The Dude wrote:
I just finished reading you E-book, "Nine Mistakes...etc."; I found it to be very informative and plan to use it to devise a wait list strategy. I have a contact on the board of the school where I am currently wait listed. What is the best way to utilize such a contact and, in your opinion, how valuable is this contact?
I called the admissions office as soon as I opened the envelope on Friday, and left a message concerning my situation; they encouraged me to contact the school to discuss why I was put on the wait list. What is the best way to follow up on this? I hope this wasn't a mistake.
Finally, you recomend in your book that I communicate to the school that, if admitted, I will undoubtedly attend. Should I let them know that it is the only school I have applied, and that if I am not admitted, I will plan to reapply for 2007?
Sorry for the long post.
I will be answering for Linda. When you say "a contact on the board" I assume you don't mean someone who's offered to go to bat for you, but rather someone you know casually who's "personalized" the admissions process for you (maybe you chatted after an info session, etc.). Is this correct? If it's the latter, I would not ask them to do anything for me; that could easily backfire. If it is a stronger and more personal relationship I would tread very, very carefully and, again, would not directly ask the person to intercede for you. This person's professional ethics should prevent them from influencing the admissions process in your favor just on the basis of the personal relationship.
It was not a mistake to contact the admissions office for feedback on your status. Try to find out what you can but of course don't be pushy about it. This is where your contact could perhaps help you, by providing you with specific info on your application's weaknesses so you can act on it in your wait-list
campaign. But you might get all the feedback you need just by following up on your initial contact.
I would not tell the school that you will reapply if they ding you--they may take you up on that. Whether you tell them that they are the only school you've applied to depends on your reasons for singling them out. If they are good, substantive reasons related to their strengths or if you have some personal situation that requires you to stay in the school's area then I would tell them. If you come across sounding like you imprudently put all your eggs in one basket and can't really explain why, that could hurt you.
Your wait-list letters obviously need to respond to the feedback the school gives you.
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