Sunday, April 09, 2006

Living in Waitlist Land

Waitlist Girl writes in:

I'm not sure if you remember me -- this is Waitlist girl, the girl who has applied 3 times to Columbia's MFA nonfiction program and been waitlisted now 3 times. That's right -- waitlisted again.

1. What are the chances of being waitlisted 3 times, do you think?
2. Why would the school do that? What does the school gain from putting me on their waitlist and not just rejecting me outright?

Just so you don't think I'm a complete loser, I have been accepted to programs before -- Sarah Lawrence to be exact. But I didn't take it in the end because after interviewing several profs and students from the program and I didn't think it was a fit. I've only ever applied to CU and SL. Thanks again for running the blog -- It's a comfort.

I think three is the max, WG. I wouldn't apply there again. I can only man-fact about why they keep placing you on the waitlist. On the good side, maybe there's a faculty member who is really pulling for you but can't get the votes from others. On the bad side, maybe no one on the committee is paying attention to who goes on the waitlist from year-to-year.

Either way, you've paid your last application fee to Columbia. Choose other schools, WG. Good luck, and thanks for writing in.


Anonymous said...

I'm curious, WG--where do you live? I have a theory about wait-lists: I think grad schools often wait-list people who live near the school, so if there's a last-minute cancellation, there's a good likelihood that that wait-listed person will be able to make the fast arrangements and actually attend the program.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Don't live anywhere near NYC. But I agree that those who live in NYC probably receive some sort of preference, especially in waitlist situations.


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