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The Tuesday Q&A: My Dream Schools Waitlisted Me, But…

January 22, 2013 :: Admissionado Team

MBA FAQ, MBA frequently asked questions, bschool questions, mba questionsQuestion:

Well, I’ve heard back from most of my R1 apps, and I got waitlisted at my dream schools. But, I also got accepted into my safety schools. So, what do I do?


Oooo, I LOVE this question. Believe it or not, this is the first time we’ve gotten this question from someone who isn’t a client! Time to do a bit of strategy…

What  should you do? Well, if you ask me (and you are), you go to the best school you can get into! You’ve got some (presumably) good schools that want you to attend right now, so put down your deposit at the best safety school you got into.  CONGRATS!  YOU’RE DONE!

Now, you can try to do better.  Send a note to your dream school and tell them the whoooole story.  “Gosh, I got into all these great programs, like A, B, and C.  But I gotta tell ya, I’d rather go to YOUR school.”

Now, tell ’em all the COOL stuff that you’ve done since you applied the first time. “This isn’t just me again, this is the ‘NEW AND IMPROVED’ me. And this is why you should take me off the waitlist and offer me a spot…”

Now, keep in touch with them, until the bitter end… that’s right, peeps, all the way to September 1.   “Yep, you remember me!  I’m enrolled now at School C because it’s a great school, but say the word and I can STILL come to your school.  Just say the word, and I guarantee I will go.  Not too late for me, no sir.”

What’s the key here? Use your offer as leverage.  “See?  I am good enough for ALL these other great schools.  All I need now is YOU to let me in, you can COUNT on me! Put me in, Coach!” Believe it or not, those acceptances to your safety schools are part of your appeal. It’s just like the market: demand increases desirability. Demand for you is going up, so maybe your dream schools will take a second look at you and say, “Hey, this dude’s more badass than we originally thought!”

And, worse comes to worst, you’re STILL in one of your safety schools, so you’re not standing out in the cold with no place to go in the fall.

–Jon Frank