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Higher Education in Maryland

March 2006 Press Release




Gaining admission from a waiting list is difficult but not impossible



Annapolis, MD (March 13, 2006) -- Okay, so the college essay is written, the application is done and the transcripts are all in, but what happens when you hear from a college that the answer is neither yes nor no? You have been put on the waiting list.

What does that mean? Well, it means you have another decision to make. Should you hold out hope for being selected from the waiting list or concentrate your energy on other college choices?

If you receive notification that you are being placed on a waiting list, weigh your options. You may receive an acceptance letter from your second or third college choice. The odds of moving from waiting list to acceptance are slim, but not out of the question. But, if you did not apply to another college, you might do that now.

“We encourage students to look seriously at the other colleges while they are waiting,” said Dr. Calvin W. Burnett, Secretary, Maryland Higher Education Commission. “With college applicants facing some of the toughest competition for college admission ever, waiting lists are commonplace, but students who are put on a waiting list need to face the reality that only a small percentage of those students are accepted.”

Overall, colleges and universities rarely publish the size of their waiting list so you may have no idea how many other students are on the list with you competing for a small number of openings. If you receive notification that you are being placed on a waiting list, contact the school and inquire how many other students are on the list and ask how many students from last year’s list ultimately got accepted.

About the only proactive thing you can do is contact the admissions office and express why you want to attend that particular institution. This probably will be your last chance to impress, so make it good!


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