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How Can I Boost My Chances of Admissions Even After Applying?

The uncertainty of waiting for admissions results to be released can be both waning and distracting as you continue everyday life. Some students obsessively check their emails to see whether they’ll receive even a small clue about how they’re applications are being read by colleges. Conversations with friends and family could easily revolve around admissions results; and it can be tempting to spend many hours on sites like College Confidential, where students survey users about their chances of getting in.

All of this can even aggravate the potential anxiety that comes with waiting, but don’t fall into the trap of stressing yourself out trying to guess what the results will be. We recommend for students to instead focus on controlling what they can. The good news is that there are some strategies you can implement that could boost your admissions chances.

Read on to learn productive things you can do as you wait.

Ask College Counselor to Call Colleges

Check in with your high school guidance counselor to see whether he or she would be willing to call colleges to ask about your application status. Admissions officers will sometimes agree to conduct counselor calls to form a relationship with a high school, provide information about their college, or to learn more about an applicant in question.

In fact, your counselor may already have a longstanding relationship with schools that interest you. But even if he does not, simply giving the college a ring can get him in contact with your admissions officer.

You should be specific about your request to your counselor since he likely does not have the time to call all the colleges to which you applied. It’s best to let him know the two to three schools that most interest you. (Note: definitely include your early decision school if you were deferred.)

Counselor calls are best done in mid- to late-February because your admissions officer will likely have a good grasp on your applications by then and relay feedback on how you could strengthen your application if you’re currently on the fence. Before the calls, make sure to share a copy of each submitted application with your counselor and which school is first on your list. This will help him advocate on your behalf.

Identify Weak Areas of Your Applications

Working on strengthening weak areas of your application will give your counselor more material to work with when she connects with colleges. But even if your counselor does not call a school, you can send them an update letter to share about your accomplishments.

If you have not explored an intellectual interest outside of the classroom, you could begin a small research project this month. Perhaps your course load was especially light this year because of schedule conflicts; try taking a rigorous online course through platforms like EdX or Coursera to show you are ready for college-level work. Work hard in your classes to earn stellar grades if your GPA is lower than the average of last year’s incoming class at your top-choice colleges. Find leadership roles to step into if that quality is not well represented in your activity list.

Not only will continuing to be an active, engaged student give colleges more reasons to accept you during the regular decision round, you will also be able to make a strong case if you are waitlisted anywhere.

Do Things that are Optional

Colleges may invite you to submit supplemental essays, videos, and other materials after you send in your application. UC Berkeley, for example, requests a recommendation letter from a counselor for students they hope to accept early or give a scholarship. In place of interviews, the University of Chicago allows students to submit a two-minute video introducing themselves to the admissions office. You could also sign up for alumni or Skype interviews for colleges that offer them during the spring.

Because the policy for each school differs, you will have to research what optional things you could do to share more about yourself and show your interest with colleges. Sometimes you will receive emails about such opportunities and other times you will have to browse each college’s portal to find what additional materials you’re allowed to submit.

Email Your Admissions Officer

Reading season is a busy time for admissions officers, so they will likely not have much capacity to check all emails and respond to them. However, especially if you have formed a relationship with your admissions officers, you can send them a short note to let them know you are excited to have applied to their school, thank them for their consideration, and wish them a happy reading season. They will appreciate your good wishes and the note will keep you on their radar as a considerate, proactive student.

After using these tips, give yourself the space to relish the joys of your senior year and have fun with friends and family. March will arrive before you know it!

The expert admissions consultants at Wise World Prep have helped hundreds of students maximize their potential of being admitted to their top choice colleges and universities. Over 20 years, we have successfully guided students through each stage of the application process – from choosing competitive high school courses to building an appropriate college list to drafting winning essays to writing persuasive update and appeals letters. We would be happy to answer your questions and partner with you to create a successful admissions roadmap.

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