One of the most difficult situations you might face as a b-school applicant is how to handle a waitlist decision from a school you really want to attend.

Should you bombard the school with additional material, hoping that something you send will convince the school to admit you? Or should you just sit tight, fearing that submitting additional, unsolicited material will annoy the admissions committee?

The ‘Golden Rule’ is: Follow the instructions from the admissions committee!

If the school says that you should not in send additional material, then you should abide by their policy. Even though you’re anxious to let them know how interested you are, disregarding their request will not play to your advantage.

If you are allowed to send in additional information, use wise judgment in what you choose to submit. You should certainly send a well-written letter reiterating your strong commitment to the school. However, don’t go overboard. The admissions committee already has lots of information about you, so you don’t need to include too much more. There is a fine line between demonstrating your interest and coming across too strong!

Lastly, take an honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of your application. Is there an area that you can actually improve at this point in the process?

The admissions committee will be evaluating your application to others that come in during the later rounds, so you may be able to address a weakness.

For instance, your application may have been strong, but perhaps your GMAT is on the lower end of their ‘average’ range. If you think that you can improve your score, then consider taking the GMAT again. If you decide to do this, let the committee know (in writing) of your timeframe for taking the test again, so that they can add this information to your file.

Being on a waitlist certainly causes anxiety, but try to be patient. The school obviously saw strengths in your application, and they need time to reevaluate it. Schools always accept people from the waitlist later in the process, and you are still in the game!

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