How to Write a College Waitlist Letter: Tips and Examples

For many high school seniors, the wait for college acceptance letters is a nerve-wracking experience. However, the agony doesn’t end there for those who find themselves on the dreaded waitlist. It can be especially difficult to come up with the right words to express your continued interest in the school, but fear not, there are ways to write a compelling college waitlist letter.

The goal of the letter is to convince the admissions office that you’re the ideal candidate for a spot in their upcoming class. It can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of acceptance.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all technique for writing a college waitlist letter, there are several best practices that can help guide you in the right direction. For starters, you can research examples of waitlist letters to see what has worked for others in the past. There are many templates and samples available online, and you can use them as a starting point to craft your own letter.

The key to a successful waitlist letter is to make it personal and passionate. Share what you love about the school and explain why it’s the perfect fit for you. Be specific about your academic and extracurricular achievements since applying to the school, and highlight how these experiences have prepared you for success at that particular institution.

Additionally, you should emphasize your continued interest in attending the school. Let them know that it’s your top choice, and that you would be thrilled to receive an offer of admission. And of course, don’t forget to thank them for considering you for a spot on the waitlist.

Writing a college waitlist letter can be a stressful experience, but with the right mindset and the right approach, you can increase your chances of success. Remember, there are plenty of resources available to help guide you through the process, and you can always find examples of waitlist letters to use as a reference and edit them as needed. So take a deep breath, put your best foot forward, and craft a letter that showcases your strengths and passion for the school.

The Best Structure for a College Waitlist Letter

If you find yourself in the position of being on a college waitlist, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions – disappointment, uncertainty, and perhaps even frustration. However, it is important to remember that all hope is not lost. There is still a chance that you may be admitted, and the best way to increase your chances is by writing a standout waitlist letter. Below is a structure that can help guide you as you craft your letter.

Paragraph 1: Express enthusiasm and intent

Begin your letter by expressing your continued interest in attending the college. Use this opportunity to reaffirm your intent to enroll if admitted, and how the school is your top choice. Avoid over-the-top language, but be clear and sincere in your desire to be a part of the college community.

Paragraph 2: Update the admissions committee on your recent accomplishments

This is where you highlight what you’ve been up to since you submitted your application. Share any new awards, grades, or extracurricular activities that showcase your strong character and academic potential. This is not the time to brag or overstate your accomplishments, but rather to simply update the committee with any pertinent information that may strengthen your case for acceptance.

Paragraph 3: Emphasize fit for the school and why you’re a good match

Here, you should focus on the ways in which the college aligns with your values, interests, and goals. You can share some specific examples of how the college’s programs, clubs, or faculty align with your own passions or career aspirations. The goal is to communicate that you are not just a good student, but that you would be a valuable addition to the college community beyond academics – through extracurricular involvement or community service, for example.

Paragraph 4: Request an opportunity to share more information or meet in person

In your final paragraph, state that you would be willing to provide further information if needed or even request a chance to meet in person with someone from the admissions committee. This shows that you are proactive, open to communication, and are not just waiting passively for a decision.

Remember to keep your tone sincere, humble, and confident. You want to show the admissions committee that you are a worthy candidate who is genuinely invested in the college. Good luck!

Sample 1: College Waitlist Letter for Academic Achievements

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to express my continued interest in attending ABC University and provide an update on my academic achievements since the time of my application submission. I understand that my admission status has been placed on the waitlist and I hope that this letter could give you a different perspective on my potential as a student.

Since the submission of my application, I have completed additional courses that demonstrate my capability to succeed at ABC University. I have earned an ‘A’ in my advanced calculus course, which was taught at the collegiate level. I have also been involved in research projects with my professors which helped me to sharpen my analytical and creative thinking skills.

Once again, I hope that this letter, along with my updated achievements, shows my commitment and passion for attending ABC University. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thank you for your consideration,


[Your Name]

Sample 2: College Waitlist Letter for Leadership and Extracurricular Activities

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to update you on my recent extracurricular activities and leadership roles since the submission of my application for the Fall 2021 semester at ABC University. As your decision about my admission status is currently on the waitlist, I want to showcase my passion and dedication for contributing positively to the university’s community if selected.

In the last few months, I have continued my involvement in various community service projects. I have also been appointed as the treasurer of the student council in my high school, where I gained leadership experience in managing finances and organizing events. I have also been the captain of my school’s debate team, which refined my communication and critical thinking skills.

ABC University’s strong reputation and diverse community align well with my personal interest, and I am committed to making a meaningful contribution as a student. I appreciate your time and consideration.

Thank you for your attention,

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Sample 3: College Waitlist Letter for Inadequate SAT/ACT Score

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing this letter to provide more context to my inadequate SAT results and explain why I believe that ABC University is still the best fit for me. While I understand that my admission status has been placed on the waitlist, I hope that this letter can give you a better understanding of my potential as a student with qualitative merits.

My SAT scores do not adequately reflect my academic abilities and potential for success at ABC University. I have since taken additional steps to demonstrate my academic preparedness. I have enrolled in college prep courses in challenging subjects, such as physics and calculus, which have helped me to improve my analytical and application abilities, and I have earned excellent grades in these courses. I have also continued to actively participate in extracurricular activities and community service, which demonstrate my commitment to being an actively engaged member of the ABC University community.

I acknowledge and appreciate the work of the admissions committee in considering my application. I am confident in my ability to positively contribute to the ABC University community, and I continue to express my interest in starting this journey in the coming academic year.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Sample 4: College Waitlist Letter for Financial Aid

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to express my continued interest in attending ABC University, and to provide an update on my financial circumstance since applying for the Fall 2021 semester. I understand that my admission status has been placed on the waitlist and I am eager to formally reiterate my request for financial aid.

My family’s financial situation has recently changed, which makes it much more challenging to finance my undergraduate education without assistance. I am incredibly passionate about attending ABC University as it has been my aspiration, and the most ideal destination to achieve my academic goals in the field of finance. I believe that ABC University’s top-notch faculty, career-oriented programs, a positive academic culture, and resources will cater to my academic needs, personal and professional development and succeed in my career goals.

I am exploring all other financing options available, including external scholarships and grants, and I will do my best to minimize any shared financial burden. Therefore, I kindly request that you take a fresh look at my financial aid application and consider me for a scholarship or grant to support my education at ABC University.

Thank you for your time, and I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.


[Your Name]

Sample 5: College Waitlist Letter for Personal Circumstances

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to provide an update on my personal situation that I hope will offer insight into my candidacy for admission to ABC University for the Fall 2021 semester. I recognize that my admission status has been placed on the waitlist, and I am eager to provide additional information about my circumstances that I hope will help to reconsider my potential acceptance.

During my application process, I was going through a particularly challenging personal circumstance that affected my academic and extracurricular accomplishments. I regret that my application did not adequately represent my capabilities and potential as a student. However, I have since resolved the circumstances and had a significant turnaround in my academic progress.

I am incredibly passionate about attending ABC University, where I know I can thrive academically, and personally. I have a sincere and deep interest in the school’s diverse academic offerings, the substantial resources and such engaging faculty that will enable me to explore my interests and contribute meaningfully to the university community.

Thank you for your time, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to further showcase my potential as a student at ABC University.

Warm Regards,

[Your Name]

Sample 6: College Waitlist Letter for Campus Visit

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to express my continued interest in ABC University and to inquire about the possibilities of visiting the campus. I understand that my admission status has been placed on the waitlist, and I am eager to find ways in which new information about me can supplement my application.

I believe that visiting your campus tour can provide a more in-depth look of the university and show my interest and value to the university community directly. I want to showcase how ABC University offers the best-suited fit for my diverse academic interest, enabling me to grow as a student and contribute positively to the university community.

Please let me know of any possibilities, schedules, or arrangements that would enable me to visit the campus soon. Thank you in advance for your attention to my request and for your consideration of my application for the Fall 2021 semester.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Sample 7: College Waitlist Letter for Multiple Reasons

Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to provide an update on my application status and to highlight some achievements and circumstances that I believe demonstrate why I am an excellent candidate for admission to ABC University. I recognize my admission status has been placed on the waitlist, but I want to assure you that I am committed to attending ABC University in the upcoming academic year.

During the period of my application, I was caught up with various personal circumstances, including health issues, that impeded me from putting in the best possible academic performance and participation in extracurricular activities. I want to take this chance to inform the Admissions Committee that I have since resolved the issues and have been able to show sustained academic progress, which I hope will stand me in good stead.

In addition to my revised academic performance, I have also taken advantage of several extracurricular activities that enrich my leadership qualities, creativity, communication skills and have actively taken steps to impact my community positively. I have also done my research and realized that ABC University’s student-faculty ratio, rigorous academic curriculum, industry-immersed and career-focused programs, and the diverse community align with my career ambitions perfectly.

In conclusion, I hope that this letter, along with the additional information, will demonstrate my passion for becoming a member of the ABC University community and explain why I believe I am a qualified candidate for admission. I appreciate your time and attention to my candidacy and look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Tips for Writing an Effective College Waitlist Letter

Being placed on a college waitlist can be stressful for any student. However, it does not have to be the end of the road in your college application process. A waitlist letter can be a powerful tool for convincing the college to reconsider their decision. Here are a few tips for writing an effective college waitlist letter:

  • Start with expressing your gratitude for being considered for admission to the college in the first place. This helps to set a positive tone for your letter and shows your appreciation for the opportunity.
  • Next, provide an update on your academic and extracurricular achievements since submitting your application. You want to showcase your growth and accomplishments over time to demonstrate that you are a stronger candidate now than when you originally applied.
  • It is also important to state your continued interest in attending the college and that you are committed to enrolling if offered admission. This reassures the college that you are a serious applicant who would accept their offer if given the opportunity.
  • In addition to expressing your commitment, you can also provide specific reasons why the college is your top choice and how you envision yourself fitting in and contributing to the campus community.
  • Finally, be sure to proofread your letter and have someone else review it as well. You want to ensure that it is well-written, free of errors, and effectively conveys your message to the admissions committee.

While being placed on a waitlist can feel discouraging, it is important to remember that there is still a chance for admission. By following these tips and crafting a strong waitlist letter, you can increase your chances of receiving an offer of admission from your dream college.

Frequently Asked Questions About Writing a College Waitlist Letter

What is a waitlist letter?

A waitlist letter is a communication sent by a student to a college or university expressing their continued interest in attending the institution after being placed on the waitlist. It aims to provide new information about the student’s candidacy and highlight any updates that may have occurred since the application was submitted.

When should I write a waitlist letter?

The timing of a waitlist letter varies depending on the institution and its policies. Some colleges establish a specific deadline, while others indicate that the student can send a letter at any time during the waitlist process. Check the college’s website or contact the admissions office to confirm their guidelines.

What should I include in a waitlist letter?

A waitlist letter should focus on new information that was not present in the original application. This can include recent achievements, updated grades, significant awards or honors, or any additional accomplishments. Students can also mention their continued interest in the college, reaffirming their commitment to attending the institution.

What tone should waitlist letters have?

Waitlist letters should have a professional and respectful tone while still conveying the student’s personality and enthusiasm for the institution. Avoid sounding entitled or demanding, and remember that these letters are opportunities to demonstrate your continued interest and commitment to the institution.

How should I format my waitlist letter?

The waitlist letter should be formatted and structured like a formal business letter. Begin with a professional salutation, include a clear introduction, body, and conclusion, and end with a respectful closing and signature. Make sure to proofread carefully to avoid errors or typos.

How long should my waitlist letter be?

Waitlist letters should typically be concise and to the point. Most colleges suggest that the letter should be no more than one page in length. However, the length may vary depending on the institution’s guidelines, so it’s essential to review their policies before writing the letter.

What should I avoid including in my waitlist letter?

Avoid repeating information that was already included in your initial application or sounding desperate or entitled. Also, do not include any negative comments or complaints about the college or its admissions process.

Ready to Join the Waitlist Gang?

Now that you know how to write a college waitlist letter, it’s time to put pen to paper and get writing! Remember to keep it concise, authentic, and express your continued interest in the school. And don’t forget to proofread! Good luck with your waitlist journey, and if you have any other questions, feel free to revisit this guide or check out our other articles. Thanks for reading and come back soon for more tips and tricks from Campus Connect!