Reason for waitlist from high match?

As college decisions have begun to come out for me, I’ve found myself a bit confused with one of my decisions: Chapman University. I was waitlisted RD and put my major down as creative writing (which, based on my research, is not one of their more competitive majors). I actually considered it one of my high matches, though I guess I was wrong. I’ve been accepted to colleges with relatively the same acceptance rate as Chapman, sometimes even lower, and have been put into highly selective programs within them. So why was I not accepted to Chapman?
Here’s some of my info:
GPA: 3.94/4.73 SAT: 1540 ACT: 35; All of these are way above Chapman’s average.
ECs: Did theater all 4 years of high school, have a leadership position on two backstage crews that I spend around 50-100 hours working on per show. Worked as an intern in a consulting firm for a couple summers and breaks. Volunteered in an animal shelter for a few months. Did some acting roles in speech team and theater, went to state my sophomore year for theater.
Awards: NMF (semifinalist when applications went out), AP Scholar with Honor, State Champion in Drama Technical Performance freshman year
Essays: I’ll never like my own writing but other people have said they’re good, they certainly worked for my other colleges and were unique enough to stand out. I did have one pretty bad typo in one of my Chapman short answers, though.
Teacher Recs: One was very good, counselor explained some grade issues I had sophomore year, and the third was was probably fine. Again, they worked at my other schools.
I don’t know if this would affect my chances, but I applied RIGHT before the deadline, on the day applications were due.
Could anyone possibly give me some clues as to why I was not accepted? I’m VERY hesitant to cry “yield protection” because that seems kind of pretentious of me to assume, but my admissions counselor at the school basically said that I wasn’t accepted because this years applicant pool was “extremely competitive”, and I find it hard to believe that I was not competitive enough comparatively. I’m also unsure that it was yield protection because Chapman doesn’t take demonstrated interest into account, and therefore isn’t worried about me treating them like a “safety”.

It is very unlikely that you will get a good answer. Especially at smaller schools, it is often about ‘fit’ and that can mean not just are you a good fit, but what does the class that they are building as a whole look like (the famous tuba player example).

Totally speculating, I wonder about putting down Creative Writing as a prospective major as a way of gaming the system (“based on my research, is not one of their more competitive majors”). Nothing in what you have posted shows any connection to CW as an interest area.

Also, I think your logic. that “Chapman doesn’t take demonstrated interest into account, and therefore isn’t worried about me treating them like a “safety”.” is wrong: the two things are not necessarily linked. If you have super high test scores and apply to schools with more average test scores they are going to look at why you are applying to go to school there. Your ‘why’ essay would matter more than usual (but no, even a big typo won’t get you the boot).

Did you really want Chapman, or is it the bruised ego of a ‘no’?

Read this :smile:

These blogs explain it well.

Rejoice your wins in life don’t dwell on what you can’t control.

My kids got accepted, denied, rejected and wait listed to some really great schools. We focused on the accepted ones ?

“I’m also unsure that it was yield protection because Chapman doesn’t take demonstrated interest into account, and therefore isn’t worried about me treating them like a “safety”.“

Chapman has substantial stat-based merit and has to think about both yield and their overall merit budget. So they don’t want to offer the limited number of top scholarships to students who aren’t going to attend or who aren’t going to be the school ambassadors that they are looking for. You are way above their typical stats and applied last minute without a particularly clear rationale of why this is your top choice. It seems pretty clear to me you were yield protected.

An important part of Chapman’s yield (and budget) protection that seems to be somewhat different from certain other colleges is that from what I understand waitlisted students at Chapman also may no longer get the same merit if they get off the waitlist (my high stat D18 was waitlisted there for dance). So if you really want to go there then you may be able to get a place by saying it’s a top choice and you are willing to commit, but they might screw you on merit. I wouldn’t take that deal (my D18 didn’t accept the waitlist spot as she had better offers elsewhere).

High match means a substantial likelihood of non admission.

Also, creative writing is often one of the more popular subareas of English / writing.

They probably had other students who looked like you who were better fits for some reason. Maybe the other people wanting to do creative writing had stronger ECs or achievement in that area.
If you would like to attend Chapman, take that WL spot and tell them they are your first choice and update them on any new accomplishments. Then hope that a place for someone just like you opens up and that they’ll admit you.

If it’s just a question of “why?” or a bruised ego, and you already have better options, let it go.

They consider more than stats, so having stats above their average just gets you to the next round. That’s where they get to know you as an applicant. Students have to present a clear, cohesive picture of who they are in a very short time.

If I were reading your application I’d wonder why a drama kid who had grade issues that had to be explained by a counselor was applying at the last minute as a creative writing major. Your essays would have had to do a good job of explaining why creative writing and why Chapman’s program. And it would have had to do it better than the kids who have been involved with creative writing as long as you’ve been doing drama.

@gardenstategal Yeah, I mostly am just asking because I’m curious. Chapman was never my top school and though it stings a little because I thought I’d easily get in, this is a good reminder of the unpredictable nature of life sometimes.

@ucbalumnus At Chapman, English and Creative Writing are two separate majors. Double majoring in both is not allowed.

@austinmshauri My grade issues were just that most of my classes second semester of my sophomore year were marked as “withdrawn” because I was in the hospital for almost all of that semester, and that’s really the only blip in my transcript that definitely would seem strange if it wasn’t explained. As for my major, do you think that if I had applied for a major related to drama/had ECs related to creative writing I would’ve had a better chance of acceptance? I’ve always been told that you don’t need to have ECs related to your prospective major unless you’re applying to a top school, which Chapman is not. I thought my essays were pretty good, they explained why I love to write but haven’t really “published” any of it, and I also mentioned several programs and organizations at Chapman that I would be interested in being a part of. I do admit it was hard to fully flesh out those ideas because I only had 200 words for those essays.

Your stats were way high for the school so you assumed it should be almost a safety. You applied for a specific major b/c you thought it would be an easier admit. And you were never that interested in the school. And then, even though you have “better acceptances” from places you wanted more, you are here trying to figure out why they didn’t roll out the welcome wagon for you.

The message here is for other applicants: for all the rude things said about them, AdComms actually do have some idea what they are doing.

OP, stop trying to figure out why you didn’t get something you didn’t really want to and go celebrate your acceptances!

“Chapman was never my top school”

Perhaps that came through in your application.

@collegemom3717 Thank you, I definitely am going to take pride in my accomplishments! I just wanted to say, I didn’t apply for creative writing BECAUSE it was a non-competitive major, but because that’s actually what I want to do; I’ve applied to all my schools as a creative writing major whenever possible. I only mentioned it wasn’t competitive because I know some majors at Chapman are, especially in their film school, so I thought I should clarify.

I think that you’re comparing yourself to the entire pool and assuming that since your stats are high that it should have been almost a safety for you. But I don’t think you were competing with students whose stats are in the lower bands. I think you were competing with other high stat students. That means the rest of your app had to show how you match. Essays, personal qualities, ECs, and talent are all important, and demonstrated interest matters. Any or all of those things might have influenced the outcome.

But if you have affordable acceptances to schools you like better, why does it matter?

You are awesome.
There are other awesome people.

They have to make a class that is diverse …diverse in majors, ECs, race, gender, etc.

Thanks for the clarification, @applejuice15

D got waitlisted a few days ago in an odd turn of events. They took some of her friends with not as strong stats. She really wanted Chapman. Also WL at LMU. Into SDSU, We are OOS. I think declaring as a Biology major hurt her. Undeclared friends got acceptances. Now worried for UCLA , USC , USD. If she accepts WL no aid, I presume. LMU also stingy with aid for RD, WL must be as well.

Similar situation. D was WL’d at USD where, by the numbers, she was a very strong candidate. We figured that, while not exactly a safety, it was a high match. She had already heard good news from other schools she preferred, including some reaches, so she took it in stride and isn’t going to remain on the WL. Still, it’s a reminder that there is some randomness to the process.