Waitlists and Admission Rates

Waiting List and Admission Rates, Waitlists and University Admission Rates

Waitlisted students don’t count towards a university’s admission rate, as “The Washington Post” points out. We’ve been saying it for years.

As we’ve been saying for years, students admitted off of a college’s waitlist do not count towards that college’s admission rate. That means that students with SAT or ACT scores well below the mean of that university don’t count toward’s that university’s percentage of students admitted to the incoming class. And yet they still earn admission. Are you getting the idea? So that daughter of a major donor whose SAT scores are subpar and whose grades aren’t so hot is a top contender to earn admission off the waitlist. Unless her SAT scores and grades were so subpar that the college “courtesy waitlisted” the student so as not to upset the alumni donor any more than they had to. After all, what does waitlisting a student cost a university? It’s nothing to them.

As stated in an article entitled “College admission rates for Class of 2018: an imperfect but closely watched metric” published by “The Washington Post,” “At the end of the recruiting cycle, a waiting list might be wholly converted to admission offers. Those don’t get included in the calculations in the initial flurry of news releases as colleges issue decisions. Various colleges define applications in various ways. Some are quite strict about only counting apps that have all required elements in a file — essays, test scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. Others essentially count anyone who starts the process and pays a fee.”

Notice the sentence: “Those don’t get included in the calculations in the initial flurry of news releases as colleges issue decisions.” But, as they say on “QVC,” that’s not all! The figures are also not included in the all-important “US News & World Report” rankings! So colleges can manipulate the “US News & World Report” rankings by admitting less qualified students off their waitlists. Does this surprise you? If you’re a regular reader of our college admissions blog, likely not!


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