Getting Off the Waitlist
I gave a talk not too long ago on a college campus. The event was sold out, so the administration started a waiting list for seats. The daughter of a good friend found herself on the waiting list. When I heard she still hadn’t gotten a ticket the day before the event, with just a touch of guilt for trying to bend the rules, I emailed a Dean at the college whom I know:
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. There is a young woman named B——- who is on the wait list. Is there any chance you can get her in?
The Dean called me back almost immediately, asking whether B—— had applied early-action or was going through the January admissions process.
Confused, I told him I had no idea and all I knew was that she was a freshman. Only then did he realize that I was just trying to get her a seat in the auditorium, and I realized that he thought I was trying to get her accepted into the college!
It got me thinking, though. I know there is a market for consultants who help kids optimize their college applications. Are there admissions lobbyists — folks whose job it is to cajole universities to bump particular kids off the waiting list? I suspect parents would pay a lot for such a service. Just don’t try it at the University of Illinois these days.