If you have been wait-listed at a college, it may be time to cut bait

Gregory Rec | Portland Press Herald | Getty Images

High School graduates in Portland, Maine.

Students who’ve been wait-listed face a tough choice: See if they’ll be extended a formal offer after May 1 passes — and the school has a better sense of how many incoming freshmen it will accept — or commit to a different college that’s accepted them.

By now, seniors who were wait-listed in the spring should have submitted a compelling “letter of enthusiasm” to the college to let them know why they want to attend, said Brian Taylor, managing director of Ivy Coach.

“Many students make the mistake of presenting themselves as well-rounded,” he said.

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Instead, wait-listed applicants should aim for specificity. “You have to say how you’ll contribute to that school and what do they stand to gain by having you,” Taylor said.

Students can also share the letter with their high school counselor and ask him or her to make an advocacy call to the college.

Avoid being too pushy.

“Applicants will send family photos, they’ll camp outside of the admissions office — this hurts your chances when you’re wait-listed,” Taylor said.

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