Interested question - having the head of the department contact schools


Mississippi c/o 2014
10+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2008
Huntington, WV
Veterinary Student
I'm finding myself in an interesting situation right now. I'm currently waitlisted at both UGA and Mississippi. One of the professors (o-chem) who wrote an LOR for me suggested I have the head of the biology department give the schools a call to encourage them to accept me (or more likely bump me up in the waitlist). I originally told him that I wasn't comfortable with that, since I'd rather get in on my own merits. However, he just sent me this email:

Since I was talking with someone when you came to my office, I didn't get the chance to tell you about my idea of having someone call up from MU to encourage them to admit you based on your good grades and whatever standardized test you take.

These schools don't often how realize how exceptional a person is. It is good to refresh their minds. It may help or not have any effect.

You are still getting in on your merits, that is why you were waitlisted. I sometimes send an email to Cindy Warren, the assistant to the dean of the medical school to let her know that I feel strongly about a person being admitted.
So my question is, what are your all's feelings on this? He makes a good point that I'm already getting in based on my merits since I'm waitlisted. However, I'm not sure if I would ever feel I deserved acceptance if I got in because of a phone call from a faculty member. On the other hand, since I am waitlisted, perhaps I already deserve it anyway, and ultimately this would just be another means to an end.

What do you all think?


Queen of Spayeds
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 27, 2004
Washington, DC
I think if you are waitlisted, you are qualified on your own merits. If someone can put in an influential word for you and it makes a difference, that's just fine. Really, it's no different from someone writing a LOR that has a strong influence on your acceptance. Really, when it comes to building a vet school class, everything from grades and experience to gender and ethnicity come into play - anything at all that helps them build a class wheb there are many more qualified applicants than available seats. Whatever you can do to tip the odds in your favor is fair game as long as you are being honest in the process. I don't think you should feel bad about letting your profs contact the school for you. If nothing else, allow them the pleasure of doing something so nice for you!


Flight Instructor for hire
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2010
Neither here nor there.
To me this is a no-brainer. If someone offers to go the extra mile to help you get into school, you take it. It might make no difference, but someone picking up the phone and making an extra effort definitely has an impact. It is because of the impression you made on that person, it is all about you.

It is not just about "knowing" someone, it is about someone knowing you.

I used to work for someone who was a Trustee of a an Ivy League school and when he called the admission office it made a difference (of course). But he would only do it for people who he had first hand knowledge of, and felt would be a credit to the school. They got in on their merits. He just made sure the school made the right choice. I heard him turn people down, and in the case of an important client, called and made it clear he didn't care one way or the other but felt obligated to make a call.

Believe me, there is no moral dilemma here. If you didn't deserve to get in, you wouldn't be on the waitlist, and if you didn't deserve to get in, nothing anyone could say would probably make the slightest difference.


Texas A&M CVM c/o 2014!
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2007
As long as it comes across as the professor sending it of their own will, then it's fine. It'd be the same as if they sent it without informing you, I'd think.


OKSU 2016!
5+ Year Member
Dec 15, 2009
To me this is a no-brainer. If someone offers to go the extra mile to help you get into school, you take it.
Ditto this. I had a similar offer from a person who thought they could make a difference, and after much thought about it, I took it. Who knows if it'll help, but frankly I want off that waitlist!
If someone is OFFERING that kind of push of their own volition, there is no dilemma. It's not as if you're paying them or giving out sexual favors to get them to call - at least I sure hope not. :laugh: