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Articles / Applying to College / When Will Brown Notify Waitlisted Students?

When Will Brown Notify Waitlisted Students?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | May 20, 2010

Question: My daughter is still waiting and wishing for good news from Brown. We will be leaving for China in two weeks. When will my daughter receive a final word from Brown so that she will be at peace with her plans and can relax on vacation?

Waitlist practices vary from college to college ... and from year to year. But, often, by the end of June, many colleges will notify waitlisted students and tell them that their waitlist "action" has concluded and they will no longer be admitting new students. Sometimes, however, colleges will ask a small and select group of candidates if they wish to keep waiting through the summer, in case there are last-minute vacancies in the freshman class. So if your daughter receives such a query and she would like to keep hanging on, she should say so.


Since you are leaving for China in just two weeks, it's possible that she will hear nothing before your departure. So I suggest that your daughter contact the Brown admission office by phone before she goes and explain that she will be out of the country but is still eager to enroll, if she is admitted from the waitlist. She should provide Brown with an email address and, preferably, a phone number where they can reach her, even when she is away, if this information is different than her usual contact information. It's fine for her to ask when she calls what the waitlist notification timetable is, since--as I pointed out above--each college can be somewhat different than the next.

Meanwhile, I assume your daughter has already submitted a deposit to another college. As you probably know, Ivy League waiting lists are very long and the vast majority of waitlisted applicants will not get good news. So, even as your daughter still keeps her fingers crossed for Brown, it's time for her to get excited about whatever college has received her enrollment form. Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." Well, this is the time for your daughter to test her first-rate intelligence. She should keep hoping for Brown and for good news from the waitlist but, concurrently, she should start to get psyched up about the school that has already welcomed her.

Good luck with Brown and safe travels.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

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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