Jump to content
modernity

Poor form to ask where I stand on waitlist?

Recommended Posts

So, I've already been accepted to two other programs - one with a great funding package (this is for a masters). There is a third program, that I've received notice that I was waitlisted for. I'm nearly ready to accept the other offer, but I was/am very interested in this third program that waitlisted me and I kind of want to know their answer - however knowing I'm waitlisted I don't know if it's worth waiting to hear. If I'm number one on the waitlist I'd be willing to put off the other offer for awhile, but if I'm 30 or something, I just want to seal the other deal and be done with things. Is it poor form to email the department head to find out what number I am - will they even tell me ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was waitlisted at three schools. I asked, and every single school told me exactly where I was on the waitlist and whether or not they think I will eventually be accepted. (Well, one school initially did not want to give me any details, but when I visited the department the secretary told me the numbers.) I think the key is to phrase your inquiry well. Let them know that you have two offers, but since you are still interested in their program, you would appreciate any information about how the waitlist is structured and where you stand on the list. I also apologized for being a pest. No one seemed to mind in the least that I wanted to know where I stood. More importantly, all three had already decided how they will handle their waitlist, so my guess is that you will not negatively impact your chances by asking.

Honestly, seeing how they react to your question will also be really helpful in judging how the department feels about you. At one school, I could tell that they were not really excited about my application and that I was on the waitlist to ensure that they had enough students enroll. Probably not a coincidence that this school told me I probaby would not get in. I got the impression that they have a large waitlist because they aren't sure how well they will weather the budget crisis. At the other two schools, everyone was very enthusiastic about my research interests, and really gave the impression that I was on the waitlist because they liked me but had to carefully control their class size due to budget issues. (All three schools are UCs, so the budget crisis was mentioned in all three waitlist letters.)

Best of luck! I was finally accepted from one of these lists, so it does happen :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what cesada said. I'm on two waitlists. Both DGS were very frank on their e-mails. One felt optimistic if enough people turn down their offers, I may be able to get off the waitlist. The other DGS was very apologetic and "hoped there would be a movement" but didn't see it happening. I did inquire about my position for the second school and the DGS said he wasn't at liberty to tell me but my application was really very good.

It's also a good time to let your LORs know what's up as they may be able to call up their friends "for a chat."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I emailed the admissions head at a school where I am waitlisted and he sent back a fair, but non-committal assessment of where I stood on the waitlist and a qualitative assessment of how many people would have to turn them down to open a slot for me. Politely worded, there's no harm in asking how things stand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are the chances of being waitlisted at a school and them just not informing you of that?

Well, it happened to me. I only found out I was waitlisted at one university because I saw all the acceptances and rejections on the results forum. Since I had heard neither an acceptance nor a rejection, I emailed the DGS and he told me I was on the waitlist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.