Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wait Listed? Simple Strategies Going Forward

Most of our seniors this year got a clean cut in regular admissions.

Our 61 seniors, for example, submitted 265 applications.

Only 11 apps were wait listed.

And only 1 senior is pursuing a spot via the wait list.

So for that 1 student, I've given them simple advice.

First, let the college know you want a spot. 

Second, send the college rep only new information - new awards, new recognitions, new grades, etc. 

Third, consider sending the college rep a short, new essay on why that college.

Fourth, try to seek out an alumni of that college who knows you and can advocate for you in a letter.

Most college reps won't admit this, but they are tired.  So keep everything tight, terse, and brief.

Fifth, plan on depositing May 1st to an admitted college.

Many colleges will not go to their wait list until after May 1st when they get a clearer picture of what spots are open.

That's it.

Wait list, unfortunately, require waiting.

And sometimes good things come to those who wait.

And other times - they don't.

That proverbial wisdom often proves true for finding a spouse.  Or getting a great deal on a car.

But not necessarily a spot at a desired college.

A recent article enumerated on anticipated wait list trends this year.

Here are a handful of more statistics from that article.

About 55% of colleges will create and use a wait list.

Most of those 55% will put roughly 9% of their application pool on the wait list.

Cornell is a great example of this trend.  Cornell had 40,006 applications.  They put 3,146 on the wait list.

Some schools will put more.  Take Emory.  They had 17,698 applications.  They put 4,113 on the wait list.

Some will put less.  Take Princeton.  They had 26, 498.  They put 1,395 on the wait list. 

The Times recently posted admission statistics for many highly selective schools.  They also provided wait list numbers.  Click here to review statistics.  

Overall, colleges are taking on average 31% from the wait list.

Notably, highly selective schools are taking almost 17% from their wait list.

Usually, I tell my kids that the more selective the school is, the less likely they will be admitted off the waist list.  In that case, I tell my kids to see a wait list as a consolation prize, and that they need to move forward, deposit May 1st at a school that has admitted them, buy the t-shirt, and celebrate the exciting opportunities that await them in the next chapter of their life story.