Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

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1. There's fifteen years of posts here, so the search box can help find an answer to common questions, but please consider the age of the posts when you find them. The college admission process changes over time!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Waitlist FAQs

Now that you've been offered a spot on the waitlist, you are probably wondering what you should do next. First of all, you need to accept or decline the offer. Below the abbreviated waitlist letter in Student Self-Service are two buttons. Use them to accept or decline the offer of a spot on the waitlist. If you accept, you can always come back at another time and decline. However, if you decline, there is no going back. You are essentially withdrawing from consideration if you hit the decline button.

The rest of this post covers what is on the Waitlist FAQ sheet for first-year students.

1. How does this work? When will I hear?
If fewer than 3,240 students accept offers of admission, we will offer admission to some students who have placed themselves on the waitlist. The waitlist is not ranked. After May 1st, we'll get an idea of where there is room in the class. In a way, you could think of the waitlist as having eight parts - Virginians and out-of-state students for each of the four colleges. When we go to the waitlist, we might know we have room for in-state engineers or out-of-state Arts & Sciences students, for example. We work in teams to reread files of waitlisted students that fit the criteria needed. It takes about two weeks for us to review waitlist files. We aim to notify you between the third week in May and the end of June. If you are offered admission, you will have some time to think about the offer.

2. How many will get in?
We don't know how many students will come off the waitlist this year. We won't know until the beginning of May. There is no "typical" number, either. Consider the numbers from the last few years:
2008 - 60 waitlist offers
2007 - 159 waitlist offers
2006 - 145 waitlist offers
2005 - 83 waitlist offers
2004 - 37 waitlist offers

3. Why are so many offered a waitlist spot?
First of all, we know that only half of the students offered a waitlist spot actually take us up on the offer. Second, those eight groups come into play. Third, with more students applying to more colleges, it's hard to know how interested a student is in UVa. Yield may go up, as students perceive public schools to be attractive financially, but yield might go down because students have applied to many other schools and are inevitably getting attractive offers to go elsewhere.

4. What should I do to improve my chances?
Keep your application file current. When the marking period ends, send along your grades. You may write a letter, but understand that the letter should provide us with new information. If you receive any honors or awards, feel free to email us about that and we'll file your email with your application. We don't track visitations, so you will not improve your chances by coming to our office. If you have questions, feel free to call.

5. What now?
The wait list is unpredictable. Therefore, you need to commit to another university by paying a deposit and completing their enrollment process.

Rest assured that as soon as we have spots available, we will spring into action. We are eager to pull students off the waitlist and are not interested in prolonging this process.