A few Eph quotes in this article on waitlists.

Landing on a college waiting list used to mean that all an applicant could do is, well, wait – and hope. But in the elbows-out world of college admissions, savvy hopefuls, often with the help of private advisors and aggressive high school counselors, are launching full-scale campaigns to spring themselves from the list.

“It’s too bad if students don’t know to follow up,” said Tom Parker, dean of admission and financial aid at Amherst College, which expects to take about 35 students from its list of 1,000. “If you’re going to get off the wait list, you’re really going to have to demonstrate a significant interest.”

While demonstrating interest and presenting updates often helps in the final rounds of evaluations, tread carefully. Go too far, admission deans warn, and you will snuff out your chances.

Do not stalk admission officers, camp out in front of their office, or flood their inboxes with daily e-mails. (“That’s like the kiss of death,” said Richard Nesbitt, director of admission at Williams College.)

Bribery is also a no-no, though that didn’t stop one wannabee Williams mother from sending Nesbitt a $2,500 check this month along with a rambling letter about her son’s talents. (He voided the check; her son’s fate has yet to be decided.)

And do not waste money or time flying to campus and expecting an interview this late in the admissions process.

“That is usually driven by the parent, who thinks, ‘As soon as they see you, they’ll be convinced how wonderful you are,’ ” Parker said. “It’s terribly, terribly awkward for everybody involved.”

All good advice.

But note a little hypocrisy on the “bribery” issue. Writing a $2,500 check to Dick Nesbitt (or was the check made out to “Williams College”?) does nothing good. But being from a family that has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Williams (or places like Williams) in the past, or a family that shows an inclination to do so in the future, can make all the difference. The Admissions Office tags such students as “Development” cases.

Some applicants from the richest and/or most generous of these families are called “Morty Specials” by folks in the Admissions Office. (Hey Record reporters! There is a great story there.) They aren’t on the waitlist anymore.

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