Deferred rejection: longer college admission wait lists

from Market Design at on April 30, 2018 at 01:17PM

College waiting lists are a bit of a misnomer–they aren’t ordered lists, they are more like waiting pools from which candidates can be drawn if the yield from regular admissions falls short.

The WSJ has the story:
College Wait Lists Are Ballooning as Schools Struggle to Predict Enrollment
The chance of getting off the wait list has plummeted at many schools as the pool has expanded

"As hundreds of thousands of high-school seniors face a May 1 deadline to put down deposits at their college of choice, many still face uncertainty over where they will end up. Their futures are clouded by the schools’ use of wait lists to make sure they have the right number, and type, of students come fall.

"The University of Virginia increased the number of applicants invited onto wait lists by 68% between 2015 and 2017. At Lehigh University, that figure rose by 54%. And at Ohio State University, it more than tripled.

"[Carnegie Mellon University], with a target of 1,550 freshmen, offered wait-list spots to just over 5,000 applicants this year.

"“You can take stock and ‘fix’ or refine the class by gender, income, geography, major or other variables,” said Jon Reider, director of college counseling at San Francisco University High School. “A large waiting list gives you greater flexibility in filling these gaps.”

"This year, applications to Carnegie Mellon rose 19%. With more students accepting its offers of admission, it couldn’t risk over-enrolling. The school admitted 500 fewer students and expects to go to some of its wait lists to make sure each undergraduate program meets enrollment goals, and that there is a good mix of students, including enough aspiring English majors or kids from South Dakota. The school can also take into account the financial situations of wait-listed candidates."