13 Apr Advice for the Waitlist

So, you’ve been waitlisted – and you can take action – BUT please know that the odds of admission off the waitlist are NOT in your favor.

*Colleges only accept an average of 23% from the waitlist, while only 14% of waitlisted students at the most selective colleges get in!.

At individual highly-selective institutions this number can be dramatically lower, with MIT admitting only 3% of students! 2 YEARS AGO Emory put 4000 on the waitlist and only accepted 25 eventually!

  • Cornell’s Class of 2022 admit rate came in at 10.3% this year. Just 5,288 of 51,328 applicants were admitted, and 6,684 were waitlisted.
  • Harvard’s Class of 2022 admit rate came in under 5% this year for the first time ever. Just 1,962 of 42,749 applicants were admitted. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William Fitzsimmons has stated Harvard will take 40-100 students from the waitlist, but last year that number was zero.
  • Princeton’s incoming first-year class is projected to be just under 1,300 students. In addition to the 1,941 students offered admission from a record pool of 35,370 applicants, another 1,125 students were placed on the waitlist. Nearly enough students to fill the entire first year class were waitlisted.
  • UPenn waitlisted about 3,500 students, over 1,000 more than needed to fill its first-year class of 2,450. This is on top of admitting 3,731 applicants out of a pool that numbered more than 44,000.

To show you what we mean, for the Class of 2021 last year, numbers for students admitted off the waitlist/number waitlisted, looked like this:

  • Cornell: 75/5,714 (1.3%)
  • Middlebury: 21/1,259 (1.7%)
  • Northwestern: 65/2,905 (2.2%)
  • Stanford: 36/842 (4.3%)
  • Penn: 58/3,458 (1.7%)
  • Yale: 19/1,095 (1.7%)
  • Williams: 0/1,796

(If you’re not waitlisted and you’ve already deposited and accepted another school, log on to the portal and decline the others PLEASE – give the colleges a chance to plan and maybe admit someone from the waitlist!)


OK waitlist advice – even though its hard, it could still happen so watch the video I made:

Advice for the Waitlist

So here are the options:

  1. Accept another school BEFORE the May 1 deadline, because you won’t hear about the Waitlist until the summer.
  2. Follow the school’s instructions – if they say you have to accept your position on the waitlist be sure to do this.
  3. Write a letter – reaffirming your interest in the school, include new grades (if they are WINNING), any new prizes or awards or honors or positions? INCLUDE THOSE!!! Convey your enthusiasm – if this school is your TOP choice let them know!
  4. Watch video above for elaboration, and read articles below for the SCIENCE behind the waitlist – 2 years ago Emory waitlisted 4000 kids and offered spaces to 25!!! Colleges make decisions for their yield and admin purposes – not your best interests!
  5. … maybe you should take a Gap Year – create a BOSS WINNING Gap Year plan, up your scores, end your final year in high school with SUPER high grades, and WOW colleges with your apps next year – you can set up a Consultation with us to talk about that.
  6. Apply to Colleges still accepting apps – see the list HERE

Interesting awesome articles that REALLY go in depth into the rationale and science behind ALL this MADNESS – if you’re interested read:

Waitlist Statistics by School HERE

Article: Waitlisted: Questions, Ethics, Strategies