College Waiting Lists

A riddle: What happens to a student who isn’t outright rejected from a school and isn’t accepted to a school?

They are put on the college waiting list, a strategy to keep students interested in a particular school but also to ensure that the school has the desired number of students when the freshman class starts in September. College waiting lists are necessary for schools but they are hard for students; they raise hopes that are often not realized and they disrupt the student’s ability to accept another choice and to learn to live with it. Students and families often ask about waiting lists and the chances of getting in off the list.

Click here for a chart from Princeton Review which they posted online that contains actual data about waiting lists, hard facts that include the percentage of students taken off various schools lists. This data is from last year but might help give you an idea about the difficulty these lists present and also about helping your student to learn to see the value in their acceptances.