Parent College Coach Tip #58: Ditch the Wait List

wait listIt’s college decision time and there will be disappointed teens receiving those words from the college, “You have been placed on the wait list.” You might think it somewhat softens the blow of the rejection, but does it? What are the odds that you will be taken off the wait list and offered admission?

Here’s are three examples of wait list statistics taken from the College Board’s website from fall 2016:

  • The University of Texas at Austin had 47,501 applicants in 2016. Of those applicants, 19,182 were admitted and 8,719 enrolled. They offered 1,281 students a place on the wait list; 1,007 accepted the place, and only 374 from that list were offered admission.
  • Stanford University had 24,797 applicants. Of those applicants 2,140 were admitted and 1,720 enrolled. They offered 1,256 students a place on the wait list; 927 accepted the place, and none were offered admission.
  • The University of Michigan had 55,504 applicants. Of those applicants, 15,871 were admitted and 6,689 enrolled. They offered 11,197 students a place on the wait list; 3,970 accepted the place, and only 36 were offered admission.

To see any college wait list statistics, click here, type the college name, and select “applying” for the specific college.

As you can see, the odds are NOT in your favor. And for highly selective colleges, the number being offered admission off the wait list is oten zero.

My advice: ditch the wait list and move on. Look at the colleges that DID offer admission. There’s a reason why your student applied to them. Revisit them, reevaluate them, look at the financial aid awards, and fall in love with one of those colleges.