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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Waiting List, Part 2

We've been having quite a discussion in the comments under the first post about the waiting list. There are so many comments that some of my responses to questions are probably buried, so I thought I'd post a new entry so the common questions can be answered and and seen without too much scrolling. What's more, I have the blog programmed to shut comments down on a post after a couple weeks, so it's probably a good idea to give you all a place to chat since the other post is getting old.

First of all, we know that the waiting is terribly difficult. You have a chosen school, but there's a huge "maybe" dominating your thoughts right now.

Waiting

In the comments on the other post, I compared the change in speeds in this process to that of an airplane after a flight. Small, precise movements get the plane from the runway to the gate. We're trying to get to the gate right now. We landed way closer to it that we have in past years, so the change in speed was pretty dramatic.

You'll notice that at this time of year, I am not able to give constant updates. This isn't new. When we make offers, we call a student to give them a heads up that their SIS status is about to change and then we give them a few days to think about whether they'll hit "accept" and pay a deposit. If they need financial aid, we wait until the package is posted and then we give them a few days to accept. Even a student who adores UVa sometimes has to think about this whole thing for a little bit, especially since it means they'll probably be losing an enrollment deposit at another school. I'm sure you're aware that some of those deposits are substantial these days.

When the class is finalized, we'll email everyone on the waiting list to let them know that we won't be making more offers. In admission speak, we say the waiting list is "released."

A student asked what will happen if students in the class give us late notice that they won't be coming to UVa. This is called "summer melt" (students who cancel over the summer) and admission officers around the country anticipate a certain amount of that every summer.

Typically, we are able to announce that the class is full in early June (June 3rd last year, June 11th in 2012, and June 1st in 2011).