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You’re Waitlisted for College—Now What?

If you are on the waitlist and need tips, check out this guest blog post from Temeka Easter, Director of Social Media at Sallie Mae. Please note that College Prep Ready was compensated by Sallie Mae for the content in this post.

A waitlist letter can be both hopeful and discouraging. It indicates that you met the admission requirements, but the college doesn’t know yet whether or not they’ll be able to admit you. If a spot becomes available, you may be offered a place. But what should you do in the meantime?

1. Review any conditions attached to being waitlisted. For example, since you’ll be notified later than other applicants, you might have fewer housing or financial aid options. The good news—it’s not too late to look for free money! You can search for scholarships through the free Scholarship Search by Sallie Mae®.

2. Decide whether to wait for the college that waitlisted you. If you’re really interested in that college, then you may decide to stay on the list. But if you think you’d be just as happy somewhere else, you may be less stressed if you choose a college where you were accepted and move on.

3. Be proactive. If you decide to stay on the waitlist, you can boost your chances of being accepted by staying in contact with the admissions office—let them know why you want to attend and why you’re a good fit.

4. Get to know the college you committed to. You can talk to students and alumnae and revisit the college that you already committed to. You may rediscover some of the reasons why you applied to this school and may decide you’ll be happier with this option over your waitlisted college.

While it’s easy to get discouraged by being waitlisted, don’t forget that you’ve already achieved something. You were waitlisted, not rejected! We have some free college planning tools that can help you figure out how to pay for college, either at your waitlisted college or one you’ve already been accepted to. Visit for more information.

If you know students or families preparing for college who need scholarships, share these tips and strategies!

About the author

Ashley Hill is a Scholarship Search Strategist who is passionate about teaching stressed and overwhelmed corporate moms how to pay less for their college bound child’s college education so that they can help their children to get into their best-fit college with ease. She is the author of The Ultimate Guide for Finding and Winning More Money for College Now and The Ultimate Guide for Finding and Winning More Money for College Now: Nursing Edition.

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