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How to get off the waitlist???

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altoid

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I already sent an update letter including specifics of what I am doing now and why. Any ideas as to what else I can do to up my chances of getting off the waitlist when the time comes?
 

Cydney Foote

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Congratulations on being waitlisted -- this means you did
qualify ror admission. Small consolation, I know, but it does put you ahead of the game.

Your chances of moving off the waiting list are greatly improved if you're proactive about your application and interest in their program. Begin immediately by doing whatever they request in the wait-list letter (usually this involves sending an email or letter to let them know of your continued interest). Thereafter, we recommend setting up a schedule to contact the program every 2-3 weeks. Give them more reasons to admit you and demonstrate your serious interest in the program. These include:

1. Regular updates informing the adcomm of new achievements, initiatives, and developments in your life. These should be concise (1-2 page) letters that provide additional reasons to admit you and reinforce the idea of a fit between you and the program. You don't want to rehash your personal statement/secondaries. These letters should add value. Give them more info or a different perspective.

2. Additional letter(s) of recommendation.

3. Visit the campus, if possible, and ask if you can meet with current students. The information you'll gain is good fodder for your follow-up letters and visits demonstrate your continued interest in the program.

4. Ask if there is anything you can do to improve your candidacy. (There usually isn't, but if there is you want to know about it and do it.)

There are several resources on Accepted.com that contain good advice for
wait-listed applicants:

While this sounds like a lot of work with an uncertain payoff, it does work. Our clients are always coming off the waitlist with comments about how the admissions committee said it was due to their persistent and perceptive communications.

Good luck moving from the wait list to the accepted list!

Cydney Foote
Editor, Accepted.com
 

geldrop

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Start following whatever religion the majority of the Adcomm follow. If most are Christian start going to a christian church, if most are catholic go to catholic church, if most are muslim go to a mosque, if most are jewish head to shull.
 

lola

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does anyone else think that begging to get off waitlists is BULLSHlT?
:mad: +pissed+ :mad:
i'm so sick and tired of this crap. i mean, you fly around the country spending all your money, and then they make you write them a letter telling them how much you love them and then maybe they'll accept you. what a pile of crap.
how about those second interviews? like i'm going to fly across the country *again* to show my face and then maybe i'll have a slightly higher chance of getting in. :mad: bite me.
 
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Gumshoe

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I feel your pain, Lola ... it is crazy. To some extent you ALWAYS have to make judgment calls based on optimal gain for any action. However, this process is all about THEM making YOU prove to them that you are worthy, high energy, and able to do things that will be of the same type of endurance needed for MedSchool.

From one year to the next, they expect you DO more of this, a more meaningful job of THAT, etc. It's so selective, they are all about character and less about gpa, stats, etc. when it comes down to waitlist situations, obviously.

I hate it to, but it's essential. We got ourselves in this game.
Good luck. pray that you'll keep going. Don't doubt yourself, although natural, like Tweetie did.

Gumshoe
 

Cydney Foote

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I guess it all depends on your choices -- if you're accepted to other programs, you won't have to work to get off the wait list. If your choices are not so bright, you might want to think about putting more effort into your strategy. Whether you enjoy jumping through the hoops or not is really immaterial, as is the admissions committee's right to make you do this. All I'm saying is that this strategy has worked in the past, and might possibly work for you too!
 

Brewster

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Other people are jumping through the hoops. The adcoms are going to give the nod to those who show that they care enough to jump as well.

I agree, it is annoying. It is also a nearly unavoidable part of getting into medical school.
 

lola

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cydney, i did not mean to target my post at you. i *know* i have to write these friggin letters etc... (and that is actually what i'm doing today on my day off), but it is just annoying. if i were in somewhere it would be easier. i wouldn't have to be writing to every school i'm waitlisted at. i just feel like this is not me -- kissing ass to practically every place i've interviewed at.
the hardest part is that i'm trying to make flight arrangements etc.. for the summer and am having a really hard time since i don't know if i'll get in anywhere, or if i do get in somewhere when school will start. i've already given my notice at work, though, so i guess that's something to be happy about cause i'm sick of my job :).
 

Cydney Foote

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Originally posted by lola
cydney, i did not mean to target my post at you.

Lola, don't worry, I didn't take it personally. And I really do understand your frustration. This is a long process already, and being waitlisted just makes it longer. All I'm saying is don't give up, there are still things that you can do (updates, new LORs, etc.) that can help.

Good luck to you -- and everybody else who's dealing with wait list tedium!
 

bridgie

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Off topic:

Lola, I have read some of your posts today and I chuckled just becasue it sounds like you are having such a crap day today (that is not to say I am laughing at your misfortune...)

I especially appreciated your post on the Ireland issue...what are you thinking today? Gonna lay down the deposit?

Glad someone else is in this boat named "Indecision" with me...

bridgie
 

phdmed07

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Lola I feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel your pain. Im not having a great week either. Just got rejected at MCV post interview and Im on the SLU and Drexel waitlist. The waitlist is torture. Especially Drexels bc they made me sign something and send it back in to accept the waitlist offer as if Id turn it down. Ive sent my letters of interest and thats about all I can do. It is very frustrating not knowing where you are going. Hang in there though, Im somehow doing it. It
 

lola

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ha ha ha! glad to hear other people are in this same stupid position. no, not really, i wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it is at least a bit comforting.
phdmed07, sorry about the mcv post-interview rejection. i know how crappy those can make you feel. i'm sure i will be joining you soon on the drexel waitlist :rolleyes:.
and bridgie, yes, i will be laying down that hefty $3,400 deposit if i am not accepted anywhere by april 22nd -- and even if i am accepted somewhere other than a uc, i'm still considering ireland over the u.s.. i'm all excited about trinity now, like my heart is set on it, because it's the only place i can actually have my heart set on without the risk of it being broken. is nymc your only u.s. acceptance so far?
 

bridgie

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no i am accepted at SLU and Drexel but I would go to NYMC based on location alone. I want to be either in NYC, Boston or Dublin, that is where my family and friends are. I am hoping to get off the Tufts or Downstate waitlists. Money is a major factor in my decision, I am not into rank, just into quality of life. I know I would be miserable at NYMC and I would love to go to Trinity over it but if I had an acceptance at Tufts or Downstate right now I dont know what I would do....this sucks. I know these are good problems to have but it is still pretty painful....

My mom is like "why won't these schools just hurry up and decide already!?"

Tell me about it....
 
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xaelia

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Seriously, I want to whine about postage fees and delivery confirmation slips. I've got five waiting lists left I haven't withdrawn from, and I'm probably going to end up on seven that I'll be working on. I've sent more LoR, multiple and varied updates on my research and activities, reasons why I love their school, blank checks, etc....times five. I just know I'm going to (if I haven't already) send a letter to Dean J. Harold Helderman about how much I love Pittsburgh, and put it in the Emory envelope.

I suppose I'm less resentful about jumping through the hoops because I was in the business world for awhile and this is nothing. ;) I'll be pretty annoyed if it's all for naught, however.
 

Penguin Poptart

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I DO resent jumping through hoops and I was glad when I just read someone else resenting it too. I agreed with lola that it's bull****. Nothing against people who do that stuff comfortably, but I don't see what it has to do with becoming a good doctor.
It shouldn't be what gets /or doesn't get any of us into medicine. It goes against my grain in a big way to do any of the recommendations (e.g. call adcoms, send repeated letters of interest etc.) that I read on here and that totally stresses me out to read how commonplace it is to do that stuff, because I'm afraid not doing it will/is hurting me. Still... stubborn me persists. No calls, no emails, only two thank you letters, and none before I let a good amount of time pass (so as not to seem as if I was brown-nosing in my own interest). Call me crazy, and stubborn. But I'm still hoping I'm going somewhere, come August. And I feel better doing it this way. I'll respect myself in the morning. (Maybe?):)
 

Brewster

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I resented jumping through the hoops too. I put it off for months and finally, under pressure from my premed advisor and my parents, I broke down and did it. I ended up getting in eventually, although I cannot honestly say that it was the hoop jumping that did it.

In retrospect, I reccommend others that they jump through the hoops. In my view, it isn't so much about telling them "I am great" and "look at all the great things I have done." Rather, it is about showing interest in the school. People who write the letters and make the phone calls show the schools that they would be happy to be admitted and attend. Schools want to admit people who they feel want to be there.
 

Asclepius

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A friend of mine is currently waitlisted at a competitve law school...this appeared in the faq section of the letter:

"Apart from eliminating acceptees", is there anything I can do to get off the waitlist? :eek:

This is probably a big problem at lawschools. I wouldn't have thought of it, but it would be effective... Hey, you haven't taken the Hippocratic oath yet... ;)

In all seriousness though, good luck, I know it's an anxious time.
 

Blitzkrieg

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the suckiest kind of waitlist is the one based on DIVERSITY, not STRENGTH OF APPLICATION. Gosh, these suck. Pritzker is one of these...I wish a lawsuit would be filed, because it truly is discrimination!! They use the waitlist to "maintain" geographic and racial diversity. Give me a break..
 

scootad.

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hate to break it to you, but most waitlists are diversity waitlists. they try to replace someone who withdrew their acceptance with someone w/ same demographics.
 

jennie 21

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I'm on a couple of waitlists and my feeling is, if you really want to get into med school this year, then suck it up, swallow your pride, and write those letters of interest, send those updates and LORs, and make those calls. Doing these things shows how badly you want this and is evidence of your determination and endurance. Schools could do worse than to pick future doctors based on those qualities.
 

altoid

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thank you for the information. i was just trying to get ideas of what is acceptable as far as sending update letters or LOI. I hate jumping through the hoops as much as the next person, but i am afraid that if we wnat to be competitive sometimes we must do what the competition does or find something more effective and i don't think that doing nothing is effective although it is relaxing....

it seems like everyone is just very frustrated with the constant waiting game..... oh well good luck to all!
 

PMED99

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Here is my question? If the waitlist rankings and review of you is set, why does it help to do more? Such as LOIs, calling, visiting, etc.

Also, I want to get off one waitlist more than anything, but how do I know when enough is enough and that I might be doing too much and just being annoying?

Anyone with any advice, mainly from experience, please share.
 

Dreamin

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When you guys have called the Admission's Offices...did you ask to speak with the Dean of Admissions, or did you just speak to the secretaries?

Did you ramble on about your desire to attend their school...or just ask them a few questions to show your interest?

I want to call to show my interest, but I also don't want to annoy the school.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
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monkeyarms

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when you call, just talk to the secretaries and be sure you are nice and enthusiastic. don't worry about annoying anyone; everybody on the waitlist is doing something similar. don't ask to talk to the dean, mostly because it is unlikely you will get him/her on demand. you'll be better served by directing letters and e-mails that way. also, contacting other faculty at the school and asking about the program or research or something can definitely be helpful. one must not forget that adcoms are only groups of people trying their best to pare down a massive group of qualified applicants into a class. many of the faculty talk to each other and the more your name swirls around the better. fatigue is a factor for these committees, and it is a well known fact that persistence pays off. show no shame and be relentless. rather than be annoyed, i think most people will be impressed with your effort. the trick is to be creative with each contact. don't blow your load all at once! as long as you contribute something new to your cause each time, chipping away at the waitlist should pay off. lastly, do not be afraid to show some personality in your correspondence. jokes, sarcasm, emotion, and honesty can all win points for you when done tastefully. this requires a great deal of tact and delicacy, but makes you stand out if you pull it off. best of luck!
 

Gumshoe

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monkeyarms, first off, nice name, secondly, nice post:


My question is about the LOR thing for updating the "waitlist peoople"

Do you just randomly say, "ok, here's another reason why you should take me?" --- then attach the REC?

Also, how do you have any clue about your position if the list is in regards to "regional diversity" or whatever that is called ...

If a dean likes you, it seems like you'll get in somehow ... anyway, just some questions and thoughts

Gumshoe
 

Gumshoe

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Addendum:

I'm mystified about this advice ---

"Show [so and so adcom] that you are a good fit for their school, that you really want to go there, so that you are a good fit there, and vice versa."

To be blunt, if you want to be a doctor, you'd be a good fit ANYWHERE.

Provided that you don't say some asinine thing like "I love chicago, or I love new york, or the weather in SF is great, thus it's a good fit" I think the above is true. Now, I do understand that you have to seem unique in one way or another. You don't understand how many times, though, people have told me said advice ... I mean, I REALLY wanna be a doctor, that's why I'm going to be a good fit. As long as your school doesn't BLOW, I'll be a good fit.

Sorry, just taking out frustrations of waitlists on SDN posts.... CHEERS

Gumbo
 

monkeyarms

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re: LORs- just let your letter writer know that you'd like to give a little push to your waitlist status and give them the dean of admissions name and address. these letters are typically written directly to the dean (i.e. Dear Dr. xxx) and can certainly help. it is advisable to impress upon your letter writer a great interest in the particular school the letter is going to, as well.
 

qweewq11

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There really is only one SUREFIRE way to get off the waitlist: knock off the other waitlistees! Sure, you might get arrested, but if you evade capture, I guarantee that you will be a med student next year!
 

merlin17

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Originally posted by Gumshoe
Addendum:

Provided that you don't say some asinine thing like "I love chicago, or I love new york, or the weather in SF is great, thus it's a good fit" I think the above is true. Now, I do understand that you have to seem unique in one way or another. You don't understand how many times, though, people have told me said advice ... I mean, I REALLY wanna be a doctor, that's why I'm going to be a good fit. As long as your school doesn't BLOW, I'll be a good fit.

Gumbo

I completely understand your frustration but I don't think this is really true. Medical schools are very different. Premeds are equally diverse. We have different beliefs and different career goals. A premed with absolutely no research experience may not fit with a school requiring a thesis. A premed who knows they want to practice primary care in a rural area probably wouldn't fit in well at Hopkins. Trying to create a class that meshes well together is an important goal of the ad com. Unfortunately I don't think they care particularly much that they might be our last hope to become a doctor (at least this year).

I guess this is how I justify the effectiveness of sending a school a letter that says "you are well known for having strong programs in X, Y and Z and I have demonstrated interest in these programs in the following ways." It makes me feel a little less pathetic!
 
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"The PEN is Mightier!!"
 

regisphilbin

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this might be a dumb question... but this is my second app cycle... and after dropping a crap load of coin on AMCAS... ive only been waitlisted at SLU.

ive sent in a letter of interest and all... but I was wondering if any of you think that visiting the school again would be beneficial?

I live in Chicago.. so im not that far... do you think it would help if i called them and told them i would be in the area and would love to visit again?

i would do ANYTHING right now for an acceptance!!!!
 

Allygator89

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If the waitlist is ranked, and it is taken in order, is there any real point in sending LOIs and calling every so often?

I can understand if the waitlists are tiered, but I am having a hard time justifying doing anything when the ones I am on are ranked...
 

Nefertari

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Originally posted by Allygator89
If the waitlist is ranked, and it is taken in order, is there any real point in sending LOIs and calling every so often?

I can understand if the waitlists are tiered, but I am having a hard time justifying doing anything when the ones I am on are ranked...
For schools that have a lot of waitlist movement or those that reveal waitlist ranking, I can see the point of being persistent and bugging them w/ phone calls and letters.

However, it doesn't seem as hopeful @ schools where they tell you that you're on the bottom half of a ranked list, but won't reveal your actual position. Seems like a soft rejection to me. Does anyone have positive stories about this situation? Thanks.
 

cabruen

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This is good advice folks. Listen to it.

Originally posted by monkeyarms
when you call, just talk to the secretaries and be sure you are nice and enthusiastic. don't worry about annoying anyone; everybody on the waitlist is doing something similar. don't ask to talk to the dean, mostly because it is unlikely you will get him/her on demand. you'll be better served by directing letters and e-mails that way. also, contacting other faculty at the school and asking about the program or research or something can definitely be helpful. one must not forget that adcoms are only groups of people trying their best to pare down a massive group of qualified applicants into a class. many of the faculty talk to each other and the more your name swirls around the better. fatigue is a factor for these committees, and it is a well known fact that persistence pays off. show no shame and be relentless. rather than be annoyed, i think most people will be impressed with your effort. the trick is to be creative with each contact. don't blow your load all at once! as long as you contribute something new to your cause each time, chipping away at the waitlist should pay off. lastly, do not be afraid to show some personality in your correspondence. jokes, sarcasm, emotion, and honesty can all win points for you when done tastefully. this requires a great deal of tact and delicacy, but makes you stand out if you pull it off. best of luck!
 

ShaylaFinn

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I don't know how effective letters of interest or letters of intent are with the numerically ranked waitlists. But I'm pretty sure that with more fluid "acceptance range" pools of waitlistees, letters of INTENT do help. (Tulane and Wake Forest come to mind. No doubt there are others, as well.)
 

khan

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With schools that have ranked waitlists, does sending letters change your rank? it seems that once you are ranked then you just have to wait for your turn.
 

Celiac Plexus

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By now some of you have received admit offers and are loving life. For the rest of you....

1. LOI... Send them. At the very worst, not sending them makes you appear uninterested. Expressing interest will only help you stand out.

2. Alumni... If by any chance you know an alum of the school that you are interested in, work it somehow for them to call on your behalf. This is huge at a lot of schools.

3. If you can afford it, definitiely go for a second look. It's not necessary (I never did this and received offers off of waitlists) but again it will demonstrate your interest and increase your chances of success.

4. Phone calls... Do call the adcoms as often as you want to. Do NOT ask to talk to the dean or anyone on the adcom unless you were asked to do so. DO speak kindly to the adcom secretary. Chat him/her up, be cool, and keep the call short. At my top choice (which as I mentioned I was waitlisted at) I called every day from May 15th to May 28th (got the good news on the 29th). I got to know the secretary well, and after a few calls we formed a really good rapport. Sometimes I just chatted about the weather, or sports, or whatever. Once she told me about her weekend and a family party she went to. The adcom secretary can make it happen for you! I kid you not. In my case, I think it helped immensely. When I showed up for orientation I introduced myself and gave her some cookies my mom baked. We are now pretty good friends. Again, keep the calls brief (around 5 minutes max).

Good luck everyone. Being on a waitlist absolutely blows, especially if you have no acceptances in hand. But BE PERSISTENT, and POLITE. In my class, people were accepted as late as July. Do not give up hope.

Addendum: If you do not get in off of the waitlist, and are faced with the daunting task of reapplication, maintain your secretary contacts! If you were on the waitlist, that meant that you were deemd worthy of acceptance and you should have an edge at the places you were waitlisted at the year before.

Also, some waitlists are ranked, others are not. If the list is unranked then you have a great chance to talk your way off the list. Unranked lists are dynamic, and the more interest you show, the higher up in the stack your app will go. If the list is ranked, and you are in the lower echelon, try anyway but spend the bulk of your energies on unranked lists.
 

tekram

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When you called on a daily basis, what did you talk to the admin about? you were getting daily updates on your status?
 
M

moops

same question as above! :)

what do you say? "has there been a lot of waitlist movement?"
 

calipaww

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hi i wanted some advice , i am on a couple of witlists and i wanted to give an update. here is the deal i quit my job in feb and went to mexico/guatemala for three months to learn spanish. i am basically fluent now. do you guys think it is worth it to mention my experience? cause i did sort of wuit my job and take off???
 
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