Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

Guest Blogger: Willie Green, Daytime MBA Waitlist Manager

You have sent updates on changes in job status, new test scores, additional coursework, and community activities. You are in regular contact with your waitlist counselor. You have done everything possible to enhance your candidacy, and now you are anxiously anticipating a call from Fuqua’s Admissions Office with the wonderful news that there is a spot available in the Daytime MBA Class of 2015.

Thank you. We appreciate your patience and your commitment to Duke. In Admissions, we are also waiting … and if a spot in the class opens up, we will immediately reach out to someone on the waitlist to see if he or she would like to join the incoming Daytime MBA class at Fuqua. It is a wonderful call to make! We also know that the joy of being admitted must be followed by immediate action on your part. Thus, we want to be certain that you are prepared to make the decision and to navigate the transition in front of you.

What to Expect

If you receive a call from us, the turnaround time you will have to make a decision to come to Fuqua will be very fast — 24 to 48 hours. Why? Because as you have been waiting over the summer, so have a number of other prospective students, and if you were to elect not to take the spot in the class, we want to let the next potential student know that a place is available. We could be admitting students from the waitlist up until the day of Orientation, which starts August 1. It is only fair to you and the others on the waitlist to give our admitted students as much time as possible to transition to Durham.

Be Prepared for a Call

The following is a list of things to think about while on the waitlist, to help you to be ready to transition, if/when that admissions call comes:

  1. Your tuition deposit: The tuition deposit is what reserves your place in the class. It is important to make sure that you have access to funds for the deposit amount of $1,500.
  2. Your current employer: Business school is definitely about being able to transition to a different industry or to a higher level position in your current industry, but a large part of what you’ll learn is how to manage relationships. If you get a call from Admissions, you want to make sure that you have provided enough lead time for your employer to be able to replace you. Remember you may need them to be a reference for you when recruiting while at business school. If two weeks’ notice is enough to leave you in good stead, make sure that’s the case. If not, make sure you do give the proper lead time expected by your employer.
  3. Financing your degree: For the most part, schools have allotted the majority of their scholarship budget by the time summer has rolled around, with that in mind; make sure that you consider the financial situation of pursuing this MBA degree. Being comfortable with financing your MBA through loans and personal savings ahead of time will make it a lot easier to make a decision when you get the phone call.
  4. Picking up and moving your life: Durham is a terrific place and it should be reasonably easy to find housing. But how much time do you need to make the physical transition? Do you have the ability to hire movers? Will you put all you have in a U-Haul? If you have a family, will they be coming with you? Make sure you are prepared to transition yourself and anyone who may be coming with you.

These are a few things that we believe will help make your transition to Fuqua easier if you’re admitted from the waitlist. Please continue to be in touch with your waitlist counselor about any updates you may have, and don’t forget to send them to mbawaitlist@fuqua.duke.edu and copy your waitlist counselor.

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3 Responses to Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

  1. Crack The MBA says:

    Thank you for this informative post on managing waitlists.

  2. Mike Schwarz says:

    Willie, thank you for this post. I’m just in the process of application and this helps me a lot. You make preferences were you students come from?

    • Willie Green says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for reading the blog! I’m glad that it was helpful. Fuqua does not have a preference regarding where students are from — our student body is very diverse, including students from around the world and the U.S. When reviewing applications, we take a holistic approach, using all aspects of the information submitted in the application. I hope this answers your question.

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