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What is the difference between a waitlist and a wait pool?

Last updated: 
June 2, 2023

Waitlisted students are often ranked or ordered, so if a seat becomes available, the offer goes to the next student on the list. Conversely, there’s no ranking with a wait pool, and admission offers are extended based on the needs of the school’s programs. For example, if the school’s concert band is short a tuba player after new admits and returning students have committed, it can offer an open seat to a tuba player in the wait pool. It’s easy to see why many schools prefer wait pools, but this process does provide less clarity to families trying to forecast their chance of enrollment.

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