Placed on "Extended Waitlist" even though waitlist has been closed. Huh??

My daughter just got a letter from her top choice school stating that their waitlist has been closed. (Phew-- She can finally be happy with her second choice school that accepted her with a fellowship/ merit scholarship!) BUT the next sentence was:
“We would like to offer a few highly qualified students the opportunity to remain on an EXTENDED waitlist.” Who designed this very specialized form of torture?? I advised my student to say no thanks, but she wants to wait it out and see what happens. Has anyone else gotten a letter like this? Any professionals want to weigh in here? (This seems designed to protect colleges in the event of last-minute changes… and to torture ‘highly qualified’ but expendable students!)

This is an unusual year. Apparently, more students than ever are putting a pause on their decisions for the upcoming school year. Many parents are rethinking paying upwards to $80k for an online college experience. So a number of students are requesting a gap year, reneging on commitments and double booking.

I’ve seen schools with single digit acceptance rates from last year jump to their waitlists before the May1 accept date. Also a lot of the standard rules that schools have are under scrutiny by DOJ as breaking anti trust rules,

So schools are extremely jumpy about having a full class in the fall. Until the semester payment is a lock, no telling who’s going to pay, who’s going to show up.

It is possible that those who want to stay on the wait list who send a heartfelt letter to Admisdions , especially if they are full pay, just might get off of those extended wait lists.

Though the waitlist scene is unusual this year for many schools and students, this is really not something totally new. One of my kids (and I know others who had the same experience) was offered a spot at school from the waitlist in August. There are also categories like “priority waitlist”. I’ve seen them even before this year. My guess is that these practices are becoming more prevalent this year.

That’s right.

Your/her choice on whether to accept that torture or not.

It may depend on her personality. I know that I don’t care to be strung along.

I would agree that the college is not handling the waitlist great, even given the times we’re in. How do you close a waitlist but still keep it open for some? Why even send something out like this? Typically I would only answer questions about the waitlist if asked in email or phone. Then you can look up the person and say it’s still open or now closed.

At some point you have to start doing activities (even if virtual) on the college your daughter is enrolled in. If remaining on the list doesn’t involve any work and it’s your daughter’s first choice by a decent margin, then you’ll probably have to be on it. good luck!

With extended waitlists I wonder if spots will open after first semester payments are due. It is one thing to lose a down payment and entirely another to lose first semester payment even if a student has financial aid (other than full ride of course). Interesting…