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William and Mary Wait Listed

Hokie2B2Hokie2B2 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
My son is from a very competitive NOVA High School and is wait listed for William and Mary and UVA. I am stunned that he didn't get in to W&M. He has a 4.2 GPA, 1540 SAT, 33 ACT, volunteers at a hospital, leadership positions in marching band, jazz band, 9 AP classes, last year all 5's and 4s on his AP test. Hasn't had anything less than an A since sophomore year. Seriously! What in the hell are they looking for? I"m disgusted. Just sayin.

Replies to: William and Mary Wait Listed

  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom Registered User Posts: 603 Member
    You're not alone. Admissions have gotten crazy competitive. My guess is being from NOVA - an area known for high achieving students - worked against him.
  • Hokie2B2Hokie2B2 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I absolutely agree!
  • IzzoOneIzzoOne Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    @Hokie2B2 sounds unlucky. I would have thought chances would have been pretty good for both W&M and UVA based on those stats. Perhaps wait list or other options will work out.

    I think W&M is perceived as being an easier admit for males these days (although both UVA and W&M are well over 50% female), but even there it is all very competitive now. NOVA could be a factor, but I've heard both UVA and W&M reps claim there is no quota.
  • IzzoOneIzzoOne Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    According to the blog below, writing to convey continuing interest doesn't hurt. UVA may be similar.

    https://wmblogs.wm.edu/admiss/decisions-decisions-2017-regular-decision-waitlist-edition/
  • momofthree55momofthree55 Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    We toured Ivy league schools a couple of years ago with my DS and were told that so many students have high stats and that the only difference in getting in or not is the essay. UVA and William and Mary is not as competitive but with many high test score kids not getting in I assume that the essays are carrying more weight. Also, due to hearing of people with high stats not getting in kids are applying to more colleges because they don't have any idea if they will get in a school or not even with the GPA and test scores of the schools averages. Due to this many students are getting in multiple schools but they will only go to one school so hopefully the waitlists will be used more by the colleges this year. My DD had average test scores for UVA, William and Mary and Washington and Lee but had no idea if she would get in any of them so she applied to all three. She got in all three and so she will not attend two of them and hopefully that will help the students on the waitlist. With those three not being a sure thing for anyone she also applied to VT and JMU as a backup plan. She will not attend them so again it should help the waitlist. I have read about people on CC saying that students applying to schools as a backup hurts students that are matches for those schools but what if Hokie2b2 didn't apply to safety schools and then got waitlisted at William and Mary and didn't have a back up plan. Admissions are just so crazy these days but good luck with the waitlist.
  • 2kidstocollege182kidstocollege18 Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    The first factor impacting the craziness of the admissions process is simply numbers. Virginia state flagship schools are very highly ranked, relatively affordable (compared to comparable private and out-of-state institutions), but really quite small. W&M has approximately 6,300 undergraduates. UVA has around 16,000. In comparison, Penn State's main campus serves 46,000 undergrads, The University of Arizona has 34,000 and The University of Maryland hosts 28,000. So we have many very talented students seeking a relatively small number of seats. And some of these seats, obviously, are going to be reserved for athletes, artists, international students, out-of-state students, and kids in specialized programs (nursing, engineering, business, etc.). For this reason alone, I told my sons -- who have stats similar to your son -- not to bank on UVA or W&M, despite the fact that they very much wanted to attend an in-state school close to home.

    As to test scores and GPA: On their first sitting, after studying a few practice tests, my sons scored in the high 1400's on their SATs. At that point, I asked a well-regarded test tutor whether my sons should retake the SATs and aim for a higher score. When the tutor learned that the boys hoped to attend UVA or W&M, he told us not to bother, that their SATs were already at an acceptable level for both schools and that higher scores wouldn't improve their likelihood of admission. Instead, he advised that both UVA and W&M tend to focus on essays and "extracurriculars that make sense," i.e., a fairly deep interest in one or two activities rather than a shallower interest in many.

    So my sons put a lot of effort into their essays, which covered the gamut from frozen yogurt to favorite vacation moments to alternative music to a love of summer swim team. (They specifically tried to avoid writing about anything that was already in their applications.) We also visited both schools and interviewed at W&M, which several former students told me was key. Happily, they were accepted to both schools. But we were totally prepared for the opposite outcome given the numbers and the many highly talented students in the Northern Virginia area.
  • momofthree55momofthree55 Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    @2kidstocollege18 . Congratulations on the boys acceptances. I totally agree, my daughter didn't have scores in the 1500's but worked really hard in classes and had a high class rank, multiple leadership positions in the same area of interest and wrote very interesting essays that displayed her passion and personality. Schools know you can study for the tests and if you have the money hire tutors to help improve scores and so that is not what they are putting the most amount of weight on. I think too many students received a high test score and figured they were a sure thing for a school and didn't work on the other areas of the application as much. The average test score at Harvard is supposedly a 1540. If test scores were that important then the average would be a 1600.
  • dochoodochoo Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    Has anyone on the waitlist heard anything yet?
  • coolhousemomcoolhousemom Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Honestly my daughter, believe it or not, had equal to or better academics than your son and yet she also got screwed last year and ended up on the waitlist at UVA, W & M and 3 other top flight schools,"super elite". According to her HS college counselor, she should have gotten into at least 1 but more likely 3 of 5.She attended the best of her safety schools which she chose due to extra curriculars that matched her interests. As we expected she hated everything else about the school (other than the extra curriculars) and knew she had to transfer. She has recently been accepted as a transfer to all of the schools that waitlisted her last year. What changed during that year? NOTHING! She was a straight A student in High School and that continued at college. Her extra curriculars are the same as before. She did not retake the SAT in college. Given her acceptance as a transfer and given the acceptance of manyof her HS classmates (without the stellar grades and extra curriculars), we are piecing this together.

    Schools in VA or nearby (with national reputations, as "super elite") are on a quest to prove that they are really "national schools", not regional schools,. They really want students that represent "diverse", populations: geographically, economically, gender diverse, racially diverse, multinationals etc.,Diverse in every sense of the word. This means that many lesser qualified applicfants from places like Nebraska are being admitted while your student is "waitlisted". This is just a fact. Colleges are taking bigger risks on more questionable students with their first year classes and hoping some of the "diversity" will stick around to graduate. And they really don't want in-state kids as they pay lower tuition! .
    More troubling is that these diverse students are running for the exits and transferring out of these top flight schools at a record pace, like after 1 semester, or less. My student was devasted by not getting in to any of her top 5 schools with a stellar application package.

    When you understand the school's priorities which is to build a national diverse class, she should not have shed a single tear. At least for the excellent high schools in VA (public or private) both UVA and W & M have a metric and they know that your kid will re-apply. Yes, they are using your kid; You've been played! They know your kid will re-apply because he was qualified the first time. (One school actually maintained my daughter's "student home page" for a over a year after she was rejected/waitlisted the first time????? There is NO reason to do this unless they know she is coming back).

    My advice for kids like yours is go to the easiest college that accepted him. Get straigt As. Make no friends, Don't get involved in anything. It's pointlessn as he won't be there long. These schools (UVA & W & M & others) know your kid is getting in as a sophomore. Also take the basics so everything will transfer, nothing fancy or in depth. I wish someone had clued us in earlier.
  • clvmsyclvmsy Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    Gave me a heart attack when I got an email that said "William and Mary Waitlist" and turned out to be nothing
  • momofthree55momofthree55 Registered User Posts: 128 Junior Member
    @coolhousemom I wouldn't say students are transferring out of top schools at a record pace, UVA and William and Mary have a freshman retention rate of 97 and 96%. They also have an 82 and 84% graduation rate at 4 years and a 90 and 92% graduation rate at 6 years. They also take 2/3 of their class from the state of Virginia so students in the state are not really losing spots due to geography diversity. Congratulations on your daughters acceptance. Did she have to write a new essay to transfer, that may have made the difference between this year and last year.
  • dscottvbdscottvb Registered User Posts: 269 Junior Member
    @coolhousemom Your opinion that "many lesser qualified applicfants (sic) from places like Nebraska are being admitted while your student is waitlisted" is not supported by data. Both UVA and WM report higher test scores for the OOS admitted student population than the corresponding IS group. http://research.schev.edu. The acceptance rate for IS students is also much higher than OOS.

    Your advice to a freshman student is cynical and will guarantee a horrible first-year experience. There are plenty of great schools ("super elite" as you call them) other than UVA and WM, and many students have great experiences at them -- because they choose to.
  • _LookAtMe__LookAtMe_ Registered User Posts: 108 Junior Member
    @coolhousemom I was/am in a similar situation as your child being a freshman transfer but I would have to disagree here. I was a good (not great) student coming out of a prestigious high school and my best option was a Top 40 LAC and I took it. I ended up not liking it so I'm transferring most likely to Vanderbilt this upcoming fall.

    DONT CHOOSE A COLLEGE BASED ON TRANSFERRING OUT! It sets you up for disaster. You won't be happy and your mindset and GPA will decline. Go to the school you are most happy with and try to learn to love it. Get involved on campus and have fun but if your dead set of transferring then simply try your hardest to get good grades. I know many friends that wanted to "transfer out" in November but ended up staying because they allowed themselves to love their academic and social environment. Always make the most of every opportunity during freshman year and worry about the potential transfer process evaluation over winter break with your best interests in mind.

    Prestige hunting gets most people nowhere. Period.
  • clvmsyclvmsy Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    Has anyone heard anything?
  • medfulofmindmedfulofmind Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    If you check their admit it blog, as of yesterday they announced it is looking like the freshmen class is somewhat full but I would not let it discourage you guys! They say they still take students throughout the summer if space is made. They have been responding to students through the comment sections (will be posting an updated blog post soon) click the link hope this helps!https://wmblogs.wm.edu/admiss/decisions-decisions-2018-regular-decision-waitlist-edition/
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