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Admit It!

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Waitlist Update — Some New News, Some Good News

May 6, 2013 by

We Admit It!  The waitlist process is far from a standardized one.  It takes a lot of back and forth, a lot of incremental steps, a lot of analyzing and reanalyzing.  But here’s what we know for certain: we are able to go to the freshman waitlist for a select number of additional students (whether or not we go to the transfer waitlist won’t be determined until mid-to-late May).  The exact number of students who will be admitted is always a moving target (more on that below).  What we do know is that our enrollment numbers are just a bit shy of where they need to be.  Therefore we are going to the waitlist for more than a handful of students but still for a relatively select group.  All students who completed the online waitlist response form (linked in your decision email) are being considered for those spaces we do have available in the entering class.  Below is more about how we make decisions from this point forward and how those who are admitted from the waitlist hear from us.

Why is the number of remaining admission offers a moving target?
There are numerous reasons actually.  The first is that we continue to receive enrollment deposits from those admitted initially.  The second is that we have to be careful not to under-enroll our class (we are working to avoid that now but admitting students from the waitlist), but we also have to be careful not to over-enroll.  So if we make an offer to student A, we may have to wait his/her response before making an offer to student B.  Now of course we’re going to the waitlist for more than one student but hopefully that illustrates our point.  Third, as other colleges and universities activate their waitlists, some students who initially committed to W&M may decide to go elsewhere.  This may mean we get to make even more offers than initially expected.  Finally, there are often students who have admission buyers’ remorse (meaning though admitted to W&M, they turned us down for another school and then decide W&M is a better fit).  As those requests come in we need to carefully consider them and how allowing those students to deposit late would impact our class size.

How we make decisions about the waitlist?
Well, essentially our process begins anew.  Each of our regional deans is asked to assess all of the students within their region who remain on the waitlist.  We then, as a staff or Committee, try to determine who the most competitive students are that remain on the waitlist.  We will continue to do this throughout the process until our class is full.

How are students admitted from the waitlist notified?
Step 1:
Initially we reach out to any student by phone (we will first call the cell phone if provided in the application and then the home phone if listed).  If we are not able to reach a student at any phone number we will leave messages and follow up via email.  These messages will ask you to get in touch with us (specifically the regional dean who reached out) within a day or two.  The initial contact will be done to assess whether or not you remain interested in attending W&M.  SO CHECK YOUR VOICEMAIL AND EMAIL (and yes that’s bolded and in shouty capitals for emphasis).

Step 2: If you remain interested, we will send your Good Things email that evening and put an admit pack in the mail to you the next day.  If you do not remain interested, we will withdraw your application.  If you do not respond to our messages, we will do one more follow-up email and then withdraw your application.

Step 3: If you are admitted, we ask you to make the enrollment deposit as soon as humanly possible.  We do allow two weeks to make that final commitment if necessary, but we ask that students be as expedient as possible with this process.  First, it’s in your best interest (the sooner you make your decision the sooner you can move forward with new student transition materials for W&M).  Second, if you are not serious about the offer, please decline it so that we can make the offer to another interested student.

Step 4: Once you submit an enrollment deposit you will have access to the online site designed specifically for entering students.  Those admitted from the waitlist have not missed any deadlines or programs.  They are on the same footing as those admitted in April.

Step 5: We will continue to assess where our class stands and if additional offers of admission can be made.  This process can certainly take several weeks to run its course.  As previously noted, we will be in contact with all students who remain on the waitlist by June 15 (via email) to provide an additional update.

Our process will likely be in this state of flux for the next few weeks as we reach out to those initial students we wish to admit from the waitlist.  We will do our best to keep everyone informed should there be any additional helpful information.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission


  • Guest says:

    Do you have any news about the St. Andrews Joint Degree Programme waitlist? Thank you very much.

  • Morgan Bradham says:

    I am on the transfer waitlist. Should I send the W&M Undergraduate Admissions Office an update regarding my academic pursuits? (e.g. new award letters, new accomplishments made during the 2013 spring semester, etc.)

  • Admit It! says:

    @Guest, we are still evaluating responses to the Joint Degree Programme. We do not anticipate much if any movement on that waitlist right now but we will let people know if that changes.

    @Morgan Bradham, you are welcome to send us an update. The most important or critical updates are new grades and a continued statement of interest. Any new substantive awards can also be included.

  • Morgan Bradham says:

    @Admit It!, thank you very much. I will send my official final grades along with an academic update.

  • Lauren says:

    How many people are on the waitlist? And approximately how many people will be admitted off of it? I understand you don’t have exact numbers, but can you give a ballpark estimate? Thanks so much!!!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Lauren, not sure if we’ve done an official count but we estimate that over 1,000 students elected to remain on waitlist. There’s really no way to ballpark the number of students we intend to admit for all of the reasons we listed above. However, as we mentioned it’s for a select group of students. It’s not so few as to forego mentioning it (if we were going to the waitlist for say only 10 students we likely wouldn’t even make mention of it). But as we mentioned above, our class isn’t woefully short either.

  • waitlistfordays says:

    When do you expect to start calling students off the waitlist?

  • Admit It! says:

    @waitlistfordays, the calls are already in progress.

  • Michelle says:

    In what format should an academic/extracurricular update be sent?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Michelle, email to your regional dean would be just fine.

  • Sasha says:

    Will you be admitting more in state or out of state students?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Sasha, as we mentioned above, all students on the waitlist remain in consideration for admission. We will likely admit students from both in and out-of-state as we move through this waitlist process.

  • Morgan Bradham says:

    Where can I find my regional dean’s email address?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Morgan, our Meet the Committee page provides that (www.wm.edu/admission/committee).

  • Jesse says:

    What time of day are applicants normally called?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Jesse, we usually try to call initially in the afternoon when students would be out of school. We’ll leave messages if we don’t reach anyone.

  • gwenyclip says:

    For how long do you predict the calls will be going on? Will it be weeks? Or days? I can’t let go of my phone, and I’m wondering if I should just try to forget about it if it will take a while. Thanks

  • Admit It! says:

    @gwenyclip, we are in the process of making initial calls. Once we do that, we need to wait to hear back from those people so there may not be any additional calls for a bit. Then we reassess and see if more calls are needed so it’s a bit cyclical.

  • Abby says:

    Will all or most of the initial calls be going out tonight?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Abby, most initial calls are in progress as of yesterday or today. As mentioned, additional calls may go out once we hear back from those already contacted.

  • John says:

    So if someone didn’t get a call today or yesterday, is it safe to assume that they weren’t selected for the initial calls?

  • Admit It! says:

    @John, each regional dean in the office is in the process of making calls. It’s possible there are still some initial calls to be made although likely a vast majority of our initial calls/contacts have been attempted.

  • Anne Marie says:

    Waitlisters don’t give up hope! I was waitlisted back in 2008 and was finally admitted in late June.

  • Admit It! says:

    @Anne Marie, good point. We continue to assess the state of the class every day and even made some additional new calls to students today. The process moves forward all the time. That being said we will not be offering admission to a huge portion of those on the waitlist but unlike years where we don’t go to the waitlist at all, this year there is in fact a chance.

  • Paige says:

    Is there still financial aid offered to students accepted from the waitlist? Does you chance of aid go down the later you hear back from William & Mary if you were to be accepted?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Paige, if you applied for financial aid at W&M then yes, we will put together whatever package we can to those offered admission off of the waitlist. IWe however cannot make any scholarships available to those admitted off the waitlist.

  • Em says:

    What is the significance of the end to all your initial calls? Does it mean the only other calls that will be made will only occur if people already committed decide to go somewhere else?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Em, basically initial calls simply means a batch. So we made calls to several waitlisted students. We now need to wait and see what their responses are and then we’ll reassess. We also need to see, as you mentioned, if those who have already deposited withdraw. So it’s very much a process that’s always in motion.

  • Travis says:

    Who is the regional dean for Connecticut and what is his/her email? I checked the committee webpage and it says the regional dean for Connecticut is to be determined

  • Admit It! says:

    @Travis, just send something to admission@wm.edu. We’ll be sure it gets forwarded to the appropriate dean and the Committee.

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