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7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Any advise or insight on the waitlist situation for the class of 2025?
Answered

I've received offers from some schools, but not my from my preferred schools (most targets or hard target). However, many of my preferred schools, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Williams, UVA have waitlisted me. I know that this is an unusual year, but do you have any insight into the waitlist situation this year?

2025
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@jswagx7 months ago

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Accepted Answer
7 months ago

To answer this question, it is important to understand that this year has been unlike any other in terms of college admissions. Each year, colleges set benchmarks for the number of students they would like to matriculate at the university in a given year (called an admissions quota). For example, they may decide they want 1000 students in the first year class. The acceptance rate is then based on two things:

1. The number of applications the college receives

2. The estimated yield rate at the college. Yield rate is defined as the percentage of accepted students who decide to enroll in the university. More competitive colleges tend to have higher yield rates.

Using the two factors above, colleges are generally very good at deciding how many students they need to accept in order to meet their quota for the incoming first year class. For example, if they want 1000 students in the first year class, and they estimate a 50% yield rate, they would need to admit 2000 students. If they received 10,000 applications, their acceptance rate would be 20%. That is how it would work in a “normal” admissions cycle. However, there is a significant amount of uncertainty in yield rates this year due to covid. More students are taking gap years, many students are choosing to stay closer to hone, some cannot attend due to covid related financial constraints, international students can’t get visas, etc. In other words, covid has added a lot of additional factors that colleges never had to factor in before. As such, the number of waitlisted students (on a percentage basis) increased sharply for this admissions cycle to reflect this new uncertainty.

In previous years, the number of students admitted from the waitlist was relatively small. However, this year, I expect that the number of students admitted off the waitlist will increase significantly since yield rates will likely be much lower this year (due to the uncertainty discussed above). In other words, the chances of being accepted off the waitlist are likely a fair bit higher this year than in previous years. However, many students who accepted offers of admission and later back out (freeing up space) may wait to do so until closer to the start of the school school (mid-late sumner), so waitlist decisions will also likely be delayed (at least at some schools) this year.

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