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Getting of the Wait List

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So, I've received notice that I'm on the "first tier waitlist" for a school. In the letter, they said that they often accept students off of this waitlist. 

I'm wondering what you all have heard or know. How common is it to get accepted off the waitlist? 

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I think it really depends on the school and the popularity/desirability of the program.  Have you checked the results page here?  I would send a follow-up email in a bit reconfirming your interest in the program and maybe adding any additional details or experience you've gained in the meantime.  A bit more bold, depending on how comfortable you feel with the faculty, might be an actual phone call (rather than email) to the Dept head or head of admissions.  Or faculty that you interviewed with.  Also you should definitely let them know of any outside funding you have been awarded - schools love that!

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