We're on the Waitlist - Now What?

It's notification day and you’ve just learned that you were placed on your favorite school's waitlist. It is understandable for you to feel disappointed and confused. However, there's no time to be discouraged because there’s still a possibility for you to be admitted to your favorite school. I am sure you are wondering “Now, what?” Well, let’s figure it out together.

What does it mean to be on a waitlist?

Receiving a waitlist notification isn't the worst decision to happen. Generally speaking, the admissions team saw something they really enjoyed learning about your family, but the class has been filled. Being given a spot on the waitlist means that your child met the criteria for admission and there is still a chance to receive an offer. They will be actively monitoring their waitlist to fill their class.

How long will I remain on a waitlist?

It depends and, to manage expectations, schools will not likely be able to provide you with a definitive timeline. Some school’s waitlist continue to be active through the spring and sometimes into the summer. You never know - families that have been accepted already may relocate or simply change their mind, so remain positive!

How should I respond to a waitlist notification?

Communicate with the admissions office that you wish to remain on the waitlist, immediately. During that conversation, ask them how frequently you can plan to check in with them. You don’t want to overwhelm the team with the same inquiry, but you do want to indicate your strong interest. Temper your desire to reach out everyday. I recommend setting reminders to check in every two- three weeks.

What if I accept a spot at another school, should I decline the waitlist offer?

If you decide to accept a spot at another school or do not want to remain on the waitlist, you should communicate this immediately to the admissions office of that school.  However, circumstances can change and it is possible that you may receive a phone call from your preferred school that originally placed you on the waitlist. While it isn't great practice to renege on your first acceptance, this is a big decision so you should attend a school you feel is the best for your family.  It is important to note that if you previously put a deposit down to a school that has accepted you, you will lose that deposit if you decide to enroll elsewhere.

Take a deep breath - waitlists do move.

Should you have more questions about school waitlists and how to navigate admissions decisions, please contact The Lorraine Method here.

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