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To contact again or not...THAT is the question???


MarketingPhD2012

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So I emailed one of the schools that I applied to 22 days ago and found out that I was on the waiting list. I was told that I would be contacted if the department decided to bring in additional candidates. Now, I want to send one more email in an attempt to find out where I stand on the waiting list, and I want the school to know that if extended an offer I would indeed attend. The email is composed and just sitting on my computer. I don't know if I should send it or not. What do you all think?

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If you're definitely going to send it, I'd suggest that you give it until April. See if you hear anything by then, and if not, I would only send them the part expressing your interest and intent to attend. You already asked them your status once, so just let them know that you're still interested and you'll accept an offer if one is made. That's what I'd do anyway, see what other people say. :)

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I wouldn't tell them that if they make me an offer, I'll accept it. I thought exactly that when I was waiting to hear from grad schools 3 years ago, so I totally understand you. I guess it might depend on how you phrase it, but in my mind a couple of years ago, that thought was a little... um, desperate, and I wouldn't have written it in an email. I also don't think it wouldn't increase your chances of getting an offer -- I'm pretty sure the order in which offers are made to waitlisted students has nothing to do with the (unknown, in most cases) probability that they'll accept it.

I don't think you'd be told what's your position on the waiting list (our university doesn't do that, although things might be different in the US), but you could try. I would ask that if I had another offer that I had to accept/decline soon. Otherwise, I'd probably wait another week or until April 15th (waiting is hard job, I know). Do you know when's the deadline for accepting/declining offers at this university?

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I have to disagree with go3187. At the program where i interviewed (I only applied to one), we were told specifically during the interview weekend that if the program was our top choice (i.e. would attend if accepted) and we ended up waitlisted instead of in the first round of our acceptances, to tell them that - it wouldn't move you from last place to first place on the list, but it might bump you up enough spots that you'd get an offer if you otherwise wouldn't.

That being said, I do think it might be a little bit late to say so out of the blue. If you do end up sending an email (and like the person above said, only send the part saying you're still interested and would attend), I'd try to make it into a graceful "I forgot to mention that...." if you can. Which may not be easy. :P

Good luck!

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Just to reiterate what everyone is saying, DO tell them they are your top choice and you will for sure attend if that is true. Do not lie though if that isn't the case. In fact, if they aren't your top choice you might consider removing yourself from the wait list to give other hopefuls a better chance if you will choose another institution anyways.

If it is your top choice and they accept additional materials as my wait list school does, it is advisable to send no more than 2-3 additional LOR's that say something different than the previous ones and to also write a short 1-2 page essay explaining your continued interest in the institution and the fact that it is your top choice. You might consider writing in there about how you came to be interested in the subject and how they could continue in that trajectory and why they are the perfect place to continue you on your journey.

Just don't be too annoying. Only contact them when you have something new to say and, even then, don't do it too often. I would personally call them rather than e-mail in this case and perhaps ask to talk to the admissions director/assistant director/etc if it seems wise to do so. Varied communication methods, especially more personable ones like phone calls, shouldn't hurt if you are polite. I went as far as to visit my wait listed school and had a personal meeting with the admissions director; it went as good as it possibly could under the circumstances!

Good luck

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Thanks folks for the replies. After reading what you all had to say, I decided not to send the email. I am to the point now where I need to start getting a plan B together. I still hope to get into a grad school, and I have not given up hope. However, I also desperately need to leave my current job. This job is not conducive to my well-being. I was wanting to know my status on the waiting list in hopes of judging my likelihood of coming off of it. The last thing I want is to wait around to hear back from these schools, and miss golden opportunities in the job market. Guess I'll continue to wait! At this point, I have either been rejected or wait listed (haven't interviewed at any of the schools I am waiting on). Either way, I wish these schools would just make a decision...one way or the other!

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