To the people who say that there are plenty of people who will be waitlisted at wash U but accepted to everywhere else, invluding Ivys:
No one would be so shocked if that student were accepted everywhere but waitlisted by Harvard. Obviously, Wash U isn't (yet) at the same level as Harvard, but it's no safety school. If Wash U is your safety school, Yale might as well be your safety school. Wash U is overall ranked higher than some of the Ivies, and ranked higher than many of them for selectivity. All of this debate just stems from people not being able to accept that Wash U is now truly a top school, and keep treating it like a safety.
The issue is relevant in our area when selecting school. Many hesitate to apply to Wash U due to its propensity to waitlist kids. There is a suspicion it is being done to hike up the yield stats. So a kid with great stats may apply to 5-6 schools that are truly lottery tickets and then want a few schools to be the realistic choices. Wash U would not be one I would recommend for that category. I know a few kids who were taken off the wait list after swearing that the school was their *#1 choice. By having so many on the waitlist, including those who might not have Wash U as a first choice school, the school can be hedging its bets.
I've been reading this post for a few days now....surprised by the negativity. My son was waitlisted at WashU and while it sounds like thousands of students are waitlisted, he was thrilled to accept a spot on the list. A classmate of his, who got a 33 on his ACT and is in the top 1% of their class, was accepted to WashU and he deserves it. My son has a 3.8 GPA, a 30 on his ACT, is a varsity athlete, State and National hockey champ, and a published author, but his classmate is a stronger student all around, so based on our limited view of the process, Wash U accepted the right guy and waitlisted another great guy, my son.
Thanks jvtDad! I forgot to add that my son fell in love with Wash U from his first visit last summer - loved the people, the campus, everything about it. The students definitely seemed like the happiest bunch of all the schools we visited. He expressed a ton of interest, sent several updates, stayed in touch with the Admissions staff, and let them know Wash U was his top choice. So while he was disappointed to be waitlisted, Wash U got it right with the classmate they accepted over him and several other classmates.
sportsmom42: If your comment could be "liked", as can be done on Facebook, I think you would have lots of likes! Good luck to your son! It sounds like he would be a wonderful addition to the Wash U community!