In the Waiting Room

April 22, 2010

Since we've been getting quite a few queries from those of you on our wait list, I thought I'd do a quick post and answer some FAQs.

First, there's been some scuttlebutt about the number of people we have on the wait list. We keep a fairly small wait list. Of course, we realize that not everyone to whom we offer a spot on the wait list will actually take it, so many more people will have recieved a wait list letter than remain on our wait list. Over the next few months, we will periodically review the people on our wait list and release some of them, so the number of people on the wait list dwindles as we go through the summer.

Generally, the bulk of our wait list activity, if we have any at all, will take place around our deposit deadline, which is on May 3. At that point, if fewer people to whom we have extended an offer of admission have accepted the offer than we projected, we will go to the wait list. Depending on the number of slots we have to fill, we may take anywhere from a week to a month to fill these slots. I would say that usually our class is stable by the end of May.

After that, we only go to our wait list if someone who is currently deposited withdraws or decides to defer. I am loath to grant deferrals as we get into the summer because of the logistical hurdles it entails for the people on our wait list, who have often made significant financial and/or geographical commitments elsewhere (and which in turn means that it takes us longer to fill an opening). But I treat deferral requests on a case-by-case basis and have on occasion granted some very worthy requests. So we may take people off the wait list as late as registration day. As I mentioned before, our wait list does get smaller as we get later into the summer, so while the chance of our going to the wait list after June is slim, the individual chances of your being chosen if we do go to the wait list at that point are somewhat higher. (Hope that made sense.)

I'll close with a link to a previous post about good wait list etiquette (which will hopefully be entertaining, if not informative) that should answer your remaining questions. To all of you who applied this year, good luck (and we hope you come here, if we admitted you)!


Jessica said:

Thanks for the info! Will you let us know on the blog or on twitter when you're done with the initial wait list activity or if there will not be any such activity?

April 25, 2010 7:01 PM

Jessica said:

Thanks for the info! Will you let us know, either here or on twitter, when you are done accepting off the waitlist, or if there won't be any movement this year?

April 26, 2010 4:26 PM

Jen said:


I have yet to hear anything from Yale, and I applied around the beginning of October. I completely understand that the admissions office is extremely busy, but with deposit deadlines rapidly approaching, would it be ok to send an email about the status of my application?


April 27, 2010 6:35 PM

asha said:

Jen: We have released all decisions so you should definitely contact us if you have not heard. Snail mail was sent to your mailing address as indicated on your application. You should also check your junk mail in case an email notification (only sent in the last round of decisions) got routed there. We have confirmed that we reached all the people we admitted, so I'm sorry to say that this means you were either rejected or waitlisted.

April 28, 2010 11:45 AM

asha said:

Jessica: We'll probably let you know when we're done filling the class, including from the wait list. If we twitter every time we go to the wait list I think it will cause more anxiety than necessary and not help any individual person.

April 30, 2010 2:26 PM

GVB said:

Asha, you broke my heart. But I still love you, what can I do? Patience wins ever.

May 1, 2010 10:06 PM

Tim said:

Thank you for all the information! Do you know when you might start making offers to people on the wait list this year? Have the calls started?

May 4, 2010 10:56 AM

AJ said:

When (if at all) will the office start making calls to people on the waitlist?

May 7, 2010 12:57 PM

Prospective said:

Have you started calling people yet?

May 11, 2010 1:57 PM

Adam said:

You say that the class is stable by the end of May. Does that mean that you have already made all of your wait list admits for the moment?

May 26, 2010 1:08 PM