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Waitlisted: The odds are against you

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It wouldn’t be surprising if oddsmakers in Las Vegas thought about taking bets on various college waitlists. Never mind the Final Four. How likely is it that any given student might be the one and only lucky applicant selected from 2730 spots offered on the Johns Hopkins University wait list?

Or how about the odds of being one of 89 students selected from among 10,709 applicants receiving waitlist decisions from the University of Michigan?

Or if Stanford has taken anyone off its waitlist for the past two years, what are the odds of anyone being accepted from this year’s list?

This is the time of year counselors dread. To be denied is clear. You move on.

But waitlisted opens a tiny crack in the door that even the most levelheaded kid has a hard time resisting if it means making a dream come true. And counselors are left to deliver the bad news: the odds are against getting off most—not all—waitlists.

Check out the slide show above for waitlist numbers from Common Data Set (CDS) information posted by several liberal arts colleges (note that all are from 2013-14 unless otherwise noted).

This is the third in a series of articles on waitlists.

Waitlist Data
Waitlist Data Nancy Griesemer

Waitlist Data

Amherst College, MA

Waitlisted:  1529
Accepted waitlist:  659
Admitted:  49                                    

Bucknell University
Bucknell University Nancy Griesemer

Bucknell University

Bucknell University, PA

Waitlisted:  1881
Agreed to be waitlisted:  816
Admitted from waitlist:  38                   

Carleton College
Carleton College Nancy Griesemer

Carleton College

Carleton College, MN

Waitlisted:  1424
Agreed to be waitlisted:  486
Admitted from waitlist:  0              

Claremont McKenna College
Claremont McKenna College Nancy Griesemer

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College, CA

Waitlisted:  685
Agreed to be waitlisted:  365
Admitted from waitlist:  0         

William and Mary
William and Mary Nancy Griesemer

William and Mary

College of William and Mary, VA

Waitlisted:  3196
Agreed to be waitlisted:  1474
Admitted from waitlist:  96         

Dickinson College
Dickinson College Nancy Griesemer

Dickinson College

Dickinson College, PA

Waitlisted:  774
Agreed to be waitlisted:  260
Admitted from waitlist:  10         

Hamilton College
Hamilton College Wikipedia

Hamilton College

Hamilton College, NY

Waitlisted:  864
Agreed to be waitlisted:  347
Admitted from waitlist:  3         

Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd College Nancy Griesemer

Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College, CA

Waitlisted:  501*
Agreed to be waitlisted:  233
Admitted from waitlist:  27         

2012-2013 Common Data Set

Haverford College
Haverford College Nancy Griesemer

Haverford College

Haverford College, PA

Waitlisted:  769
Agreed to be waitlisted:  290
Admitted from waitlist:  10         

Lafayette College
Lafayette College Nancy Griesemer

Lafayette College

Lafayette College, PA

Waitlisted:  1709
Agreed to be waitlisted:  459
Admitted from waitlist:  23         

Pomona College
Pomona College Nancy Griesemer

Pomona College

Pomona College

Waitlisted:  602
Agreed to be waitlisted:  255
Admitted from waitlist:  73         

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College Nancy Griesemer

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College, PA

No data is provided on size of waitlist.

Admitted from waitlist:  20         

University of Richmond
University of Richmond Nancy Griesemer

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, VA

Waitlisted:  4129
Agreed to be waitlisted:  1641
Admitted from waitlist:  95         

Vassar College
Vassar College Nancy Griesemer

Vassar College

Vassar College, NY

Waitlisted:  1274
Agreed to be on waitlist:  507
Admitted from waitlist:  80         

Washingon and Lee
Washingon and Lee Nancy Griesemer

Washingon and Lee

Washington and Lee University, VA

Waitlisted:  2261
Agreed to be on waitlist:  705
Admitted from waitlist:  96         

Wellesley College
Wellesley College Nancy Griesemer

Wellesley College

Wellesley College, MA

Waitlisted:  1091
Agreed to be waitlisted:  594
Admitted from waitlist:  23         

Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University Nancy Griesemer

Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, CT

Waitlisted:  2144
Agreed to waitlist:  779
Admitted from waitlist:  77         

Williams College
Williams College Wikipedia

Williams College

Williams College, MA

Waitlisted:  1227
Agreed to be waitlisted:  342
Admitted from waitlist:  44         

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