So, you're on the wait list, in ersatz college limbo: neither in, nor out. You've gotten some yeses from some really great schools and likely have already paid your deposit to one of them. However, you haven't yet bought that Ohio State t-shirt or U. Santa Cruz "Go Banana Slugs" bumper sticker for the Prius. Why? Because you've been wait listed by your first-choice school.
This is the time of year I hear from students asking: What's the likelihood I'll get off the wait list?
The answer? A resounding "Dunno."
I wish I knew. I wish the colleges knew. I wish anyone knew. These data are murky to say the least. However, today's Washington Post article gave some really excellent insights.
Some schools admit none from their waitlists (Lehigh, Tulane, U. Maryland, Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Macalester), while others like Penn State have used it extensively. (In 2015, it admitted almost all 1473 from its wait list.) Some schools don't share the data (Harvard), while others do, but to little use. (Duke admitted 9 and CMU admitted 4 from their waitlists.)
While you're waiting and hoping, here are some of the highlights from the article:
In 2015: 963 waitlisted, 129 admitted from the list.
In 2014: 1133 waitlisted, 0 admitted from the list.
They don't share their data.
1324 waitlisted in 2014, but won't share how many made it off the list.
In 2015: 927 waitlisted, 0 admitted from the list
In 2014: 7 were admitted from an unknown number of those waitlisted.
Lehigh, Tulane, U. Maryland, Bryn Mawr, Dickinson, Macalester
0 admitted from the waitlist
4 admitted from the wait list
9 admitted from the wait lsit
Case Western Reserve
5119 on the waitlist (9,000 invited): 518 admitted from the waitlist
In 2015, 1473 on waitlist, 1445 admitted
In 2014, zero admitted from the waitlist
In 2014, 4536 on waitlist, 136 admitted
University of Michigan
In 2014 and 2015, 4500 on waitlist, equivalent to 75% of the entire class size.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.