Wednesday, April 11, 2018

You Are Number Three on the Waitlist

By:  Patrick O'Connor  Ph.D

“Counseling office, Patrick O’Connor.”

“Is this Dr. O’Connor?”

“Yes it is.”

“This is Mrs. Tremont, Gloria’s mother.”

“How are you?”

“Absolutely in a dither, Dr. O’Connor.  Here it’s mid-April, and Glory doesn’t have a single college to choose from!”

“She doesn’t?  I seem to remember she was admitted to Northeast Michigan, Starview College, and Whetherfield.”

“Well yes, but that was last fall, and those are all her safety schools.  I’m talking about the colleges she really wants to go to.  You know, those schools that just released their admissions decisions last week.”

“Oh.  I see.”

“She’s been waitlisted at five of them, and denied at the other fourteen.”

“Well now.”

“She is devastated, and I’m just wondering if there’s anything you can do to move her onto the accepted list.”

“Anything I can do?  Like what?”

“Well, for starters, can you tell me where she is on the waitlist at each college?”

“Where she is?”

“Right.  I mean, it’s a list, so where is she on the list at, say, Henley?”



“She’s third.”

“Really?  Third?  On the waitlist?  That’s wonderful.  Did the college tell you that?”

“Not directly, no.”

“Then, how do you know?”

“Well, when I look at her GPA of 4.2 and her ACT score of 32, and consider she was captain of the volleyball team as well as a participant in the Fremont Summer Program, I’d say she’s well above the…”


“I’m sorry?”

“Her—her GPA isn’t a 4.2.  It’s 3.2.”

“Oh.  Right.”

“And her ACT score was 25, not 32.”

“Oh, right—I see.   I thought the 32 was her ACT score, but it’s her GPA.”

“I imagine that changes things.”

“It does, but at least she was the captain of the volleyball team—”

“In eighth grade.  Does that count?”

“Well, a little, but certainly not as much.”

“She did attend Fremont.  For two summers.”

“And that certainly helps.”

“So, realistically, her chances of getting off a waitlist is hard to tell?”

“I’m afraid so.  I can see it happening, but given the number of students on the waitlist, it’s probably going to come down to which admitted students turn down their offers, and what needs the college has based on who’s said no.”

“You mean, like, where they live, what they want to major in, and if they play the bassoon?”

“Things like that are often a factor, and the trouble is, a college can’t tell what it needs until they hear back from all the students.”

“So Glory was right.  This really is out of our control.”

“Not completely.  Unless the college requests otherwise, Glory should write the colleges and express her continued interest in attending.  If she has a first choice that she’ll attend for sure, she should say that—but she can only have one first choice.”

“That’s a wonderful idea.”

“I’ve also contacted the colleges to let them know of Gloria’s continued interest.”

“Does she know that?”

“She does now.  She’s here in the office with me.”

“See, Mom!  I told you I’d done everything I could.”

“Glory!  Well, of course I believed you, but…”

“But you wanted to double check?  I already told you everything Dr. O’Connor just said.”

“Yes, you did.”

“That’s why I asked Dr. O’Connor to tell you I was third on the waitlist.”

“You mean, you weren’t?”

“I told him that’s the only way he would get your attention.”

“And you were right.  Such a wise girl.”

“Wise and more than ready for college, Mrs. Tremont.”

“You think so, Dr. O’Connor?”

“College, and beyond.”

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