[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”23825847″] High School seniors hoping for a “yes” and bracing for a “no” from their top college choices are not likely to be prepared for a “maybe.” When such a decision hits their mailbox it can create a mix of emotions, high anxiety, and a lot of confusion. “I definitely do still feel like I’m in a limbo state,” said Apollo Young, 17, a senior at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia. Young was placed on the waitlist for Dartmouth and the University of Chicago. According to Douglas Christiansen, Vanderbilt University’s vice provost for enrollment, the best thing a student can do is to express their continued interest via email with a regional admissions officer once waitlisted. However, repeatedly sending emails or calling the admissions office is not likely to help students’ chances, nor is “name-dropping” endorsements or recommendations from high-profile figures (e.g., senators, CEOs, etc.) Further confusing the “waitlist status” are the wide discrepancies among schools with regard to the number of students placed on the wait list each year and the number that are actually accepted from the waitlist. There are some schools that accept most of their waitlist (such as Penn State which admitted 1,445 of its 1,473 waitlisted students in 2015). Alternatively, there are some schools that activate little to none of their waitlisted students (such as Stanford, which admitted only 7 waitlisted students in 2014 and none from 2015). Many schools will use the waitlist to meet their enrollment goals, review applicants in further detail, or just as placeholders in case they need to replace students who have retracted their acceptance. Knowing how a school typically uses its waitlist may help students in making the difficult decision to wait it out or to definitively select another school.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/04/16/top-colleges-put-thousands-of-applicants-in-wait-list-limbo-and-some-wont-admit-any/