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College Waiting Lists

(credit:  Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

mattleman_125 Education Reports
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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Many who received college acceptances for fall have made up their minds where to enroll. If you’re on a waiting list, however, you’re still hopeful of admission.

In 2011, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh admitted only 6 of the 5,003 wait listed students and at Cornell, not one of the close to 3,000 was offered a spot.

According to an article by Rachel Louise Ensign and Melissa Korn in The Wall Street Journal, Aileen Eisenberg, who wrote a clever letter was accepted at Swarthmore, one of the ten lucky people last year – from its almost 1,000 person wait list.

Schools wait to find out how many students accept regular admission and then try to fill their “unique holes,” with those who pique interest by calling and writing, children of alumni and donors. But the numbers are few.

The authors point out that a spot on the waitlist at an elite college doesn’t mean you’re closer to the finish line. The odds aren’t good!