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How Did I Get Waitlisted By My Safety School?


Replies to: How Did I Get Waitlisted By My Safety School?

  • Oregongirl14Oregongirl14 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    @midhelper Can't you just excuse him from class for a little while? That's what my parents would do when I had to call coaches on the east coast when I was being recruited my junior year. You can also just email them from home and say: "hi, I received an email saying I hadn't visited campus and I wanted to clarify that I had visited...". They can respond to an email the next day. Or ask his school college/guidance counselor to send an email.

    Northeastern says that demonstrated interest isn't required, but it saved me from being denied. Yale probably says they don't track applicants because they don't want a ton of people constantly emailing them, so they can make sure they get demonstrated interest. Ivy Leagues assume everyone has a huge commitment to going to them.
  • MidhelperMidhelper Registered User Posts: 630 Member
    Yes we did exactly that too and some teachers were not as cooperative as others. Yes he did a lot of emailing but sometimes you have a series of questions depending on their answers etc. Either way even being excused from class he couldn't find a suitable place to make the call unless he came home etc. which meant missing more than just a few minutes. We really felt the stress of that this year. One admissions counselor only responded to 1 of the 5 emails he sent them. Just frustrating. Then you hear well your contact with them makes a difference. Way to go to those students who can juggle all this and keep up with their school work - stressful!
  • terminatorpterminatorp Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    My situation is somewhat similar. I reside in Texas, and the Texas A&M Honors program was my safety target (they accept nearly 50% of students that apply to the program, and my GPA/ACT was much higher than average). I also applied to UT Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program and Plan 2 honors. I got rejected to A&M Honors flat out (not even waitlisted), and got a waitlist offer at UT Austin's Liberal Arts Honors (although got accepted to Plan 2, so I am very grateful!) . However, it scares me to think that A&M Honors was literally my top choice a few months back, and was considered a safety target (most of the kids who apply to the program from my school get in with lower stats).

    The only reason why getting rejected to A&M Honors didn't bother me too much was the lucky fact that I got likely letters to 3 Ivy's (Yale, Columbia, Penn), likely to Stanford, and AB Scholar finalist (full ride) to Duke, probably about a week before the rejection!

    I don't want to think too deeply into my rejection, as I know I am definitely not entitled to an acceptance solely because of my grades/scores - perhaps I legitimately did lack what they were looking for in an applicant that would fit their school. But I still continue to be confused by the fact that I got rejected/waitlisted by my top "safety" choices, but got admitted (with likelies!) to schools I would have never imagined ever getting into! :)
  • WestSeattleMomWestSeattleMom Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    Schools try to build a community. They do not just take all the "best" applicants. They need leaders and dependable hard workers who prefer to be followers. They need tuba players and clarinet players. They have different spots to fill for majors-- they can't take all kids that hope to be pre-med. From what I've seen most places do a good jump of building a diverse interesting community of kids they think will fit there. There are many good schools out there -- don't get your heart set on one place. And don't think less of a school just because they reject a "highly qualified" applicant. Maybe they just had enough perfect kids already. One top CC school pointed out to us in the info session that they could fill their class with kids with perfect GPA and SATs scores from the applications they receive, but they don't--and for good reason.
  • Daddio3Daddio3 Registered User Posts: 625 Member
    edited March 2014
    I found this 2009 article from the Daily Beast fascinating (and somewhat disturbing). By the way, these are not my words below!

    Dirty Secrets of College Admissions
    In a Daily Beast exclusive, college admissions officers reveal the shameful truth about the selection process. Rich kids from New York, boring Asian math geniuses, and oboe-playing poets need not apply.

  • EnthusiasmEnthusiasm Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Like other people are saying, although your SAT and GPA are high, they want to make sure that you aren't, as you are saying using them as a Safety school. Colleges and Universities can only let in a certain amount of people and they don't want to reserve a spot for you unless they know you will most likely go there when they could reserve a spot for a very likely going to enroll student.
  • pmmywestpmmywest Registered User Posts: 358 Member
    @TomSrOfBoston @Oregongirl14 How do colleges know if you've opened their emails or just deleted them? I ha no idea email senders had this capability, and this is all sounding very NSA-y.
  • MomannoyedMomannoyed Registered User Posts: 272 Junior Member
    edited March 2014
    The (Daily Beast) article mentions two different admissions officers who got food poisoning in Buffalo and thereafter rejected applicants from Buffalo. That sounds like an urban legend going the rounds.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    edited March 2014
    Another way colleges check on "showing interest" is through the emails they send. They can monitor if you open the email or simply delete it without opening it. The more deletes, the less interest, the less likely an admit decision.

    This is presumably done by embedding URL images (which are not necessarily visible-to-human images) in HTML email, so if you open the email in a plain text email reader or one which does not open embedded URLs (typically for security purposes), the opening of the email will not be noticed.

    So this means, after reading the email from the college in an email reader that does not open embedded URLs, do so with opening of embedded URLs once you have verified that it is legitimate, so that the "has read the email" counter gets triggered.

    Of course, if there is a link to the college's web site that you are supposed to explicitly click to, it would be a good idea to go there and browse, since that may be a more explicit way of tracking interest from the email.
  • Oregongirl14Oregongirl14 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    A pretty common software it just tells them if the person opened the email how soon and if it was forwarded. I no some college sports coaches and they've shown me the program. They said they use it to see how serious prospects are but that admissions uses them too.

    You act like its spying. They send an email and see what happens to it. Do you think it's spying that you can see that a text message was delivered/opened? It's not even like its a secret lots of people know about it. I mean some schools (Yale ^) even let people know if they don't use those soft wares.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    Point is (see post above), depending on your email reader and its security settings, reading the email may not trigger the action that causes the software to know that you read the email, so you may have to take specific action to ensure that you "show interest" by "showing that you read the email".
  • Bartleby007Bartleby007 Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    Specialized email software. Schmoozing of regional admissions officers. The keeping of "demonstrated interest" files on prospective applicants.

    If this really is the current game in college admissions, I'm surprised so many kids/parents choose to play.

    The energy an applicant spends feigning interest (to check the "I'm-interested" box) would be better spent on any number of other pursuits.

    Don't even get me started on the games that sleazy college coaches play during the athletic recruitment process. I've heard so many stories from scholar-athletes over the years...
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,730 Senior Member
    If this really is the current game in college admissions, I'm surprised so many kids/parents choose to play.

    Use of "level of applicant's interest" as a frosh admissions criterion is gaining in popularity, particularly among private schools that see themselves being used as "safeties" but do not want to be used as "safeties" by students who are unlikely to matriculate.
  • denali21denali21 Registered User Posts: 26 Junior Member
    similar to @terminatorp 's experience: ~4-5 years ago, a family friend wanting to major in mech. engineering was accepted by Stanford and Rice (his reach schools) and was rejected by UT-Austin (one of his two safety schools). We have no idea why. (The possible explanations given by Ms. Rubenstone do not seem to apply.)
This discussion has been closed.