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Articles / Admissions / What Are U. of Michigan's Waitlist Plans?

May 18, 2020

What Are U. of Michigan's Waitlist Plans?

Question: My son has been waitlisted by the University of Michigan, so I would like to know if Michigan is accepting applicants off the waitlist this year. Also, when do they start taking people off the waitlist?

This is a question for U. of Michigan, not "The Dean." You should feel free to contact the admission office and ask about waitlist plans. You may get an answer that isn't completely specific (e.g., "We do expect to make some offers of admission") rather than a very clear one ("We have 17 places open right now") but at least the response you receive should put you in the ballpark.


In general, there can be wide swings in waitlist activity from year to year, even at the same institution. In other words, in some springs, a college may accept more than 100 waitlisted candidates, and then the next spring , it's zero. But this is definitely a question for the college itself.

Sometimes colleges start using the waitlist even before the May 1 "Candidates Reply Date" when their enrollment return cards are trickling in too slowly for comfort. Typically, however, the serious waitlist action starts right around now (a few days after May 1) and continues through the end of June. Some colleges may keep a few students on their waitlist through the summer, but usually by early July, most applicants will be told to stop waiting.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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