SOURCE: Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep

April 20, 2010 09:00 ET

Don't Be a "Waitlist Wallflower": Veritas Prep Outlines Proactive Strategies for Business School Applicants Trying to Gain Admission off of the Waitlist

Leading MBA Admissions Consulting Firm Encourages Waitlisted Applicants to Favor Bold Action Over "Playing It Cool"

MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - April 20, 2010) -  For the many applicants dreaming of matriculating to the world's most competitive business schools, waitlist status and the notion of "Don't call us, we'll call you" can be hard to swallow. At this time of year, leading MBA admissions consulting firm Veritas Prep receives a flood of inquiries from waitlisted applicants asking whether or not they should reach out to admissions offices, or if they should just sit tight and wait. Today, Veritas Prep revealed a series of best practice strategies favoring thoughtful, proactive outreach for gaining admission off the business school waitlist.

"Only a handful of MBA programs request that applicants not contact them and explicitly refuse to consider any new applicant information," explains Scott Shrum, Director of MBA Admissions Research at Veritas Prep. "Most programs want to hear from applicants, and proactive outreach is key to not becoming a 'waitlist wallflower,' an applicant who doesn't stand out from a crowd of equally competitive applicants on the waitlist."

Applicants waitlisted at those business schools that will consider updates from candidates should heed the following strategies to avoid "waitlist wallflower" status:

  • Don't just seek to fix weaknesses -- emphasize strengths! The natural tendency for waitlisted applicants is to say "I didn't get the outcome I wanted, so I must fix whatever is wrong," but being waitlisted -- as opposed to being denied admission altogether -- means you did something right. Find out what made you so attractive through admissions officers (if possible), or other admissions experts, and play to those strengths in your waitlist outreach.

  • Don't bother soliciting additional letters of support...from current students. These letters often do nothing more than communicate enthusiasm ("He's a great guy and he really wants to come here"), which the admissions office probably already knows. While applicants should certainly reinforce enthusiasm in their waitlist outreach, they should avoid submitting new letters of support unless they a) bolster key themes in your application, b) shore up any perceived weaknesses and c) come from a new source, preferably a manager or direct supervisor who can speak to progress since the initial application.

  • Communicate your intention to enroll, if accepted -- if it's true. Top business schools are notoriously concerned with managing their yield -- the number of admitted students that matriculate. Waitlisted applicants who genuinely desire to attend the school, and have a deposit ready should they be accepted, should be sure to communicate that intent in their waitlist outreach.

  • If possible, execute these strategies in-person. If possible, visit the school, go to the admissions office, ask to meet with an admissions representative and conduct your outreach -- explaining strengths and addressing weaknesses, introducing new letters of support and communicating excitement and intent to enroll if accepted -- face-to-face.

"Obviously, waitlisted applicants should refrain from doing anything immature or overly aggressive -- don't stand outside the admissions office with a sandwich board that says 'Let me in!' or compulsively call or email admissions staff," continues Shrum, who notes that both tactics have been tried in the past and resulted in negative admissions outcomes. "On the whole, however, applicants underestimate the importance of being proactive and updating the admissions committee with information that bolsters their candidacy, addresses any perceived shortcomings and communicates a genuine desire to matriculate."

For more information about proactive waitlist strategies or Veritas Prep's Waitlist Assistance service, call 1-800-925-7737 or visit veritasprep.com/mba.

About Veritas Prep
Veritas Prep is the world's largest privately-owned GMAT preparation and admissions consulting provider, offering industry-leading programs to help applicants improve their test scores and gain admission to the world's best graduate schools. Founded in 2002 by graduates of the Yale School of Management, Veritas Prep now offers live GMAT prep instruction in more than 90 cities worldwide, as well as interactive online courses available everywhere. Additionally, Veritas Prep offers industry-leading admissions consulting services for applicants seeking admission to the most competitive business schools, law schools, and medical schools in the world.

Contact Information