Waitlist Strategy?

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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Waitlist Strategy?
By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

I am waitlisted at:


I won't be staying on the Cornell waitlist, but I would love to go to any of those three other schools, and I'm quite certain I would choose them over the schools to which I've already been accepted. However, when I called the Amherst admissions office and talked to someone there, and basically the general impression I get, is that if you don't tell a school they are your first choice, they will not really consider accepting you off the waitlist. So what should I do, since I would love to go to any of these schools, and Amherst is my very first choice, but at the same time I probably have the lowest probability of acceptance there. Should I:

a) Stay on only Amherst's waitlist and do whatever I can, and forget the others?
b) Stay on all three, but tell Amherst they're my first choice, and tell the others that I am "extremely interested" in attending, or something like that?
c) Stay on all three, but tell them all they're my "first choice" since my chances of being accepted off more than one are not high anyways?
d) Stay on all three, but tell Carleton or Chicago they're my "first choice" and go all out for one of them, to try and up my chances of getting into one at all, and tell the other two I'm "extremely interested" in attending and all that.
e) Something different someone could suggest to me? ;P

Thanks for any thoughts.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

I suggest finding out first how many people are on the wait lists of those schools, and how many students the schools usually take, and what determines who gets picked. Make your decisions about how to proceed based on that info.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 02:14 pm: Edit

I know Amherst offers about 1000 spots on the waiting list, 300-400 accept, and their ten-year average is 28 acceptances off the waitlist. That's less than 10%.

Carleton, being of similar size, I assume offers about the same amount of spots, but they won't tell you. Their average amount accepted is around 40, I believe.

I haven't been able to get in touch with my Chicago admissions dude yet... so donno there.

The Amherst guy, and I assume this goes for the other schools too, said that they accept people off the waiting list to fill "gaps in the class," which I took to mean you know if not enough musicians show up, I might get accepted; if not enough rowers show up, I might get accepted; if not enough physics majors show up, I might get accepted. Otherwise I'm pretty out of luck I suppose. Which makes me want to stay on all the lists... heh.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit


By Vivianng (Vivianng) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

I got waitlisted for:
U Chicago (my top choice)
NYU (Sterns)
I asked my Chicago counsellor and she said that she was not at liberty to tell me how many got waitlisted. Just repeated stuff on the letter.

Northwestern said a small percentage got waitlisted, which is very encouraging since I know a lot of people who got accepted and plan to reject.

Don't know anything about NYU Sterns. Most people so far who got accepted are planning to go there.

What do they mean by go all out for it? How do you actually go "All out"? Do you email them very often (because after a while, WHAT can you say?)? Tell them your recent achievements(I do'nt have any, I'm suffering from senioritis!)? Or send them random things like more recommendations?

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