MBA Admissions A-Z: W is for Waitlist

By - Jun 28, 02:50 AM Comments [0]

Advancing from Waitlist Limbo5 Secrets to Advancing from Waitlist Limbo

You probably have mixed emotions about being waitlisted. On the one hand, you weren't dinged and you still have a chance of gaining acceptance to your top choice school. On the other hand, you haven't been accepted yet, which means as of now, you still don't know what the future holds. That's why many feel that being waitlisted is like being in limbo – you are neither here nor there, at least not yet.

The following 5 tips will help you launch from waitlist limbo to acceptance:

  1. Read your waitlist letter carefully, looking for hints of deficiency. Some schools are better about stating straight out why you weren't accepted. For others, you'll need to read between the lines to determine where you fell short in your application. And for most, you will have to do the assessment on your own. (Or ask us; we’re happy to do it for you.)
  2. Follow the instructions. If the school says that you are welcome to send additional materials to support your candidacy, then you should absolutely do so. If they say that you should not contact them at all, then you'll need to respect their wishes and wait for them to contact you…no matter how badly you want to share new information with them.
  3. Emphasize your continued interest in the MBA program. If contact is allowed, then you should draft a short letter that thanks the school for considering your application and reiterates your desire to attend the program. Your letter should also include a brief paragraph or two on the following….
  4. Address shortcomings and tout recent achievements. If you've taken steps to ameliorate your MBA profile weakness (as determined in Step 1 above), then you should certainly include the measures you've taken to improve. If you've retaken the GMAT or enrolled in a college statistics course, for example, then you should say so. Furthermore, if you've bulked up your achievements – had an article published, launched a new business, earned a patent, received a promotion, increased your volunteer hours, etc. –share this important information with the adcom.
  5. Make your intentions clear. If you are certain that you would accept an offer if the program extended it, say so.

Remember, your letter should be short, sweet, and to the point – two pages max, one page preferred. Don't be pushy, don't be defensive, and don't beg.

Learn more must-know waitlist tips when you visit Accepted's MBA Waitlist 101 guide.

This post is part of an ongoing series, MBA Admissions A-Z, that offers applicants insightful tips on every aspect of the business school admissions process. Join us as we explore the ABCs of the MBA!

This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of

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