How do college waitlists work?

Hi all, I'm a junior and I'm curious about how college waitlists work. How do colleges decide who to take off the waitlist, and what can I do to increase my chances of getting off the waitlist if I end up on one? Thanks for any help!

7 months ago

Hello! College waitlists are used by colleges when they have more qualified applicants than they have available spots in their incoming class. When a college puts you on their waitlist, it means that they might offer you admission if spots open up later on, usually after the May 1st deadline when accepted students have made their final decisions. The process of selecting students from the waitlist varies among colleges. Some colleges may look at factors like your demonstrated interest in attending, while others may prioritize a diverse class or other institutional needs. To increase your chances of getting off the waitlist, there are a few things you can do: 1. Show continued interest in the college by sending a letter or email expressing your desire to attend if admitted. 2. Keep your grades up and participate in extracurricular activities, as the college may request updated information. 3. Share any significant achievements or awards you’ve earned since submitting your application. 4. Consider submitting an additional letter of recommendation from a teacher, coach, or mentor who can speak to your strengths. Remember, being on a waitlist is not a guarantee of admission, so it's important to have backup options and continue exploring other colleges as well. Good luck!

7 months ago
What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
Loading…
UCLA
Loading…
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

Extracurriculars

Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)
About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ
CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.