For waitlisted students, it can be hard to judge just how much of a chance they have of getting accepted off the waitlist. Data around waitlist acceptances can be scarce, especially as waitlists at top colleges grow and more and more schools become less transparent about their admissions statistics. The college counselors at IvyWise, however, have dug into the data and have some insight into waitlist admission rates.
Harvard is one of the most popular first-choice colleges for students, and it’s also one of the most competitive. In fact, in the latest admissions cycle, just 3.19% of applicants were offered a seat in the first-year class of 2026.
Given this competitive admissions rate, some very talented students are going to find themselves on Harvard’s waitlist. While most applicants have a general idea of what a waitlisted outcome means, few understand how waitlists really work and what they can do to boost their odds of admission, which is what we’re going to explore here:
There are always a host of questions surrounding waitlist admissions but this year there is an added level of uncertainty. With many colleges still weighing their options for fall semesters in the wake of COVID-19, a significant proportion of admitted applicants are now reluctant to commit to their first-choice institutions.
Unlike acceptance or rejection, the path for waitlisted students is a little unclear. Some applicants may be unsure about what their admissions odds are, what they can do to improve their chances of acceptance, and if staying on the waitlist is even worthwhile.
For students who applied to colleges in the regular round, March and April can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Between waiting for admissions decisions, receiving a verdict from each school on your best fit list, and deciding where to enroll, the spring season marks a major milestone for many high school seniors.
Getting waitlisted can be a confusing and stressful admissions outcome for college bound students, and with record-low admission rates and record-high applicant pools, many college waitlists are growing while the chances of admission off the waitlist are hard to predict.
So you’ve been placed on the dreaded waitlist. Now what? There’s actually a lot that students can do to maximize their chances of admission off the waitlist.
As colleges begin notifying applicants of their regular admission decisions, many students end up faced with a puzzling outcome: the waitlist. While getting placed on the waitlist is not an ideal situation, there is a lot that students can do to effectively address the situation and improve their chances of admission should they choose to remain on the waitlist.
A majority of admission decisions are expected to be released this month, with Washington University – St. Louis, University of Chicago, MIT, and Georgia Tech releasing decisions as early as this week. For applicants, this time period represents the culmination of many months and years of hard work – they’ll find out whether or not their top-choice colleges have accepted them. What many students fail to prepare for, though, is what happens after their decisions come in, no matter the outcome.