There is nothing more stressful than the unknown. In this case I am talking about the unknown that is associated with being on the waitlist. Believe me I am well-acquainted with the feeling.

I was waitlisted for the MMS: FOB program during the first round of admissions, and was not accepted until about four months later. However, I am proof that it’s possible to turn that waitlist position into an acceptance! I am going to share my advice about how to handle this time of uncertainty.


As a waitlisted candidate you have been given the opportunity to improve your application. Make the most of this opportunity!

The first step to doing this is to think back to your application and identify its weaknesses. I am not involved in the admissions process, but I have to think that the Admissions committee must see potential in every applicant they choose to waitlist. However, there must also be some reason why they were unable to offer admission initially.

It’s your job now to reflect on your application and identify this reason. You probably already have a general idea of where your weak points are. Perhaps you did not score as well as you could have on the GMAT, or maybe you had a relevant internship experience but forgot to include it on your resume.

Once you identify your weaknesses you can take steps to strengthen them.

Take Action

You have already reflected on your application and realized what parts of it need improvement. Now, you need to show the Admissions committee that you are committed to making these improvements in order to gain admission to the MMS program.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. It’s important to not only say that you want to be a part of the Fuqua family but also demonstrate your willingness to do what it takes to secure an acceptance. This could include retaking the GMAT or GRE, sending an additional recommendation letter that highlights what you would bring to the table, boosting your extracurriculars, or explaining any extenuating circumstances that may have impacted your transcript.

Use your time wisely. There is no need to redo every part of your application. Only address what needs to be addressed so as to not overwhelm the admissions staff with new information. Keep in mind the Admissions team reviews a lot of material and is in communication with many students. So be respectful of their time.

Be Prepared

Finally, be ready for that exciting phone call. If accepted, you will likely be asked to make a fairly quick decision. Make sure that you are 100 percent confident that Fuqua is the right place for you, and that you are willing and able to move to Durham in July on what could be short notice. Explore your financing options early. Knowing how you plan to pay for the program will at least feel like one weight off your shoulders while you await that ultimate decision.

Ashley standing under a Duke banner at orientation after being admitted from the waitlist

Our program orientation