View Full Version : All LA Metro Waitlisted for an L.A. Private School? 3 Things You Must Do!

03-04-2011, 10:10 AM
This from Kim Hamer of GetIntoPrivateSchool.com:

Waitlisted. Just the word makes many parents anxious. It means good, but not good enough. However, if you are waitlisted don't despair. There is a chance that your child can get into private school.

In some schools, the waitlist is really a wait pool, meaning there is no specific ordered list. The key word here is some. Other schools do have a waitlist. Most admissions directors will share that information with you.

Many schools maintain a more detailed priority wait pool. These are filled with students that the admissions staff were very interested in, but just couldn't admit them for one reason or another. If your child is in this pool, your chances of admission are fairly high.

Here is how the process works:

Contracts are returned to the schools. As contracts come in, admission directors keep track of how many spots they have available.
Contract Due Date. After this date, admissions directors know exactly how many (if any) spots they have left and what kind of students they need to fill them.
Each school maintains a pool of students whom they are interested in. When the admissions director knows what kind of students they are looking for, they go to their priority pool to find another family to offer the spot to.

There is more to wait pools than simply picking a child from the group. Admissions directors are also keeping an eye on maintaining classroom balance.

So, if a boy gives up his spot, an admissions director will try to pull a boy from the priority wait pool. If a Hispanic girl drops out, they will look for another Hispanic girl to take her place, and if there isn’t one they will look for another “diverse” girl.

The same holds true for financial aid. If a girl who was supposed to receive financial aid turns down her spot, many times the admissions director will offer a spot to a financial aid candidate in the wait pool.

The process is more intricate than that, but the examples provide a good idea of how it is done.

If you are waitlisted, there are two specific actions you can take that can get your child off the waitlist and into private school. But before you make them, take the time to understand what you are trying to do.

You are trying to impress on the school that your child and family are the best fit for the school. You want to do it quickly, with impact and briefly.

First, write a note to your first choice school (and only your first choice school). The note should include a thank you sentence, a “We are excited to be on the waitlist,” sentence and then a sentence that includes the phrase, “If accepted, we will enroll.” If you would like to add one or two lines about the values that you and the school share, do so, but keep it brief because…

The note should be no more than 5 lines long! Keep it short and simple. The longer the letter, the more desperate you seem and the more high maintenance too – two things you want to avoid.

Second, call the schools that waitlisted your child before contracts are due (this year in Los Angeles, that will be after April 8th). Call all of them, not just your first choice. Let them know that you are still interested in enrolling your child in their school.

Those two steps are the best way to get your child off the waitlist and into a private school.

There is one other thing I want to share with you. There are some schools that send out only waitlist letters and no non-accept letters. This just really pisses me off!

It’s unfair to families and I think it’s cruel of schools to not let a family move on. I am not sure why some schools do this or what they hope to gain. I do know that it increases parents’ anxiety levels and it builds mistrust regarding the admission process, which the admissions directors say they are trying to reduce. I hope that those schools rethink their strategy. Their reputations are beginning to falter, leaving many parents bitter. Not good PR!

Kim Hamer, The Private School Admissions Expert, is founder of the 7 Steps to Acceptance System™, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to get your child into private elementary, private middle or private high school. To get your F.R.E.E. 7 Steps to Getting Into Private School by e-mail and receive Kim's weekly admissions secrets articles on getting the private education you want for your child, visit www.GetIntoPrivateSchool.com (http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=85444218&msgid=1025784&act=2COF&c=376935&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.getintoprivateschool. com%2F).