your Counselor

Your high school counselor can be a useful resource when you get waitlisted. They can help you hone your strategy for improving your acceptance chances. Jenna Sauer, a high school counselor at the Academy of Law and Public Safety in New Jersey, says that depending on the circumstances, a counselor may also be able to call the school to advocate for the waitlisted student.

Getting waitlisted is a frustrating experience. You’re so close, yet it still feels so far away. Try not to let the frustration get the best of you. If this school is the right fit and you still want to attend, then do all you can to improve your chances of getting off that waitlist.

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