Much Better to be Waitlisted Than Deferred

<p>Let's face it, a deferral is equivalent to outright rejection probably 90% of the time. Most kids realize this and are smart enough to scramble and put together a couple more applications to other schools (including another safety) after getting 2 or more deferrals in the EA/ED round. Waitlist gives you a realistic shot, but is pretty much based on the luck of how many more accepted students reject the school's offer of admission over and above what the school has estimated. In one year a given school can take 15 kids off its waitlist, the next year 150. Anybody here have a sense of which universities tend to have the most liberal admission (best chance) for waitlisted students?</p>

<p>I think the opposite, being deferred from EA is much different then being waitlisted after RD decisions are out in March...deferred to RD lets you have a better chance of acceptance..D1 was deferred EA and was accepted RD..i fully expect the same for D2... From CC </p>

<p>Waitlists are the nasty first cousin of deferrals. Waitlisting generally occurs in April, or at the time when RD accept/deny letters come out. If you are waitlisted, you're also neither in nor out. You're just waiting for a decision that may never come. Colleges use their waitlists to make sure that every bed is filled in their dorm rooms. If not enough accepted students enroll, waitlisted applicants are offered admission. At the very top schools, waitlists are used relatively infrequently because of the high enrollment percentages of accepted students. Still, if you've had your heart set on a particular school and you end up on the waitlist, it can be agonizing. You'll most likely be forced to enroll at another college while hoping for that call from the waitlist. Frankly, it doesn't seem fair at all. Waitlists were designed wholly for the advantage of the college, not you, so keep that in mind.</p>

<p>I'm with qdogpa. I believe that a deferral really means they will consider you again in the next round. It worked for my daughter.</p>

<p>I know quite a few deferrals who were admitted in the regular round and not many who have come off a waitlist at a highly selective school.</p>

<p>I also agree with qdogpa. Deferrals give you a realistic chance during a second review of your app, waitlists are often polite rejections. Depending on yield, some schools never take anyone off their waitlists. Like MOWC, I know several students accepted RD after deferrals in the early rounds but next to none taken off a waitlist.</p>

<p>that's interesting, but despite the agonizing wait, I sort of look at WL as: "You are in, you meet the qualification requirements, but only if we can find room for you". Deferred in many cases I feel is not so much a case of being right on the borderline of acceptance, as it is an attempt to soften the blow of an ultimate rejection for an EA appplicant. If you truly go into the RD round w/the same chance as every other applicant and get a second fresh read by new eyes, maybe you are right. I just wonder how often that happens. Do they take a point of view like that or is it more: "We've already looked at this once and didn't admit, so unless this kid knocked the cover off the ball w/re: to first semester grades or had some new terrific accomplishment, we are not going to reconsider and will move on to other applicants.".</p>

<p>I agree that I would expect waitlist acceptances to be very slim at the ivies and top 20 other schools, but I bet they are more liberal at the larger highly regarded public universities and other schools. I also believe waitlists should be kept to a realisitic minimum to not "lead on" a prospective enrollee too much. OTOH, I keep hearing many applicants say: "everybody is getting deferred".</p>

<p>The main purpose of deferrals is so admissions can see the entire applicant pool before making a decision.</p>

<p>Deferral is MUCH better than being on the waitlist. Your odds though vary at different universities and most are pretty cagey about how many deferrals eventually get accepted. At MIT the number last year of deferrals that were almost accepted was almost 6%. Admissions</a> Statistics | MIT Admissions , while about 2.5% were accepted off the waitlist. The overall admit rate at MIT is 9.7% - so we are talking about a school where 90% of the students are already getting rejected.</p>

<p>I think people are mostly wrong to view deferrals as polite rejections, though there does seem to be some anecdotal evidence that some universities use them that way especially for legacy applicants. (If that were true, Harvard should have deferred or waitlisted my double legacy niece. They didn't they flat out rejected her - her interviewer considered her one of the best applicants he'd seen in years.)</p>

<p>When you get deferred from a school and enter into RD, is there some sort of note on your application? Do the people reading the apps know that this was an applicant who chose their school as a top choice, or do you simply start from scratch again? Does anyone know how that works?</p>

<p>curious about that too. I don't think the Adcom folks would let prior work "go to waste". Hopefully they have some encouraging comments about the applicant being very close or borderline, pending review of the entire applicant pool. It could be something as simple as: "Pending first semester grades". Or "2 out of 5 on committee voted accept ". Probably varies by school, and I bet some do simply throw the application into the RD pool w/no notes to give it a completely unbiased (but not necessarily better) fresh look.</p>

<p>I think being waitlisted is by far the more unpleasant situation.</p>

<p>For those who choose to stay on a waitlist, the summer is a time of indecision. While your friends and former classmates know where they're going and are preparing for it -- studying course listings and graduation requirements, e-mailing or phoning their future roommates, joining Facebook groups of incoming freshmen at their new school, making travel plans -- you are in a kind of limbo, preparing to enroll in one school while still hoping for another (or one of several others, if you stay on several waitlists). You don't even know what kind of climate to buy clothes for, let alone whether you need to retake macroeconomics because you got a 4 on the AP exam or whether your roommate is bringing a refrigerator.</p>

<p>Long ago, I was waitlisted from my first choice school but accepted at two others that I liked. I turned down my spot on the waitlist and accepted one of the other schools the same day -- a choice that my parents fully supported. It was the right choice for me, and I suspect it's the right choice for a lot of other people, too. It enabled me to start looking forward at a time when that was the most important thing to do.</p>

<p>Being deferred isn't quite the same thing. It just puts you in the same situation as your classmates who didn't apply ED or EA. You're all waiting together for news that you'll receive in the spring. You may be disappointed, but you're not out of synch with the rest of the entering-college population.</p>

<p>pleaseadvise - according to the CDS - there are sometimes thousands of waitlisted applicants for possibly under 20 spots. Last year Cornell waitlisted 2551, then 1483 took a spot on the waitlist and they eventually accepted zero off the waitlist. Deferred applicants probably don't do that well either as we can see in these early rounds - tons and tons and tons of deferrals. Most likely a very, very small percentage of deferrals and waitlisted kids ever get in. </p>

<p>And sometimes it's after the summer melt - after the kid has already accepted and kind of has a mindset for another school.</p>

<p>No one should ever give up if it's their No. 1 school. But it's by no means is it better either way. But if I had to choose - I would think a deferred kid has a ever so slight edge on the waitlisted kid.</p>

<p>^Two to three times as much edge at MIT! (Not slight.)</p>

<p>I still wonder. Would it be better to be deferred at U. of Chicago, knowing how strong the applicant pool was (both deferred plus RD) or waitlisted w/a shot to get in? I guess if you knew that you were relatively high on the WL that would make a difference (if they even have such rankings). I agree w/everything you say about the agony of waiting during the summer, but if it is a Number 1 choice--I might prefer to be WL and take my chances versus competing against against a very strong RD+Deferred pool where only about 10% get an acceptance.</p>

<p>kleibo, I was not aware that so many kids get put on waitlist. I thought it would be much smaller, much more selective w/a decent, if not probable, shot at getting in. Thx. for the info. At the Ivies or Ivy-like (e.g. M.I.T., thx mathmom for the stats) I can understand that very few WL get in because the yields are so high and the school size is not large. But it is hard to believe that at UM or UVA or even an ivy like Cornell with a huge student body, so few on the WL get in. So that is very discouraging, and now we have to rely on a deferral hitting the mark I suppose.</p>

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No one should ever give up if it's their No. 1 school.

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<p>Sure they should. It's how you move forward instead of obsessing over what might have been.</p>

<p>Chicago does not rank the WL; some years no one gets off. I think a deferred student has the better shot. (I also have a son who was deferred SCEA and admitted RD.)</p>

<p>Who says you have to obsess. You update your resume with any new awards or scholarships - you contact admissions for an interview if you didn't get a chance to have one prior - they may allow that. You do what you can to get in.</p>

<p>Why do you think that not giving up is obsessing. I didn't say be blinded and not move forward with other schools as well.</p>

<p>I think it really depends on the school. A few years ago I chatted with an admissions director at a very selective school, and he noted that a deferral at this school was essentially a polite rejection. On the other hand, a school such as Northwestern defers very few students, and I think a deferred student there, with good first semester grades, stands a very good chance in the RD pool.</p>