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Wait List Question

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Wait List Question [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 14:08
Hi all,

When I was applying to law school a few years back, my adviser told me about a quirk in the admissions process. Namely, when you have a "safety net school" for which you can easily qualify (at least on paper), that school will sometimes wait list you for no discernible reason. He said that part of the school's ranking comes from their yield (the ratio of students admitted to the number who attend). If the school knows that you have a test score and GPA that's far above their normal student, they know that they are your safety net, and it's unlikely for you to go there if they offered you a position.

I bring this up because I was just wait listed for a school that, on paper, I think I should easily get into. My GMAT is about 100 points above the school's average, and my GPA is well within their normal range. I don't feel like my work experience or anything else in my essay should disqualify me from the school.

Have any of you had this experience as well? Is it a standard tactic for schools to raise their rankings? When I was notified of the wait listing, I was shocked until I remembered this tidbit from law schools.

Thanks for the advice/commiseration!
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Re: Wait List Question [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 14:26
one of my close friends, for her undergrad. was accepted to Caltech, MIT, UPenn (M&T program) and she was waitlisted in Purdue.. So i think your theory might be correct for undergrad admissions also..
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Re: Wait List Question [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2011, 14:34
mrwuzzman wrote:
Hi all,

When I was applying to law school a few years back, my adviser told me about a quirk in the admissions process. Namely, when you have a "safety net school" for which you can easily qualify (at least on paper), that school will sometimes wait list you for no discernible reason. He said that part of the school's ranking comes from their yield (the ratio of students admitted to the number who attend). If the school knows that you have a test score and GPA that's far above their normal student, they know that they are your safety net, and it's unlikely for you to go there if they offered you a position.

I bring this up because I was just wait listed for a school that, on paper, I think I should easily get into. My GMAT is about 100 points above the school's average, and my GPA is well within their normal range. I don't feel like my work experience or anything else in my essay should disqualify me from the school.

Have any of you had this experience as well? Is it a standard tactic for schools to raise their rankings? When I was notified of the wait listing, I was shocked until I remembered this tidbit from law schools.

Thanks for the advice/commiseration!


I had a similar experience recently with one of my schools and the exact same rationale came to my mind then. I think this makes sense to a certain degree. However, B school admissions have a high degree of subjectivity anyway, so such surprises are always possible.
Re: Wait List Question   [#permalink] 16 Feb 2011, 14:34
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