I have several friends who have heard disappointing news recently from a handful of business schools…including Haas. My advice is that you take a closer look at schools where you might still be competitive this late in the game. Or if you’re dead-set on a program that you know is right for you, see if you can get some specific feedback on where your application fell short so you’re ready for next year. I know every school says there’s no preferential treatment given to reapplicants, but I personally have a hard time believing that admissions offices don’t at least take note of your continued passion and interest.
And if you’re waitlisted, take full advantage of the opportunity you have to continue sell yourself (without overdoing it of course). Research each school’s position on supplemental materials, but if they’re allowed or even encouraged, make sure you send something in–a writing sample, an additional recommendation letter, an explanation of any academic flags, etc. This, I think, is a mechanism used to test out who is really serious about a particular school. And be proactive about getting feedback about any outstanding questions they still have about you and what might thus be able to bump you into the admit pool if addressed through additional materials. (Disclaimer: I don’t know what Haas’ position is on any of what I’m recommending, but look into it).
It’s a game of numbers, and anything to give yourself an edge is advisable.
And don’t take it personally. I appreciate the rigor and thoughtful, holistic approach with which Haas evaluates each applicant, but there is unavoidably a healthy dose of subjectivity in this process at any school.
Keep the faith. Being in an MBA program, and being a student more generally–despite its intensity (not to mention the near-heart attack your student loan statements will give you)–is well worth the effort.