Waitlisted from Your Dream College? Learn the Secrets of an Effective Letter!

How college bound teens can use the power of good intention and effective words to get into the college of their choice no matter their level of writing! 

College Waitlist Letter Writing Secret Formula

Written for parents to pass along to their teens!

What do you do if you find yourself suspended in moving forward with your life as you find yourself dwelling in the frustrating world of being waitlisted for college? Since the time you submitted your college application, you realize you truly, sincerely want to attend this certain college and wonder what you can do to help. If your college welcomes a letter, then by all means, write them a heart-felt yet logic driven letter to positively influence your acceptance! 

The good news is that you are NOT writing another college admissions essay but the tricky news is you need to include all the elements of effective letter writing in order to make the purpose of your waitlist letter work, meaning you move out of the “maybe” pile and into the “yes!” pile! 

If your dream college is open to receiving a letter from you (or if you just want to send them one anyway, then write an effective letter than includes the following):

A sincere expression of your appreciation and your interest. Tell the admissions people that you feel thankful and honored for their attention and for their interest in your application so far, but then express how you want to move forward and actually become a part of the new freshman class. 

  • Restate why ______ college is the best school for you. Do this in a couple of ways: 
    • First, show them the connection(s) academically, socially, culturally between you and the college. Include specific details about your possible school – related areas of interest (for example, your passion for the liberal arts or for business or teaching) and then show them that you know of the specific programs their college offers. 
    • Second, include any news of the college since you applied or any recent developments in specific programs to demonstrate how the college already is a part of your life and that you feel connected to the good things going on (new programs, internships, awards, funding for research) with the school. 
  • Update them on your recent notable activities. Did you improve grades? Perform incredibly well on a huge school project and realize your love for that subject? Have you achieved any recognition since you submitted your original application in your field of interest or with your sport or activity or service? Make sure you inform them of such accomplishments so that you reinforce your outstanding characteristics and reaffirm how you will succeed at their college. 
  • Remain friendly and upbeat yet never ever seem desperate, (“I beg that you let me attend _____ college and I promise you with my whole heart I will get good grades!”). Never!
  • Keep it short and to the point – my advice is to be brief and only give one page for this waitlist letter. 
  • Read out loud – hearing your voice (as I advise with writing the college admission essays) takes our writing to a new level and as we hear our words expressed on the computer screen (or paper!) we can quickly make tiny adjustments so that our writing better reflects our intentions and our true voice. 

Stay positive and enjoy this process. Then let go of the outcome. You’ve done the best that you can do and feel proud of your efforts. Writing and sending this letter says a lot about your motivation, drive, and belief in yourself. Nice work. 

If you like the tips in this article and can write an effective letter on your own, then go for it! If you like this article and want my help to ensure your letter is effective, then


All my best to you and your college dreams, 

Amy ♥

Get Started With Total Writing Enrichment Today

Grab your FREE COPY of The Best Tips to Guide Your Teen to Write Amazing College Admission Essays!