THE BLOG

Rejections or Wait Lists -- What to Do?

03/11/2015 01:44 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2015
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After the time-consuming process of researching, visiting and interviewing at many NYC private schools, nothing is more disappointing than receiving a rejection or wait list letter. What should you do now? Well, there is good news and bad news... The bad news is that if you were rejected from a school, there is little to be done to reverse this decision. The school has communicated to you, without specifically saying this, that their school and your family are not a match. It's hard not to take this personally, but you need to move quickly to review other options.

If your child was wait listed, know this: Wait lists are real; they do move! The wait lists are reserved for children who could be successful in a particular school. The primary reason for placing applicants on wait lists is a limitation in the availability of openings. Simply put, all the wonderful applicants cannot be accommodated. Another reason might be the composition of the incoming class. For co-ed schools, directors must be cognizant of the number of boys and girls in each class and the range of ages. Schools also typically want a mix of verbal and quiet children.

If your child is placed on a wait list, there are things that you can try to do to turn this into an acceptance:

  • Immediately notify the school that you wish to remain on their wait list and will accept a spot if one becomes available. (Only say this if it is true!)
  • Reach out to your connections to see if they can put in a good word for your family.
  • Send an email to the admissions director. "While we were disappointed not to receive an acceptance letter, we are relieved to know that xxx may still be in consideration for a spot which we would surely take if offered."
  • You can choose to add one or two lines reiterating why you feel the school is the right fit, but be succinct! Remember, you've already submitted your lengthier essays in the application.
  • Adhere to the directions from admissions staff. If you're told to check back in two days, call them in two days! If you get the director's answering machine, leave a message saying that you checked in as requested.
  • You can reiterate the same in a follow-up email.
  • Do NOT call every day. You must find the delicate balance in sharing your strong interest without annoying the admissions staff. In such an anxiety producing time, you must do your best to remain calm and cool-headed. Stay hopeful. Things have a way of working themselves out!
Remember, if your child does not secure a spot anywhere during this process, public school is always an option. This might also be a good time to call an educational consultant to also look at alternate Private Schools!