Contacting School or Interviewer after being waitlisted/rejected?

Mar 3, 2012
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Medical Student
Hi All,

Many sighs.

So.. I recently got waitlisted by my first choice school (also my alma mater) which was really odd to me given that I am in state and have far above average stats for the school and that my interview seemed to go really well. I really have no idea where I went wrong.. :(

I know that med admissions are sometimes a major crapshoot, but is it ridiculous idea to contact the school or interviewer and ask what went wrong or what I could do in the future to improve my app (if I don't get in anywhere else).

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm really really lost right now :/
 
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d12

Nov 20, 2012
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I wouldn't ask what went wrong unless you were rejected. As long as you are waitlisted I would try to avoid any conversations with admissions that focus on weak spots in your application/interview. If they're your top choice keep up with updates when appropriate and a letter of intent after a little time has passed.
 

PreMedOrDead

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I wouldn't ask what went wrong unless you were rejected. As long as you are waitlisted I would try to avoid any conversations with admissions that focus on weak spots in your application/interview. If they're your top choice keep up with updates when appropriate and a letter of intent after a little time has passed.
Not always true. Depending on the school, some have very strict wait list rankings. In these cases you can be quite aware of your odds of getting accepted once you get your rank. If you fall short of a good rank, I think it'd be fine to contact admissions about weaknesses. Of course, only if they're receptive.
 
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lollerskater
Mar 3, 2012
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Medical Student
I believe that they don't reject anyone post interview, but rather waitlist all of those not accepted initially. I just legitimately wonder what went wrong after (what I thought was) a good interview and a LizzyM score 9 points higher than the average at the school. It's really frightening
 
Jan 14, 2013
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I would only contact them if you are sincerely interested in potential weaknesses. Asking them what went wrong will not improve your chances of getting off the waitlist with this school. That being said, do you feel as if you won't get an acceptance from any other school? If not, not much can be lost from being as inquisitive as possible so as to improve your chances for future application cycles.

I'm sorry it hasn't been working out for you so far. I know how stressful the admissions cycle can be, but persevere and your qualifications will benefit you in the end.
 

BABSstudent

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I believe that they don't reject anyone post interview, but rather waitlist all of those not accepted initially. I just legitimately wonder what went wrong after (what I thought was) a good interview and a LizzyM score 9 points higher than the average at the school. It's really frightening
Was it a closed, open, or semi-open file interview?
 

PreMedOrDead

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Was it a closed, open, or semi-open file interview?
Just curious, how would that be relevant? Can't be implying that his scores were too high...
 
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Jan 12, 2011
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I got rejected at the first school I interviewed at. I was able to set up an appointment and the Dean of admissions told me exactly what I had done wrong and exactly why I was rejected. I was surprised they were so upfront.

They didn't tell me exactly which questions I'd fudged in the interview, but they told me a general reason WHY I had fudged them (didn't get specific enough answers). They also told me my GPA was the straw that broke the camel's back - I'd have otherwise been waitlisted.

The advice I got really helped me in my subsequent interview, which I feel like I did a lot better in because I was cognizant of my shortfalls and made sure not to fall into the same traps.
 
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lollerskater
Mar 3, 2012
27
2
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Medical Student
I would only contact them if you are sincerely interested in potential weaknesses. Asking them what went wrong will not improve your chances of getting off the waitlist with this school. That being said, do you feel as if you won't get an acceptance from any other school? If not, not much can be lost from being as inquisitive as possible so as to improve your chances for future application cycles.

I'm sorry it hasn't been working out for you so far. I know how stressful the admissions cycle can be, but persevere and your qualifications will benefit you in the end.
Well, not sure anymore. This was the first decision I've gotten as I've had only one other interview at a rolling school (super late), the rest being non-rolling/semi-rolling schools that are far more selective than my state school. And I thought that my state's school interview had gone the best.. but apparently that doesn't necessarily mean much. All of my interviews are over now, so inquiring would be a matter of resolving my curiosity and preparing for possibly another cycle (yuck yuck yuck).


Was it a closed, open, or semi-open file interview?
Semi-open. Interviewer had everything but my grades and MCAT

EDIT: Terrible grammar, but I'm tired!!! haha
 

LizzyM

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Regardless of whether the interview was open or closed, the decision by the adcom will be open file. It could be that the adcom is protecting its yield and holding off on making offers to applicants who may be admitted to and prefer a top tier school. In such cases, the applicant withdraws from the waitlist and it is all good.

Sending a letter of interest and staying in touch with the school can't hurt and might help. If you have no offers of admission (only waitlists) by mid-May, call and ask how you can improve your application/interivew techniques in the next cycle. You are academically strong in comparision to that school's average so it is likely that you didn't seem like a good fit with the school's mission or they didn't want to "waste" an offer on someone who would throw them over for a top 10.
 

BABSstudent

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Just curious, how would that be relevant? Can't be implying that his scores were too high...
I was thinking that if it was closed or semi closed then the waitlist would all be based on the OP's performance during the interview. At least if it is open file the applicants with high GPA and MCAT scores have the interviewer see that and maybe include it in the review of the applicant.
 
OP
lollerskater
Mar 3, 2012
27
2
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the advice all

Looking back, I suppose there is a slight divergence between my career interests and the school's mission, but they seem so accepting of all career paths. I wasn't anywhere near dead-set on attending this school, but it would have been nice to stay in the area and the thought was running through my mind "well if I can't get accepted at my alma mater/state school, who WILL accept me?" I'd be happy at any of the places I interviewed though.

Anyway, there's no point stressing about it right now.. I guess I'll just be waiting to see what happens come March/May.
 

Iatro

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Nov 18, 2012
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Regardless of whether the interview was open or closed, the decision by the adcom will be open file. It could be that the adcom is protecting its yield and holding off on making offers to applicants who may be admitted to and prefer a top tier school. In such cases, the applicant withdraws from the waitlist and it is all good.

Sending a letter of interest and staying in touch with the school can't hurt and might help. If you have no offers of admission (only waitlists) by mid-May, call and ask how you can improve your application/interivew techniques in the next cycle. You are academically strong in comparision to that school's average so it is likely that you didn't seem like a good fit with the school's mission or they didn't want to "waste" an offer on someone who would throw them over for a top 10.
I have currently been WL at 1 of 3 schools and am waiting to hear back from the other 2 (good chance they will also be WL). If May rolls by and I have not received an acceptance, do you believe I should let schools know? Will it have any bearing on their decision the fact I don't have an acceptance (or will it actually hurt me)?
 

LizzyM

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I have currently been WL at 1 of 3 schools and am waiting to hear back from the other 2 (good chance they will also be WL). If May rolls by and I have not received an acceptance, do you believe I should let schools know? Will it have any bearing on their decision the fact I don't have an acceptance (or will it actually hurt me)?
They will know... by then they will be able to see where you have been accepted ... or not. They might be more inclined to pull you from the waitlist knowing you have no other option at the moment and are more likely to say "yes"... sometimes it is all about protecting the yield (proportion of offers accepted).
 

plumazul

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I have currently been WL at 1 of 3 schools and am waiting to hear back from the other 2 (good chance they will also be WL). If May rolls by and I have not received an acceptance, do you believe I should let schools know? Will it have any bearing on their decision the fact I don't have an acceptance (or will it actually hurt me)?
They will already know. AAMC releases this info on April 1.
 

weezynation

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They will know... by then they will be able to see where you have been accepted ... or not. They might be more inclined to pull you from the waitlist knowing you have no other option at the moment and are more likely to say "yes"... sometimes it is all about protecting the yield (proportion of offers accepted).
In reference to MD schools knowing where you've been accepted, does this include DO acceptances also? Or do they just know which MD schools accepted you?
 

LizzyM

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In reference to MD schools knowing where you've been accepted, does this include DO acceptances also? Or do they just know which MD schools accepted you?
Just MD... the info is shared among member schools through AMCAS.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Just MD... the info is shared among member schools through AMCAS.
Just curious Lizzy, what are the 'bounds' of questions in this regard? Is there any 'appropriate' amount of information that an interviewer can ask about your cycle, or is it just bad manner to ask specifics and unregulated (unlike asking about age, marital status, sexual preference, race, etc)?
 

LizzyM

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Just curious Lizzy, what are the 'bounds' of questions in this regard? Is there any 'appropriate' amount of information that an interviewer can ask about your cycle, or is it just bad manner to ask specifics and unregulated (unlike asking about age, marital status, sexual preference, race, etc)?
I consider it bad manners to ask where or how many... my understanding is that some schools don't have the same scruples.
 

PreMedOrDead

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I consider it bad manners to ask where or how many... my understanding is that some schools don't have the same scruples.
Wow, quick reply. Thanks! That is what I had gathered. It definitely is a bit awkward as an applicant and gives a poor impression of the school. After all,if you are interviewing you are at least interested enough to come. But to be honest I'm surprised AMCAS hides this type of information until April.
 

Pattycake25

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Aug 3, 2011
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Hi All,

Many sighs.

So.. I recently got waitlisted by my first choice school (also my alma mater) which was really odd to me given that I am in state and have far above average stats for the school and that my interview seemed to go really well. I really have no idea where I went wrong.. :(

I know that med admissions are sometimes a major crapshoot, but is it ridiculous idea to contact the school or interviewer and ask what went wrong or what I could do in the future to improve my app (if I don't get in anywhere else).

I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but I'm really really lost right now :/
When was your interview? If it just happened recently, they likely filled up (almost) the entire class, where WL is pretty much the best possible outcome of the interview.
 
OP
lollerskater
Mar 3, 2012
27
2
Status
Medical Student
Whewwwww

Mid-March, I got admitted to two of the top 15 schools that I interviewed at. and wait listed at the other four schools I was waiting to hear back from. Just goes to show that this process is incredibly random and confusing.
 
Mar 30, 2013
5
0
Status
Optometry Student
they're your top choice keep up with updates when appropriate and a letter of intent after a little time has passed.