Which school is more likely to accept me off the waitlist?

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Sep 26, 2002
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I have a dilemmna. I am waitlisted at two schools. I like different things about both of them. I want to write a letter of intent to the one who is most likely to accept me off of the waitlist. Do you think there is any way to determine which one would be more likely to accept me?

The two schools are:
George Washington U
Boston U

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pick the one you most want to go to.
your letter of intent will be more genuine, and they will be able to tell if you really mean it.
but i'm serious...i truly love both of them and don't know which i'd rather...so my letter of intent will sound genuine for either one. i do understand your point though, so thanks!
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well, if you like them exactly the same . . .

maybe you could write a letter of intent to both?
then when one accepts you, quickly withdraw from the other.
you aren't bound to the 2nd school because they won't have accepted you yet.

i know that sounds unethical, but, no harm, no foul right?
I guess my worry with writing a letter of intent to both schools is that they would somehow find out that I was telling them both the same thing and then they would both reject me!
Just pick ONE and write a letter of intent as in "if accepted I will definitely attend" b/c you will sleep better at night. If you told one where you had interviewed it is POSSIBLE they may contact each other if you're on both waitlists, but they cannot otherwise know where you applied, only where you have been accepted (or wtidrew an acceptance.)
Definately writing a letter of intent to both schools is a bad idea. Unethical too. No idea which one is more likely to take you off a waitlist. Maybe you can find someone who knows-- if not just pick one at random if you really don't care. Try emailing students at the schools if you know any- even those who volunteered as hosts might be able to help you decide.

Good luck!
it's simple, pretend that you have been accepted to both schools and pick which one you would attend, then write the letter to that school
You are asking for trouble if you try to predict which one you'll get in first. I would write a strong letter of interest to both schools. Highlight any recent accomplishments and explain why you are interested in that school. It sounds like you have strong reasons for wanting to attend each. Stop short of promising to attend. Good luck!
write a letter to both. don't worry about that "unethical" crap. it's ethical and neither school will know the other got a letter. do what's best for you. remember what darwin said: write a damn letter to both schools.
write a letter to both. don't worry about that "unethical" crap. it's ethical and neither school will know the other got a letter. do what's best for you. remember what darwin said: write a damn letter to both schools.

Kinda like telling your 2 girlfriends "I only I have eyes for you." Yeah, its Darwinian, but do I want someone like this as my pediatrician?

i don't dink soooo...
Jlazy, thanks very much for spewing judgmental comments (rather unconvincingly, i might add):

If the OP wants to be a physician badly enough, s/he will do whatever it takes to get into medical school (ANY medical school), right? So how does my advice err? Sending a letter of intent to both schools is perfectly alright if the OP will be happy to attend both, as stated earlier. Schools rarely communicate, especially on matters such as letters of intent. Sending both letters is ethical if the OP is convinced that he or she has <I>intent</I> to attend either/or.

And how exactly do my comments make me a poor candidate for pediatrics? Because you see, what you "dink", Jlazy, is of the upmost importance to me.
My understanding is that letters of intent are taken very seriously. I think it's fine to write strong letters of interest to both schools, but only one (if either) should be a letter of intent (that is, you tell them you *will attend* if accepted). If you write a letter of intent and don't go, it could bite you in the a$$ if you apply there for residency. And it is unethical to write letters of intent to both.
when i originally posted the suggestion of writing 2 letters of intent, i was thinking about the content of the letters very literally. in other words, if you write to both schools "if you accept me, I will withdraw from other schools and attend your school," then technically, you are not obligated to do anything until the school accepts you.
however, if it just so happened that both schools accepted you on the same day (small chance, but it could happen) you'd be totally screwed.
so i'm changing my advice: don't write 2 letters of intent.

HOWEVER, another option is to talk to your premed advisor. Sometimes, advisors have particularly good relationships with admissions officers at certain schools. So, figure out whether your advisor has worked with the admissions office at either GW or BU. Then ask your advisor to call one or ther other on your behalf. This can often be even more effective than a letter of intent or a letter of interest, because the admissions office will know that, if your advisor calls, then they are your one and only. Plus, having a trustworthy person speak on your behalf carries a lot more weight than just another piece of paper begging a school to take you.
I am int he same boat with my dream school and my second choice - one waitlists at both.

I was going to write a letter of intent to one and interest to the other. We'll see where it gets me.

I asked the bio chair and the pre-med advisor at my college about writing them both letters of intent, and they said much the same as pickle salt - the schools aren't gonna talk and do what you have to get in. One prof laughed when i brought up the residency issue - he said one school won't remember that far and there are a whole bunch more programs out there. But - I don't feel comfortable telling two places I will go if I get in - because I wouldn't want to have to renege on one of them.
DO NOT write a letter of intent to both schools. Schools talk to each other, and you can end up with 2 rejections if you do this. Even if they didn't talk, what would you do if you got into both? Stick to your initial idea and pick one. That said, you can write a very strong letter of interest to the other school without actually stating "if you pick me, I will come."

This is what I did last year, I was waitlisted at my first choice (Penn) and a very close second (Michigan.) I sent a LOI to Penn and a strong letter of interest to UMICH. I ended up getting into Michigan and not Penn. I don't think Penn's list had much movement last year.

At one point when I was calling to check on my status, someone from Michigan's admissions staff asked me if Michigan was my first choice. I thought that I was screwing my chances, but I answered honestly and said that I had a LOI at Penn and that UMICH was number 2. I guess they didn't mind, because I got in anyway.

As for choosing, does either school give you any idea of your position in the waitlist? Can you find out how many they typically accept off of their waitlist? If they really are equal and you just want to improve your chances, these are things that might help you make up your mind.

Hope this helps, and good luck.
I'm waitlisted at several schools, but will only write a letter of intent to one of them. I'm even questioning sending an interest letter to the other schools, b/c you get asked "so are we your top choice?" It feels deceptive to send an "interest" letter to the other schools to me, but I may end up doing it anyways. But never will I send two intent letters, it would be awkward, like asking two women "will you marry me?" and seeing who says yes first...one will kick your a$$ for sure.:D

I don't know if med schools have some retaliation squad force...would be cool.:laugh:
The wait list is pre-med limbo. Several factors determine when and if you are pulled from a wait list. Obviously , the school feels that you are qualified to enter their program, but some "stronger" candidates are their first choice. Therefore, as these people respond with declines the school will begin to accept the alternates. Keep in mind that some schools will offer acceptances to as many as twice the number of seats that they have knowing that not all will accept. So you will have to wait until THOSE people hear from THEIR first choice schools and begin to decline before the list is used. I have heard stories of people getting called the first day of class off the list and even a week or so into class. Also, it depends on WHERE you are on the list. While you may be at the top of one schools list you may be # 50 on another. There is no real way to determine where you are on the list or how likely a school is to accept you from it. However, there are things to do to increase your chances if spaces open up. A strong additional letter of recommendation from someone significant in your school will certainly help. Also, anything that youve done since you applied that is significant should be forwarded to the admissions committee such as awards, improved grades, new research you started, a good story about community service, a publication or just about anything that says, "hey Im still working hard or harder." Simply writing to the school to say hey remember me I really do want to get in wont necessarily do much to help. So find something that gets their attention again and mail that in instead of letters of intent. Also, keep in mind that if you dont get in this year and dont get off the wait list you will want to start strengthening your app for next year and that time of year is rapidly approaching. Use the time wisely.