Since most colleges set their decision deadline on or around May 1st, waitlisted students won’t hear back about final decisions until at least May.
According to a 2019 survey from the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), 43 percent of four-year colleges reported using a waitlist in 2018. Of all the students who accepted a position on the waitlist at these colleges, 20 percent were accepted.
If you are placed on a waitlist, you can usually find out if the school has gone to their waitlist in the past and if so, how many students they admitted from the waitlist. In some cases, your chances of eventually getting in are very good; at other colleges, waitlisted applicants are almost never admitted.
Your step-by-step guide to writing a waitlist update. Update letters should be short – no more than two pages. Keep the letter focused on what you have accomplished since applying.
Try to remember that being placed on the waitlist is not the same as receiving a rejection letter. You may still be accepted, though it may take time to determine where you stand. As accepted students notify colleges of their decisions to accept or decline enrollment, spots open up for wait-listed students.
Getting waitlisted at a college certainly isn’t a bad thing —your application was good enough to not get rejected! —but it’s definitely an uncomfortable place to be. After all, when you’re on the college waitlist, you don’t know whether you’ll be admitted or not, and that alone is anxiety-inducing.
Being deferred from a college is not the same as being placed on the waitlist. Most college deferrals occur when a student has applied early action (EA) or early decision (ED) to a college. Even though being waitlisted sounds better than being rejected, odds of getting off a waitlist are not in a student’s favor.
What you SHOULD do if you’re waitlisted Let it settle in. Evaluate how much you want to attend this institution, and decide whether or not you want to stay on the waitlist. Make your choice known. Write a letter. Tell them why they should accept you. Send it to the right person. Be yourself and proofread.
The 91 ranked colleges that reported these data to U.S. News in an annual survey admitted anywhere from zero to 100 percent of wait-listed applicants. But the average was about 1 in 5, the data show. Universities usually offer applicants waitlist spots during the regular decision round of admission.
Most of the time, it means you have the academic credentials to be admitted, but for one reason or another, the admissions office wasn’t ready to accept you. If you’ve been waitlisted, don’t panic. A good plan of action is to make sure you have a solid list of safety schools to apply to just in case.
Even if they did waitlist you originally, you are now a whole new candidate. They may realize that they now need to offer you a large scholarship to have a chance at getting you to come. In short, it’s definitely possible to get in off a waitlist AND receive merit aid.
Typically, yes, you may accept more than one waitlist offer. ( You must physically accept or decline the waitlist offer by each school.) And typically, yes, you have approximately one to two weeks max to decline an offer off the waitlist. But please check with each school to be certain.
Does a Likely Letter Guarantee Admission? While a likely letter doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive an acceptance letter, it’s pretty close to a guarantee. Keep your grades up, don’t get suspended or arrested, and you will almost certainly receive good news from the college that sent you the likely letter.
Just call and ask, or send an email. They probably get a lot of those calls, and rest assured they won’t consider it rude. Their most recent common data set doesn’t indicate whether they rank their waitlist, but it does say that only 36 out of 1,245 got in off the waitlist.
Columbia places extremely compelling candidates on a waitlist to be considered for admission if spots in the entering class become available. We do not rank our waiting list, and all candidates are re-considered for admission if spaces do become available.