Anyone get in from a wait list?

Hi everyone… I have one acceptance but am on FOUR waiting lists, two of which are schools that I would really like to go to.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom? Do these wait lists actually move? Should I just forget them and be happy I’m in somewhere? The uncertainty is killing me.

Yes. Waitlists move most after May 15, which is when people holding multiple acceptances must nail down their decision. They continue to move throughout the summer as people juggle various determinants such as financial aid. The day I started med school, I heard (but did not see for myself) that there were three people waiting outside the admissions office, hoping that there’d be last-minute withdrawals from the class. I’ve heard of this at other schools, too, and have heard people talk about getting “the call” in early August.

My waitlist call came on May 18, not that I’m remembering it or anything. And if you think sitting on four waitlists is killing you, try sitting on two with NO acceptances. Count your blessings.


Plan for the place you were admitted. if you’re taken off one of the waitlists treat it as a pleasant and delightful surprise.

I was, indeed, taken off the waitlist 1 or 2 weeks after the magic May 15 date, for Buffalo in 2007. I was also left on the waitlist indefinitely with no action by Stony Brook (2006), Tulane (2007) and Mt Sinai (two years running).

Bottom line is-- at some schools, these lists are HUGE, with a full extra class OR TWO waiting for dropouts. It’s not tantamount to being admitted, the odds are simply not good.

I agree with Matt

It’s really hard to tell how much waitlists will move. Some schools can/will give you estimates on how much their lists usually move, but that’s no guarantee. Up to and including my entering class, they would typically end up accepting half of the waitlist to fill the class. However, the year after I got accepted the waitlist did not move AT ALL (for some reason we must have done an exceptional job of selling our school to applicants that year) and they actually ended up with a slightly bigger class than normal. Schools usually accept more students than they have seats anticipating that a certain percentage of them will go to another school. That particular year, apparently not many chose another school.

Keep in contact with the schools. Don’t be a pest, but emphasize that you would really love to go to their school if a spot would open up. Some schools will tell you where you are on the waitlist and what your odds are of getting offered an acceptance based on past years. Many schools don’t actually rank their waitlists until sometime in May.

Congrats on the acceptance, and good luck on the waitlists.


(who got in to her top choice school on May 18th off the waitlist)

You never know. My roommate was on the waitlist the year before I started, slowly moved up the waitlist, and waited out the drama until the day of orientation, when she didn’t quite make it to the top, but they gave her deferred admission for the following year (I don’t know if all schools do this).

But since you’re admitted SOMEWHERE, at least you don’t have quite the angst she had.

The year I started, KU actually went to number 46 on our wait list! I know #46 well, she was perhaps the best and most dynamic student in the class she matched yesterday to pediatrics in MAINE!

That was the deepest incursion into the list in years, usually we go between 8 and 20.

My advice: a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…


I got off the waiting list on May 26th in one school and on June 28th in another one! So yes! The lists move - in some schools more that in others. Just make sure that you keep the schools updated on your status and let them know from time that you’re still interested in them and how much you want to go there.

Good luck!