I am writing to those of you who got the not yes but not no email today--you are in the "Purgatorio" called the wait list. First of all--congratulations, Harvard has judged you someone they would like to have in the class, that in of itself is quite an accomplishment and you should feel good about that--even though right now, you think that feeling good is the last thing you are experiencing. You could have gotten the electronic version of the "thin envelope" --and if you envy those people, just decline the wait list offer and your torture will cease-- a whole lot of students offered the WL do just that.
For the rest of you it will be a psychological equivalent of rubbing your tummy while patting your head--get excited about those schools that want you-- if that is where you end up attending you will have a wonderful collegiate experience and will hardly even think about Harvard--but at the same time will have to try everything you can to see if you can convert the WL to an A--which means you will still be quite emotionally invested in Harvard. It makes the inevitable question "so where are you going to college" uneasy to answer at best.
First the bad news for most on the wait list the experience will be like being on death row waiting for the warden to come to your cell to say "It's time" and put you out of your misery--all the while hoping against hope that the governor will call to save you--knowing in your heart that the call isn't coming.
Now the good news-- Dean Fitzsimmons has stated that this year in particular the Committee was conservative in the number of acceptances not knowing the yield for their first in many years SCEA admitted students. he spoke about a projected yield of well over 90% of these kids-- a number that seems to me to be quite high. Regardless, Fitzsimmons was as optimistic about going to the WL as I have read him in his annual comments on decision day to be. He even said that in recent years they have had unto 200 off the WL (suggesting that such MAY be the case this year). Unfortunately how large a number will not be clear until May 1st.
What to do-- well, first, say yes to whatever college you want to attend and accepted you before May 1. Don't forget or have some illusion that YOU are the shoo-in off the wait list so you won't waste the deposit money for College X. That deposit is at worst, the price of insurance and most likely the deposit to the college you want to go. Second go to that college's admitted student days and get very excited about being there-- don't mope or hold back your excitement (firstly, you will miss out on a great time, secondly you more than likely will be there and if you get known as the kid who told everyone that while he/she was at the admitted student day he/she was really just waiting for Harvard to say yes--and it doesn't you will be forever known as the snobby putz--not a cool way to start your college reputation...) Third, if you do want Harvard, write back and let them know in no uncertain terms that if you are accepted from the wait list you will absolutely attend.
I'm sorry that the waiting isn't over--but hey, more than likely some folks will be taken off the WL-- why not you?