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Alternate list - how do I improve my chances?

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I had my first interview (which also happens to be my top choice) and I found out today that I have been put on the alternate list for that school.


They told me that they would reevaluate my application before they bring in the next group of interviews (next month) and contact me again by the middle of November.


In the meantime - how do I improve my chances of getting taken off of the waitlist? People have been recommending everything from sending in an additional essay/letter with new accomplishments since my application, new letters of recommendation, visiting the campus in person, or even requesting a second interview.


Which of these options are realistic, and does anybody have other ideas?

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Hmm. Well, I doubt you'll be granted a second interview unless something insane happened during your first interview and the school has acknowledged the problem. I'm talking about something truly out of control, not that you were super nervous and had to travel a long distance on very little sleep or something similar.


I assume you visited the campus in person when you interviewed? I would think carefully about the goal of another visit. If you're hoping that you will somehow be able to impress the people you encountered at your interview by appearing on campus again, really think through how that will go. Are you going to track down the faculty members who interviewed you? What would you say to them? Are you going to be inconveniencing them? Will they remember you as enthusiastic and confident, or desperate and inappropriate? What will a visit accomplish that a letter or phone call would not?


It's an excellent idea to keep the adcom updated about your latest activities, whether those are grades, HCE hours, volunteering/shadowing, or anything else. If you're on the wait list the school will add it to your file to be reviewed and your application will look a little better every time! Don't send them an email or letter with nothing in it though. You don't need to update them every week with new hours... if you know that by matriculation you will have accumulated another 600 hours of volunteer time, tell them that. If you started a new job and had an epiphany about something, write a short essay and ask for it to be considered.


Whatever you decide to do, don't be a pest. The people you bug the crap out of in that office will remember you for bad things, and that's not what you want. You want them on your side.

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