I've been waitlisted at my dream school (in US top 12), but was told through their letter that they generally let in most of their waitlist candidates. In the form for the visit day, I listed the other schools where I was admitted / waitlisted, but have since been accepted to two more schools, ranked slightly below my dream one. I plan on emailing the person of contact about my new acceptances, but want to emphasize that if I was admitted to their program, with funding, I would accept. What's the best way to go about this? Also how likely would an acceptance happen and would they release that on April 15 or earlier?
If it is true that you would surely accept if admitted, I would second and emphasize the above point that your email should include something along the lines of, "School Z still remains my top choice, and if admitted would certainly accept." When it comes to wait list acceptances, my understanding is that schools place value on knowing an applicant will accept. Also seconding that you shouldn't hesitate to be in touch with them. Of course don't email them every morning, but do make sure they're aware of your position, and keep them informed of any material updates.
I would recommend going a step further and asking a letter writer to see if they wouldn't mind dropping a note to someone at this school to inquire about your position on the waitlist. I think this is relatively common practice, so you shouldn't feel like you're asking something out of the ordinary here. This goes especially if any of your writers may personally know some folks at the school (or if folks at the school may have some impression of any of your writers). Basically, this will just serve as an additional nudge to the school that, hey, this applicant wants to come here - and your writer can also drop a reminder about why the school should want to take you off the wait list.
Be aware that it is not uncommon for wait lists to resolve *on* April 15th (I personally know someone who got off the wait list at a T12 school late on April 15th). I probably wouldn't expect much to change before, say, April 10th even. As far as I know, it's possible for wait lists to resolve in the few days *after* April 15th; I think there is some exception to the April 15th agreement when it comes to wait lists, especially given that many offers are officially declined around that time. All this is to say don't lose hope if you have a few silent weeks, and do keep in touch with the school to signal your interest and to inform about any useful updates you may have, etc.
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