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Waitlist Question

JukuJuku Posts: 9Registered User New Member
edited March 2008 in University of Chicago
I'm sure this has been covered somewhere else, but I can't find it and I've been in circles around the UChicago website.

Waitlist decisions come after May 1st: does that mean that if I choose to stay on the waitlist, I can't commit to another school? Or, if I choose to commit to somewhere else, can I back out on that if I get into Chicago? I'm confused about the whole process in general, because it would be absurd if I had to give up another school just for a slim chance at Chicago.

Honestly, though, I don't think that I'll either get in. Nor do I desperately want to go to Chicago: I like my other schools better. I might just take myself off the waitlist and give better odds to those who are in love with the school. (:
Post edited by Juku on

Replies to: Waitlist Question

  • JHSJHS Posts: 14,159Registered User Senior Member
    This IS covered on the other waitlist threads. The answer is that your letter tells you plainly that you SHOULD accept admission to another college. If you decide to stay on the Chicago waitlist, and you are later admitted, and you decide to go to Chicago, you will lose whatever deposit you had to pay to the other college. That's really about it.

    If that happens, the other college will take someone off ITS waitlist (which is why waitlist stuff keeps reverberating until September), unless it had overadmitted in the expectation that a few people would back out when they were accepted off someone else's waitlist. You won't have done anything wrong.

    As a matter of opinion, I think your line of thinking is probably right on. Chicago will probably take a few people from its waitlist, but that's a few out of (I think) about 1,200 who were offered waitlist spots. The odds aren't great. If you desperately want to go to Chicago, and you are willing to put some effort into it, and you feel lucky, it may make sense to stay on the waitlist. (But not passively.) If you have other options you like just as much or better -- colleges that have accepted you, not given you a lottery ticket -- it makes sense from a purely selfish perspective to start getting excited about them, and to let Chicago slide.
  • sanjenferrersanjenferrer Posts: 875. Member
    I think that even if pressed for space, the University will offer admission to at least a few on the waitlist who's gone to great lengths to make their devotion to the school known (I could see UChicago's admissions officers doing something like that). Perhaps no one was admitted last year because no one did something charming/memorable enough? Also, keep in mind that the 0% acceptance claim is still unconfirmed (didn't the University say the acceptance rates ranged from 1 to 29%?).
  • JukuJuku Posts: 9Registered User New Member
    Thanks for your help. I'm sorry if I wasted your time by asking a question covered elsewhere, but details about the waitlist definitely weren't in my letter. I'll be taking myself off the list now -- good luck to everyone who's still waiting!
  • JHSJHS Posts: 14,159Registered User Senior Member
    I believe the waitlist acceptance was 0 last year because considerably more students than expected decided to enroll. The target class is generally 1,250, and last year's entering class was about 100 higher, which meant first years had to be housed where they usually aren't, and screwed up transfer student housing as well.

    Obviously, no one audits this. If it turns out they mistakenly failed to admit a Pritzker cousin or something, who's to say that the error isn't quietly corrected? But I'm sure the admissions staff would be upset to think that waitlisted students -- kids who they probably like and admire a lot, and felt horrible about not accepting -- saw this as a test to see who could prove he or she REALLY loved Chicago. When they take kids off the waitlist, if they do, it may have nothing to do with that at all, and more to do with whether for some reason they lost more potential classics majors, offensive tackles, oboists, or Southerners than they expected. So, yeah, show love and interest, and try to get your GC to lobby for you, but don't think that if you do something charming and memorable enough they will take pity on you. That's just humiliating for you and painful for them.
  • fibonaccifibonacci Posts: 19Registered User New Member
    Just a guess, but it may have less to do with "who loves Chicago most" than "who isn't just keeping their name on the waitlist for the heck of it and will actually enroll if we admit them?" So if you want to get off the waitlist, you should let them know (in some way or another) that if they do take you off the list, that you will actually accept their offer.
  • ohio_momohio_mom Posts: 4,045Registered User Senior Member
    In additon to JHS's comments on looking for additional classics major and so on, if there was a weakness in you original application, perhaps something you have done since then would help - interrim grades, a thoughful letter indicating your continued interest (particularly if, in restropect, your essays weren't so hot), an additional rec.

    If you do decide to stay on the Chicago waitlist, please please try to compartmentalize your feelings. If you're going to send stuff, give it your best shot, enlist your GC's help, then actively move on. If you don't have fabulous options now, you probably will in a week and a half.
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