Chances of Getting Off Waitlists

Getting Off Waitlists, College Waiting Lists, Get Off College Waitlist

Brian Taylor, Director of Ivy Coach, is featured today on the pages of “Bloomberg” on the topic of college waitlists.

Brian Taylor, Director of Ivy Coach, is featured today in “Bloomberg” in a piece by Akane Otani entitled “At Top Schools, a Spot on the Wait List May as Well Be a Rejection.” We would first like to say that the title of this piece is misleading. If a spot on the waitlist might as well be a rejection, then why every year do we at Ivy Coach help students successfully gain admission off waitlists at said top colleges? Do most students get off waitlists? No. Do students who do nothing once being placed on waitlists tend to get in? No. Do students who send in tons of information that boasts of all they’ve achieved since getting waitlisted tend to get in? No. Do the majority of students who first come to us after being waitlisted get off waitlists? No. And yet a good portion of them sure do! What we always tell students and their parents who first come to us after being waitlisted is that the chances are not strong to get off these waitlists and all we can say is that we can help give them the best possible shot of getting in. When parents ask us about the chances that their waitlisted students get off waitlists, we tell them that we cannot chance them. We will give them no percentage, just as a parent won’t bite on this question on a long road trip: “Are we there yet?” All we can do is help give waitlisted students the best chance possible. And that’s all there is to it.

In the piece in “Bloomberg” on waitlists at top colleges, Brian is quoted as saying, “Some admissions consultants believe elite colleges may use wait lists as a way to let promising students—and influential parents or schools—down easy. ‘Are there students on the wait list who have no shot of getting off? Absolutely,’ says Brian Taylor, director of Ivy Coach, a private college counseling firm. ‘But there are some high schools, or major donors, that colleges don’t want to jeopardize their relationships with.'” And that’s absolutely true. Not all waitlisted students are treated equally. Some have zero shot of getting off that waitlist. The fact is, you just don’t know with certainty why a student was placed on a waitlist. And there’s no benefit of conjecture.

The piece goes on to quote Brian as follows: “What’s more, being on the wait list doesn’t give someone a better chance of getting in the following year, should they delay college for a year or try to transfer as a sophomore. ‘The compelling letter your high school counselor wrote won’t matter as much, one year out,’ Taylor says.” But neither will those subpar grades if your high school grades were a weakness on your application. Your college grades will become all the more important one year out…


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