The Waiting List
what does it mean?
Throughout the admission process, counselors in our office conduct numerous information sessions, both on and off campus. In addition to distinguishing Boston College from other colleges and universities, the presentation covers the factors that affect admission to Boston College.
This topic invariably sparks numerous questions from the audience, but few deal with the possibility of a student being placed on the waiting list. Why? Perhaps this is due to the ambiguous nature of the waiting list and all that it entails. The truth is that every year many students are placed on waiting lists at scores of colleges and universities throughout the country.
Being placed on the waiting list may be one of the more anxiety-producing aspects of the admission process because of the uncertainty of what it represents. At times a waitlisted student may feel that the college does not value them as a potential student for its class.
Students placed on the waiting list at Boston College should know that they are still viable candidates who we feel would be a wonderful match for the institution. The fact that we were unable to admit them is reflective of how selective our process has become over the past several years. The reality is, colleges and universities need to carry a waiting list each year to guard against shortfalls in enrollment, as well as the increasingly complex admission climate, which seems to shift each year.
Over the years, we have counseled anxious students and parents with regard to the nuances of the waiting list process at Boston College. Here are some things to keep in mind during the waiting list period:
- Under no circumstances will Boston College activate its waiting list prior to the candidate's reply date of May 1. Keep in mind that more than 50% of admitted students who confirm their enrollment to Boston College do so after April 25.
- Students are not encouraged to send additional letters of recommendation or make calls to the institution to check on their waiting list status.
- Keep in mind that the waiting list is complicated by the fact that each of Boston College's four undergraduate divisions have waiting lists, which may shift the enrollment equation each year.
- Students placed on the waiting list at Boston College are advised to secure their enrollment at one institution to which they have been admitted prior to the May 1st deadline. It is important to realize that multiple deposits only contribute to the anxiety associated with the waiting list process.
The reality is, there is no magic formula for being accepted off a waiting list, no secret code to crack. Many students and parents will often ask, "What more can I do?" The simple answer is, you have done all you can do at this point.
The key to this waiting game is having the proper perspective and knowing that if we do activate the waiting list in May, our admission office will give you, as a waitlisted student, every possible consideration. It is our sincere hope that you will take some time away from the anxiety of the college process to enjoy the spring and the final days of your senior year.