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What is the waitlist?

Last updated: 
January 18, 2024

Getting waitlisted means the student is a good fit, but unfortunately, the school doesn’t currently have enough space to offer enrollment. It’s possible that a waitlisted (or wait-pooled) student may receive an enrollment offer after the school gets commitments from new admits and returning students.

Why do private schools have waitlists?

Every school has a set number of open “seats” available to new students each academic year, but not every accepted candidate enrolls. The percentage of admitted candidates that enroll is the school’s “yield.” 

So, if a school has 100 openings and an average yield of 50 percent, it will likely accept 200 students to meet its enrollment. But it’s also possible that a school’s yield may fluctuate, or a student might unenroll later. The waitlist is utilized to fill open seats with qualified applicants in these situations.

Is being waitlisted bad?

It’s important to understand that getting waitlisted for private school differs from being rejected. A rejected admission application means the school no longer considers the student a candidate for admission. While there are various reasons for rejections, it ultimately indicates that the school has determined it isn’t the right fit for the student.

Getting waitlisted is bittersweet because while waitlisted students may receive an enrollment offer later if space becomes available, only a small percentage of students are accepted from the waitlist. 

How will we know if our child is waitlisted?

Private schools notify waitlisted families when they send admissions decisions to all applicants, including those who have been accepted or denied admission.

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