What to Know About Waitlist Admissions for the Class of 2024

Monday, June 22, 2020

attractive asian woman thinking on blue backgroundLearn the Ins and Outs of Waitlist Admissions for 2020-2021

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.

As a result, colleges are dipping into their waitlists in order to maintain enrollment numbers and round out the size of the incoming class. Keep reading to learn more admissions for the 2020-2021 school year and top tips for students who find themselves on a waitlist

The Facts
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some significant changes in the college admissions landscape. Many colleges are still finalizing their plans for the fall semester, with virtual learning and hybridized experiences emerging as potential alternatives to more traditional in-person experiences.

Simultaneously, some students are starting to rethink their plans. A recent study found that 1 in 6 high school seniors who were originally planning on enrolling in college during the following year are no longer planning on starting a four-year college full-time this fall. However, colleges still need to meet institutional needs and reach their target enrollment numbers. While the number of students admitted off of a waitlist is typically relatively small, these recent changes have fueled a rise in waitlist admissions.

What Does This Mean for the Class of 2024?
By definition, students who are waitlisted are in limbo; applicants must wait and see whether they will gain a spot in the class for the following year. With all of the changes this year, there’s even more uncertainty. Generally, the chances of being admitted off the waitlist at a highly selective college are pretty slim. However, due to changing circumstances, a waitlisted applicant’s chances of admission may be more favorable this year than in years past.

While this news is undoubtedly exciting for applicants hoping to gain a seat at their first-choice college, it also comes with challenges. It’s human nature to get your hopes up, however, students need to remain realistic and open-minded when considering all of their options. Although the likelihood of gaining a seat for the Class of 2024 may be more favorable, there still aren’t any guarantees relating to the waitlist admissions process. Students can stay hopeful, but it’s also important to prepare for a reality in which you do not receive a spot off of the waitlist

How Can Waitlisted Applicants Cope?
If you are currently on the waitlist and struggling to stay calm, there are several steps you can take to make the most of this process. First, take some time to reflect on your circumstances. Write down a list of the opportunities you have to choose from, including other colleges and taking a gap year. Pinpoint the unique skills and learning experiences associated with each choice and start to get excited about every scenario. 

Second, acknowledge and accept this sense of uncertainty. It can be extremely challenging to keep waiting for something you’re not sure about; instead of ignoring these feelings, give yourself time to take them in. Turn to activities that bring you joy and help you unwind such as reading, exercising, or checking in with friends. Finally, stay in the know: keep an eye out for updates from the college you are waitlisted at as well as news from another school if you have put down an enrollment deposit.

While being on a waitlist can feel challenging, it’s important to remain optimistic about all of the opportunities that await. If you are currently preparing for the upcoming college application cycle and looking for expert guidance, get in touch with our team of experts.

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