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George was thrilled to be admitted to his safety school, UT Austin. However he was truly excited about Berkeley Haas, his top choice. When he received a waitlist decision from Haas he wasn’t sure how to proceed. He asked us if he should take the UT Austin or hold out for Haas on the waitlist.
The waitlist can be a frustrating outcome for any MBA applicant because there is little certainty about the outcome. Of course many applicants are admitted from the waitlist, but sometimes with only a few weeks notice before classes begin.
The first thing we advised George to do was send in two updates to Haas. He had recently been promoted to Manager and had received a leadership award at work. George wrote up both accomplishments in a brief email to the admissions committee and settled in to wait for a result. Second, we advised George that it would be smart to think of Plan B as he waited. There is no guarantee on a waitlist, but there is hope.
Fortunately George already lived close to Austin and could start making his plans to attend UT as he waited. Because he hadn’t heard from Haas by the time he needed to send in a deposit to hold his place at UT, George decided to move forward with the deposit and lose the money if he needed to withdraw at the last minute.
As the summer began and he still hadn’t heard from Haas, George decided to commit to attending UT Austin and withdrew from the Haas waitlist. He was increasingly happy with UT as he met his future classmates and contemplated the virtues of in-state tuition.
Many applicants make a different decision, but George was satisfied with his choice.