Just because highly selective colleges state to you that they won’t be going to their waitlists until May 1st, know that this is not necessarily the case. What? A highly selective college may not be entirely accurate with you? If you’re a regular reader of our college admissions blog, you know this is par for the course in the highly selective college admissions process. It’s not as though a student admitted off the Harvard waitlist next week is going to get angry with Harvard for admitting him well in advance of when the school said it would make this decision. They know that. And frankly, Harvard doesn’t care. They will do as they wish.
In our experience, highly selective colleges go to their waitlists earlier than May 1st if the number of deposits coming in (the number of accepted students who are saying “yes” as in choosing to matriculate) is at a much lower rate than the previous year. They keep track of this data. They have to to manage their numbers. In our experience, we’ve seen top colleges go to their waitlists way in advance of May 1st — even at the beginning of April. When the “yes” cards are coming in slowly, highly selective colleges panic and want to ensure that the students at or near the top of their waitlist don’t send in deposits to other highly selective colleges.
Also, some highly selective colleges have every intention of going to their waitlist in conjunction with decisions going out. That’s right — that early! Want to know why? It’s all about the “US News & World Report” rankings. The top colleges sometimes manipulate the rankings by immediately admitting students off the waitlist. These students don’t count as admitted students for the ranking. It makes the schools look all the more selective and increases their chances of moving up in the all-important college ranking.
Does any of this surprise you? If you read our blog regularly, we suspect not. And if you need our help to try to get off the waitlist at the highly selective college or your dreams, contact us today to get started as time is of the essence for the reasons specified above.