Getting put on a waitlist feels strange. You put so much effort into your application, all of this pressure and expectation builds up, and after all of that, you're told you still have to wait. If you've been placed a waitlist, you might be wondering, “What’s next?”
Every college has its own policy, so be sure to check in with colleges you're waiting on. It's perfectly acceptable to call and ask how the waitlist is ordered (if at all) and managed, and to ask what you can do to increase your chances of admission.
Some schools have students arranged numerically, while others have students grouped in tiers. Others have no ranking system at all: if they need to go to their waitlist, they review whoever is on it at the time and go from there. You get the picture...
Regardless of how the waitlist is structured, if you want the best shot at being admitted, be sure to follow-up appropriately with the college(s) you're interested in.
Few colleges are able to make any movement on their waitlists before May 1st, the Universal Reply Date – so patience is key. After getting in touch with the college(s) you’re interested in, try to focus on the schools that have already offered you admission. Remember, you will need to submit an enrollment deposit to one of them by May 1st!