You’ve been waitlisted at your first-choice boarding school. Now what?
Similar to colleges, many boarding schools have a part of the admission decision process called waitlisting. This typically means that an applicant is qualified to attend the school, but there aren’t enough spaces available. While you may not have received an acceptance to the school yet, you might after the first round of acceptances are processed. Not every student accepted in the first round will enroll; many students apply to multiple schools, so must choose the right boarding school. That means, schools may have spots available at a later date.
So what should you do when you're waitlisted at boarding school? Here are four tips:
Let your first-choice school know you are still interested.
It’s important to make sure the school knows you are serious about wanting to enroll. Make sure to write them a note telling them you’re still interested. Remind the admission office of why you might be a great fit for the school, and why the school is your first choice. Be specific: mention the programs that matter most to you. If there are events for accepted students, ask if you can attend, just in case you get off the waitlist.
But make sure you don't go overboard. There's no need to contact them daily. Just let them know you're interested and why you're a good fit.
Sometimes, it can take a while for new enrollment positions to open up. Unless the school has given you specific instructions to follow in terms of communicating with them in this limbo period, check in with the admission office periodically. Make sure you don’t hound them, but gently remind the admission office of your interest in attending and ask about the potential for getting off the waiting list.
Have a back-up plan
There’s always the chance that you may not make it off the waiting list, and you don’t want to jeopardize your chances of attending another great boarding school where you’ve been accepted. Talk to the admission office at your second-choice school, and let them know you’re still making decisions. Make sure you’re aware of deadlines for enrollment contracts so that you don’t lose your spot while waiting. Communicate with both your first-choice school where you’ve been waitlisted, and your second-choice school where you’ve been accepted, so that you know where you stand in the admission process, and what each school needs from you.
Notify other schools as quickly as possible
As soon as you know if you’re getting off the waiting list at your top school, notify your second-choice school. Just as you were at your first-choice school, there may be a student who has been waitlisted at your second-choice school hoping another spot will open up.