My admissions experience + waitlist advice

MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member

Hola all I'm Mark I got a 169 in October and had around 20 apps ready to fire away as soon as I got my test results back. I'd like to share my results so far as well as some waitlist management advice. I've been obsessing about getting off the waitlist and have done a ludicrous amount of research (research sounds better than obsession).

I am what the Dean of admissions at Yale called a "super soft" aka military veteran and my ugpa was 3.42 which is notably low for t14.

Accepted with scholarship: Uga, Emory, Notre Dame
Denied: Harvard, Chicago, Cornell, Berkeley
Waitlist: UCLA, Georgetown, Northwestern, Penn, Michigan

My top choice is Northwestern and I'm doing everything in my control to get off their waitlist. Ultimately it will come down to how their class looks after their first and second deposit deadlines and what they class needs in terms of student demographic composition, and what the school's/Dean's goals are for that class (based on interviews I've listened to from Deans admissions officers etc).

Here is my waitlist advice I've gleaned from Harvard and Yale Deans, Michigan ad com officers, Harvard as com person, Michigan person, + my personal interactions with adcom.

Waitlist: do whatever the school asks in their waitlist email. Every 3-4 weeks and especially just after/before their deposit deadline write a letter of continued interest loci. You can print and handsign then upload as a PDF. Some schools don't care about loci format others may. In loci you can specify certain clinics, work programs, professors, courses that you're interested in. It really looks good if those are linked to a topic you expressed interest in in a PS or resume. Show how you love the city / want to live in the school's area. If you have a specific reason you like the school mention it. If it's your #1 pick and you would attend no matter what, say so. Be careful mentioning other competing offers - comes off as threat.

That's not exhaustive but it's a pretty good start. Best of luck!

Comments

  • a.b.1620a.b.1620 Alum Member
    30 karma

    Hi! This is great advice thank you! :)

    I had an additional question. I recently got on the waitlist for a school I really want to attend. However in the meantime, is it okay to deposit money for my best option right now? In case I do get off the waitlist for the school I want to attend, can I still withdraw from the law school I deposited money for? I just want to be safe in case I don't get off the waitlist, but also I don't want to be bound to a school once I pay the deposit and suddenly get off the waitlist post deposit days. Not sure if this makes sense, but I'm really confused on the waitlist issue.

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    Former admissions officer here. You can put down a deposit at your best current option. If you eventually get off the waitlist at your dream school, you can withdraw from the deposited school. This is not uncommon. Good luck!

  • a.b.1620a.b.1620 Alum Member
    30 karma

    @"selene.steelman" said:
    Former admissions officer here. You can put down a deposit at your best current option. If you eventually get off the waitlist at your dream school, you can withdraw from the deposited school. This is not uncommon. Good luck!

    Thank you so much for the clarification! I really appreciate it! :smiley:

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @"selene.steelman" Hey Selene I read one of your posts about telling the school in a LOCI that you're still interested and would go if accepted from the waitlist, roughly 3 weeks before the deadline. Thanks for the wonderful help and may I dm you with more questions?

  • galacticgalactic Yearly Member
    690 karma

    Really great advice, thanks!

  • FindingSageFindingSage Alum Member
    edited March 2021 2042 karma

    @"selene.steelman" Any advice about depositing on a school ( best option school) that may require 2 deposits (totally $1000) before I might here from others? For context this is ASU which is asking for deposits by April 1st and May 3rd. I am still waiting to hear back from multiple applications and also considering retaking the LSAT in June for scholarship negotiation/get off waitlists. Could I possibly DM?

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    If you are waiting to hear from a waitlist or waiting to hear about scholarship, you should put down a deposit at your best current option so you have some place to go for orientation in August! If your current best option requires two deposits (many schools do), you should pay them as needed to secure a place in that school's class until your other school situations get resolved.

  • mattsalavitchmattsalavitch Alum Member
    10 karma

    This is a very helpful thread for me who has so far been waitlisted at four different schools. I'm curious how many schools others have been waitlisted at this cycle? Does it seem like schools are waitlisting more candidates this year, perhaps in response to the high applicant volume?

  • Nice_homeNice_home Alum Member
    edited March 2021 83 karma

    @Markmark said:
    Hola all I'm Mark I got a 169 in October and had around 20 apps ready to fire away as soon as I got my test results back. I'd like to share my results so far as well as some waitlist management advice. I've been obsessing about getting off the waitlist and have done a ludicrous amount of research (research sounds better than obsession).

    I am what the Dean of admissions at Yale called a "super soft" aka military veteran and my ugpa was 3.42 which is notably low for t14.

    Accepted with scholarship: Uga, Emory, Notre Dame
    Denied: Harvard, Chicago, Cornell, Berkeley
    Waitlist: UCLA, Georgetown, Northwestern, Penn, Michigan

    My top choice is Northwestern and I'm doing everything in my control to get off their waitlist. Ultimately it will come down to how their class looks after their first and second deposit deadlines and what they class needs in terms of student demographic composition, and what the school's/Dean's goals are for that class (based on interviews I've listened to from Deans admissions officers etc).

    Here is my waitlist advice I've gleaned from Harvard and Yale Deans, Michigan ad com officers, Harvard as com person, Michigan person, + my personal interactions with adcom.

    Waitlist: do whatever the school asks in their waitlist email. Every 3-4 weeks and especially just after/before their deposit deadline write a letter of continued interest loci. You can print and handsign then upload as a PDF. Some schools don't care about loci format others may. In loci you can specify certain clinics, work programs, professors, courses that you're interested in. It really looks good if those are linked to a topic you expressed interest in in a PS or resume. Show how you love the city / want to live in the school's area. If you have a specific reason you like the school mention it. If it's your #1 pick and you would attend no matter what, say so. Be careful mentioning other competing offers - comes off as threat.

    That's not exhaustive but it's a pretty good start. Best of luck!

    I read somewhere that you also want to give them new information in your LOCI. Like "since my application, I have [received some award/retaken the lsat with a higher score/been in some relevant internship/etc]."

  • geveetgeveet Monthly Member
    47 karma

    @"selene.steelman" Do school usually have decisions sent out before deposit deadlines? I still have not heard back from a handful of schools that have their first deposit deadline on April 1st and April 15th. With just 2-4 weeks to go until those deadlines, should I just expect my decision to be an R?

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    @geveet , it is not unheard of that schools may hold an application past the deposit deadline given the make up of their applicant pool. Not knowing which schools are on your list, I would say that this cycle has generally seen admissions committees reviewing many more applications (like hundreds or thousands more) than before. It seems like they are taking their time and being careful about keeping admissible applications on hand. I wouldn't assume that you will be rejected.

  • @"selene.steelman" I am only applying to one school, Stetson. They are holding my application for review until the April LSAT scores arrive. Since submitting my application, I feel there is information I left out that may help my chances. Should I email with this additional inofrmation? If so, in a pdf attachment or just as a direct email to the recruitment director I have been speaking with? Or possibly make a zoom appointment to explain? Any advice would be wonderful! Thank you :)

    @Markmark Thank you for this post! It is excellent advice

  • edward1998jinedward1998jin Alum Member
    2 karma

    I am curious about how many schools are using waitlist excessively this cycle. Similar to Matt, I am waitlisted at many of my target schools and even a safety school...

  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Member Admissions Consultant
    1992 karma

    @tmworley If you have new, substantive information (new LSAT, new grades, new job, new awards) you can either do a revised resume attached to an email that briefly explains the new information or put the information directly into an email. You can ask for a conversation but generally admissions wants the information in written format so the committee can evaluate it with the rest of your application. Good luck!

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    Hey all here is an update on my current results (and I'm glad this post is helpful!)

    Also some schools have specific requirements for letters of continued interest / submitting additional stuff so it's good to check. They're looking for 1. Level of commitment (magic words are "I'll go if accepted"), 2. Why is the school good for you and why are you good for us, 3. Anything new (awards, promotions, grades).

    With my 169 and 3.4ugpa + military "super soft" (as Dean of Yale called it), I'll just add to what's originally listed above:

    Rejected: Yale, UVA
    Waitlist: Columbia (yay!!! Haha)
    Accepted: none (boo!! ;)
    Still have not responded: Stanford, NYU, Duke

    Fingers crossed hoping for best.

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @edward1998jin said:
    I am curious about how many schools are using waitlist excessively this cycle. Similar to Matt, I am waitlisted at many of my target schools and even a safety school...

    The Dean of Georgetown said they are waitlisting ~20% of 15,000 applicants. Their previous record for admissions was 12,000. I consider this excessive lol

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @geveet said:
    @"selene.steelman" Do school usually have decisions sent out before deposit deadlines? I still have not heard back from a handful of schools that have their first deposit deadline on April 1st and April 15th. With just 2-4 weeks to go until those deadlines, should I just expect my decision to be an R?

    I think Selene's answer is really insightful. If it helps, I had 4 schools (3 now) that hasn't responded at all until last week. Now still waiting on 3

  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    2054 karma

    I applied to 13 schools in December and January. As of my rejection from Cornell today, still haven't heard from 4. 3 WLs at Washington, Emory, and W&L and 6 rejections at UT, Boston, and 4 lower T14. Still haven't heard from Duke, Minnesota, Virginia, and freaking Colombia. I've all but given up on scholarships this cycle and an facing that I'm better off pushing a year and reapplying.

  • jmac1893jmac1893 Monthly Member
    12 karma

    I was waitlisted at several T10 schools - does anyone know if it helps to ask about scheduling a tour? Because of COVID it seems like that angle of attack doesn't really exist right now.

    Maybe it's a matter of noting in your letter that you visited the campus independently and liked it?

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited March 2021 8021 karma

    @Markmark said:
    The Dean of Georgetown said they are waitlisting ~20% of 15,000 applicants. Their previous record for admissions was 12,000. I consider this excessive lol

    I don't know if 20% is excessive, especially considering how schools are likely reacting to the app volume/scoring, but that app volume! When Dean Cornblatt threw that number out, I couldn't believe it. Thats about 4k more apps than HYS combined last year. Obviously those schools saw increases too this cycle but still...

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @VerdantZephyr said:
    I applied to 13 schools in December and January. As of my rejection from Cornell today, still haven't heard from 4. 3 WLs at Washington, Emory, and W&L and 6 rejections at UT, Boston, and 4 lower T14. Still haven't heard from Duke, Minnesota, Virginia, and freaking Colombia. I've all but given up on scholarships this cycle and an facing that I'm better off pushing a year and reapplying.

    Something to consider too is that if everyone this cycle is submitting a more competitive application, and the class is comprised of way higher caliber students, it'll be a lot harder to get good grades and do well in the curved gpa too. Waiting is not a bad idea unless somehow next year is equally bad or worse

  • GoBlueFlyNavyGoBlueFlyNavy Monthly Member
    40 karma

    @Markmark Any idea what the Yale admissions people meant by "super soft" in regards to military service? I'm currently active duty Navy and had around a 3.6 GPA in undergrad, hoping to get into Notre Dame. Taking the LSAT in August.

    I'm curious how much my military experience will help my application, if at all.

  • MarkmarkMarkmark Alum Member
    976 karma

    @"buckley.brendan13" said:
    @Markmark Any idea what the Yale admissions people meant by "super soft" in regards to military service? I'm currently active duty Navy and had around a 3.6 GPA in undergrad, hoping to get into Notre Dame. Taking the LSAT in August.

    I'm curious how much my military experience will help my application, if at all.

    Hey thanks for your service. I'm not exactly sure what the Yale Dean meant, but in GENERAL veterans will have some unique professional and leadership skills, discipline, maturity, maybe some other stuff. And selfless service. I think that's how adcom sees us. I got into notre dame with a generous scholarship which gave me a full ride. Your gpa is higher, DM me if you'd like to see my personal statement and essays for NDLS. I'm happy to share

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