How to Write College Waitlist and Appeals Letters


If you're a senior, you've probably been receiving some highly anticipated emails over the last week or two!

We hope you've gotten some exciting news and are already dreaming of what the next year will be like attending your dream college! But if this year's admissions results have left you feeling disappointed, read on -- there is still something you can do if you want to attend a school where you've been waitlisted or denied.

If you've been waitlisted at a college, and you'd definitely attend if you got in off the waitlist, then you need to write a waitlist letter. And if you've been denied at your dream college, and you're desperate to be reconsidered, then you should write an appeal letter.

Before you do, though, make sure you understand the chances that your letter will work!

The chances of getting into a college after being waitlisted depend on the college, and you should definitely look up the statistics for the school you're interested in. They are, however, pretty low all around.

You should never rely on getting in off a waitlist; put down a deposit at another school and get used to the idea of going there.

If you get in off the waitlist, it should be a nice surprise, not something you're counting on. That said, writing a waitlist letter is a must if you are serious about attending that college if admitted.

An appeal letter is even less likely to work.

In general, appeal letters only result in admission if there was a mistake made in the initial evaluation of your application. But if it's your dream college and you want to make sure that you've attempted everything when trying to get in, then you've got nothing to lose by writing an appeal letter!

Waitlist letters and appeal letters are, at their core, pretty similar.

The main difference will be in your opening paragraphs. For a waitlist letter, express that you'd definitely attend if you get in off the waitlist. For an appeal letter, you'll need to politely ask the admissions committee to re-evaluate your application.

From there, you should show the admissions committee anything that wasn't in your previous application that you think could help your chances of admission. That could be your most recent grades, new awards you've earned this semester, or big extracurricular achievements since you submitted your application.

Throughout the letter, maintain a positive and polite attitude!

You're trying to convince them that you'd be an asset to their school and that you'd definitely attend if admitted. Work in a few mentions of your passion for the school, and talk about how you think you could contribute there.

Remember to format your letter as a formal letter, with the date, your address, and the recipient's address at the top. End your letter by thanking them for their consideration and reiterating how much you'd love to attend their college.

Will it work?

Will you suddenly be admitted to a school that had previously rejected you? Well, as we said above, probably not. But there's always a chance, however small, that it will work.

And if you truly love a college, don't you want to try everything?

If you've attempted to write a waitlist or appeal letter and you're still struggling, we can help! Our counselors have plenty of experience with these letters, and we'd be happy to assist you with yours. Just email or call us to set up an appointment today!

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