Think you know how to write an effective wait-list letter? Test your knowledge with the following quiz:
1. Wait-list letters may be three or more single-spaced pages long: (a) when the applicant has a lot of accomplishments to talk about, (b) they should never exceed two pages, (c) only for law school wait-list letters, (d) if you are not enclosing an additional letter of recommendation.
2. Expressing some frustration or disappointment in the wait-list letter is: (a) OK if the school is really your number-one choice, (b) appropriate if it reflects how you honestly feel, (c) never a good idea, (d) useful in the letter’s conclusion to elicit sympathy.
3. During the wait-list process, you should generally aim to contact the wait-listing school: (a) every other day if it’s really your number-one choice, (b) weekly by email or letter, (c) only when prompted by the school, (d) every three to four weeks (if the school allows contact).
4. The main topics of a wait-list letter should be: (a) your recent professional achievements, (b) new reasons why this school is a good fit for you, (c) developments in your community work since applying, (d) any substantial recent examples that offset the weaknesses of your application, (e) all of these.
5. It’s acceptable to repeat wording from your application essays in the wait-list letter: (a) never, (b) if you run short of time, (c) if it was an especially strong part of your application, (d) if you think it’s important enough to reinforce.
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