On the Wait List? Here’s what’s next.

Two weeks ago, we sent out thousands of additional admissions decisions. We share a lot of information about decisions when we say yes. To help the more than 3,500 students who were offered the wait list, I want to share more information about the process and what happens next.

Why do we use a wait list? For UVM, it is a necessary part of the admissions process in order to ensure that we are able to enroll the maximum number of students without over- enrolling and exceeding our capacity in residence halls and classrooms. It also provides a way to add additional students if the response to offers of admission don’t materialize in any given majors.

Who is offered the wait list? We find that students on the wait list are qualified, but whose records are not as strong and competitive as those who are offered admission. We saw promising qualities in the applications of students that were placed on the wait list and we know that these students are often offered admission at other colleges and universities. When we make our offers of admission,  they are made to students who, within our pool of more than 25,000 applications (or 2,200 in Vermont), present the most competitive application. In addition to grade point average and academic record, those students who are competitive often have strong upward grade trends, a challenging curriculum, and an impressive set of extracurricular talents. The most challenging wait list decisions are for those students who are applying to our most competitive majors, such as nursing, athletic training, exercise and movement science, business and engineering this year. Many applicants who were interested in these programs who had solid academic records found themselves being offered the wait list because of space constraints in these programs.

Students are encouraged to accept the wait list in order to keep options open. If students remain interested, in addition to accepting the list, students are highly encouraged to send an email indicating that they remain interested and send any 3rd quarter grades. These additional items should be received by April 15.

In mid-April, we will assess where we are with our class enrollment and will begin formulating a plan for using the wait list. Offers of admission from the wait list have come as early as April 23 in prior years. More common are offers that come closer to May 1 and in some cases during the two weeks after May 1. Offers are doing via telephone and email. When a student is going to be offered an opportunity for admission, we begin with students who have accepted the wait list. We make decisions about who will receive an offer of admission through a combination of those who have expressed interest, the academic program that may still need space, as well as geography (for example, are we running short on Vermonters?)

When an offer is extended, students are asked to make a decision within a short amount of time. If the offer is made prior to May 1, then students still have until May 1 to make a decision. Otherwise, students will typically have 48-72 hours to make a decision if they are interested enough to decision to say yes to UVM. Financial aid is available for students being offered admission from the wait list and our Student Financial Services office will create a financial aid award within 24 hours for students who have a FAFSA on file. Students offered the wait list are required to pay an acceptance fee by May 1 or within two days if the offer comes after May 1.

In any given year, the number of offers from the wait list varies greatly. In recent years, that number has been as small as 50 to as many as 200.

The FAQ that was sent with the wait list letter is valuable information in explaining the next steps. I’ve posted it below:

How do I remain on the Wait List?

The University of Vermont offers wait list status to a number of students we may be able to consider admitting for the fall, if space becomes available after the May 1 acceptance fee deadline. We hope you will choose to join the wait list, although we also encourage you to make alternate plans for the fall. You may join our wait list online at http://www.uvm.edu/admissions/appstatus by selecting ‘Join the Waitlist’ on the application summary page. We request that you accept the offer online no later than April 15. Only students who have accepted the wait list offer will be considered for admission from the wait list.

What number am I on the Wait List?

UVM does not rank wait listed students. Through May 1, we are unable to predict the enrollment rate of admitted students or determine how many students offered wait list status choose to remain active. In addition, UVM must consider the distribution of enrolled students in each academic program. If we are able to offer admission to active wait listed students, each application is reviewed again, using both original credentials and new materials.

 How can I help my chances of admission?

If we are able to admit students from the wait list, candidates will be evaluated based on their overall qualifications and degree of interest in UVM. It is our policy not to schedule personal interviews with students on our wait list. We believe it is more helpful for you to send additional information for your file. Here are the items you may wish to send us before April 15 to enhance your candidacy:

 Recent Grades – Your most recent grades illustrate your academic strength through your senior year; ask your college counseling office to forward them as soon as possible.

Statement of Interest – An email or letter from you indicating your level of interest and your match for UVM helps us further evaluate your interest in attending the university if given the opportunity.

When will I be notified if I’m accepted…or not?

The decision regarding whether we use the wait list is typically made in early to mid-May. Offers of admission to selected wait listed applicants are usually made by June 1, and are made only to those who have accepted a place on the wait list. If you are offered admission to the University of Vermont from our wait list, we will ask for your response within the quick time frame spelled out in this future correspondence. We allow extensions on your decision at that point only if you are waiting for financial aid information. If we are not able to offer you admission from the wait list, we will notify you by email in June.

Can I still visit campus?

You may be visiting colleges in April that have offered you admission in order to evaluate your plans for the fall.

If you feel that it is important to visit UVM at this time, we offer tours of campus most weekdays through April, as well as information sessions and tours on most Saturdays. Note that our spring semester visit programs end on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Will financial aid be available if I’m accepted from the Wait List?

You will be eligible for any federal or state financial aid for which you qualify, as well as UVM grant aid.

What if the Wait List is not used this year?

If you are not offered admission to UVM for this fall, we invite you to consider transfer admission. UVM welcomes well-prepared transfer students. You are encouraged to successfully complete the equivalent of two full-time semesters at another college or university and apply as a transfer student for fall 2016. You may also want to explore our Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) offered through our Office of Continuing and Distance Education. We’d be happy to discuss these options with you.

Who can I contact with more questions?

If you still have questions, please call (802) 656-3370 and ask to speak with an admissions counselor or e-mail admissions@uvm.edu.

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