Will There Be A Larger Waitlist This Year?

While college decisions have been trickling in all month, for many kids today and tomorrow is D-Day as in decision day.    Yes, the wait is now over for many students but for some it is just beginning.  Ah, the dreaded waitlist.

According to the Chapman Director of Undergraduate Admission, Marcela Mejia-Martinez,

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“There will be a larger waitlist this year.”

And that’s not just for California’s Chapman University.  The Chapman Dean predicts a higher number of students across the country will be waitlisted.

Why?  Colleges are having a harder time forecasting their final yield.  This is due to several factors.

First, students are applying to more and more colleges and yet they can still only attend one college or university.  This process makes it more difficult for the colleges to predict their final yield.

Second, the economy has raised havoc with acceptances and yields.

In 2009, private colleges were caught off guard when many accepted students turned them down for their more affordable counterparts: the public university.

As a result, in 2010, the private colleges accepted more students.  At that point, the economy was starting to return and the private colleges were caught of guard yet again!  That’s right, more students accepted their invitation to attend their school and as a result, many of the private colleges were oversubscribed by 200 students.  Suddenly the colleges were scrambling for extra beds, rooms and everything else a student needs.

Now it’s 2011 and many private colleges are going to be a bit more cautious.  Just in case.  So they are building a larger waitlist.  And on May 1st, if they don’t get the number of acceptances they need, they will go to the waitlist.

Juliet Giglio

Educational Consultant


Published by Mark Montgomery

Mark is a leading educational consultant. His experience as a professor, college administrator, and youth mentor help him guide students from around the country and around the world.

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  1. Hmmmm…. I guess this might be a good thing. Do you think this gives me more options? Do I have a better chance at being waitlisted at a school that might have rejected me before? Help!

  2. Hi, worried! I’m not sure of your question. If you are on the WL at a college, then you have not been rejected outright. However, my guess is that very few colleges will dig very deeply into their huge pile of waitlisted students this year. So frankly, I don’t look at being on the WL as a good thing. It’s a thing that colleges use to manage their enrollments, not to give you any real hope of getting in. Remember, all this admissions stuff…it’s about sales and marketing and dollars and cents.
    Let us know if we can help you further.

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