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The Wait List


Replies to: The Wait List

  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum . Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    Perhaps similar on the surface, but not really. They're rivals for a reason. Some students may fit both, but for the most part you'll find that they have their own personality, culture, and student body mixtures. It is not uncommon for a student to be rejected at one school and accepted at the other because of "fit."
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum . Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    @BusterDad said something that has resonated on the boards the last few years:
    The question here is do you have an admit from a school you'd like to go to, as an alternative to your first choice... If you do, then dance with the one that loves you.
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    I can tell you that the WL wait is not fun, for both the parents and the child. It's not a place you want to be.

    So taking up an acceptance from a school you'd have been happy to go to whole-heartedly if the wait list had been a reject is probably the best idea. (all things being equal, or course...)
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    Not sure where the "love the school that loves you" sentiment originated, but I first heard it from Exie and have quoted it many times since. Pining for a school that didn't love you from the very first has romantic parallels that rarely lead to a successful union :)
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    @wcmom1958: I don't think the wait list experience is quite parallel with romance; a wait listed school can work out fine (as it did for me at MIT; my complaints about MIT are much more complex, and mostly not MIT's fault. Overall MIT was a life changing experience (for the better) for me.).

    But if there is a choice of an admit to a school you'd have been happy to go to anyway, I think it will usually work out better than waiting for months to find out if the first choice wait list works out, which it usually won't. I don't remember what my "safety" was for college, but it was much less desirable than MIT.

    But waiting for months, for something that probably won't happen anyway, isn't a fun experience, as I can attest first hand. I can't imagine what we'll do if history repeats itself for a third time tomorrow (though my son is much more interested in BS in general, and applied more widely than my daughter was interested in doing, so the odds are quite different). But again, our "best available alternative" is an excellent public high school, so the downside isn't what it may be for some/many people here.

    Tomorrow's experience will be different for us/my son than it was for my daughter anyway, as he'll be much more disappointed if things don't work out. But at least he'd be very happy to be accepted by any of his top three choices.
  • f2000saf2000sa Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    Guess there will be real money on the table if you wait for your WL school. Deposit (may be hefty) will be paid before April 10. Schools will most likely consider WL after April 10th.
  • neatoburritoneatoburrito Registered User Posts: 3,449 Senior Member
    If you have an acceptance, every waitlist should be considered a denial. If all you have are waitlists, they should still be considered denials with the very off chance that you'll get a surprise at some point. Just don't count on it. Make other plans and move on.
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    I don't think the deposits are due April 10, but more like sometime in May. I think you just tell them you intend to come by April 10.

    But putting money where your mouth is makes it all real.

    And yes, to first order, everything else being equal, presume a WL is the same as a denial. If you weren't interested in attending the other school, why did you even apply?
  • ValdogValdog Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    In the spirit of non sibi, I would also encourage those who have acceptances and waitlist letters come March 10 to help the schools and other kids out to the extent you can. If you know you will accept an offer at a particular school, relinquish your acceptances and waitlist spots elsewhere as soon as possible. You never know - it might well make a difference to someone, especially if a school offered you financial aid but you won't be taking those precious funds. A few years back, our child knew she would attend a particular school without revisits so literally informed the other schools on, I believe, March 11. They were very appreciative, especially since one offer included generous financial aid at a time when endowments were down and funds were tight. Just a thought....Good luck, everyone!
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    @Valdog is right on: let the schools know *as soon as possible* what your decisions are, not so much for the sake of the schools, but for the sake of those who are on pins and needles on a wait list!
  • f2000saf2000sa Registered User Posts: 938 Member
    If WL is almost equal to denial, It may be good idea for the schools to reduce the number of denials and replace them with WL. WL as a goodwill gesture to comfort little souls.. Schools can keep the true WL internally...
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    No, a wait list not just a goodwill gesture. Some years, they go to the wait list quite a bit; others not so much or at all; it's just very hard before April/May for the schools to know if they will need their wait list or not.

    Certainly 2 and 3 years ago when my daughter applied, yields were unexpectedly high for Andover (I think due to nervousness about the economy). As I was thinking about it then, I just couldn't figure out how the economy was going to affect yield and/or how risk averse the schools might be to come up short on kids attending, so I sure understand how the AO's got the guess wrong (and ended up over 10 kids over subscribed).
  • mountainhikermountainhiker Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    If WL is almost equal to denial, It may be good idea for the schools to reduce the number of denials and replace them with WL.

    My understanding is that being waitlisted and being declined are two very different things.

    “Waitlist” = We think you would be a great fit for our school, but we just don’t have enough seats/beds for us to admit you outright this year.

    “Decline” = Something about your application makes us feel that you are not the right fit for our school . . . at least this year
  • BusterDadBusterDad Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    Even a decline doesn't mean that you are not the right fit for a school; the wait list is there to help ensure the school ends up full in September and they don't want to have more kids wait listed than they need to ensure filling the school.

    If you are declined and you are interested in applying the next year, you should (once the dust settles, probably no sooner than May or June) contact the school that declined you and find out if they are interested in you applying again. They will let you know if they think you fit and might have a good chance the next year. If you are WL'ed, you already know that applying again is almost certainly welcome, of course.

    For the best schools, there are just too many qualified applicants who fit in the first place, and I'm sure the hardest part of the admissions office's job is that they have to say no to so many kids that do "fit" and are qualified.
  • mountainhikermountainhiker Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    Bumping this thread . . .
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