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Getting in off the waitlist: Demoralizing or don't give a damn?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Alexander99, May 3, 2004.

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How would you feel about attending a school where you got in off the waitlist?

  1. I wouldn't care and would be happy I got in.

    134 vote(s)
    77.9%
  2. I'd somewhat resent the fact that they didn't feel I was good enough to get in straight up.

    37 vote(s)
    21.5%
  1. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I wanted to see how you guys feel about getting in off a waitlist. Would you feel somewhat badly in the sense that they didn't want to accept you right away or would you not care and just be happy you got in.
     
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  3. DrJ2B

    DrJ2B Senior Member
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    I would be very happt that I got in and would not care in the least. Schools have so many great applicants that they cannot accept every applicant. The fact that you are put on a waitlist and still have a chance means that schools still want to give you a chance to show that you want to go there. If UPenn accepts me, I will be on cloud 100. The whole point is that you got in regardless if it was an outright acceptance or you got off the waitlist. It does not make you any less of a person or applicant! :)
     
  4. bosox03

    bosox03 Believe
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    An acceptance is an acceptance (in my book). I don't care how I get in.
     
  5. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I pretty much feel the same as you guys (I voted I wouldn't give a damn) but I heard several current UCSD students were bitter about how they got in off the waitlist (they still talk about it to this day) so I wondered if others felt that way.
     
  6. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    This isn't a part of the poll but how about this scenario: What if you got in due to a technical error (e.g. you had the same name as someone else.) If you wouldn't have gotten in otherwise, would you still happily attend or would you feel some reservation about going there cause you feel you didn't deserve to?
     
  7. DrJ2B

    DrJ2B Senior Member
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    Even if it was UPenn, I could not take someone's spot who deserved it more than me. I want to get in on my own merit not due to a technicality even if it is my dream school. I could not do that to another person.
     
  8. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    To be 100% honest, I think I'd have to take the spot. My reasoning would be that I could just as easily be as qualified as the next person whom they would have given my spot to since it's all subjective anyway. I'm impressed you're a person of your principle though.
     
  9. Sean2tall

    Sean2tall Pathology Resident
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    I voted for the latter. I guess you guys are right that once you are accepted you are accepted, but I just wouldn't feel the same about it. For example, some of the schools wrote in their waitlist letter that they really wanted to accept me, but there just weren't enough spots for everyone. But really that is a load of poop, because they continued to accept other people who came along much later than me. No matter how you phrase it, they really don't want me unless they have exhausted all other options (higher on their list, of course).

    Anyway, if my top choice school took me off of the waitlist, I'm not saying I would turn it down. But I certainly would feel differently than I do about my 1 unconditional acceptance, where they let me in immediately after the interview and wrote in the letter something to the effect that their committment to me extends beyond just medical school and includes possible residency and faculty-ness and whatnot. I was really surprised by that and it def. made me feel like I was wanted there. Now is there a real difference between that acceptance and a waitlist one? No. But the question is how would you feel and I would not feel as good about the waitlist spot.
     
  10. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Good to hear the other side. I can definately see why you feel that way. I guess it all comes down to how subjective you feel the process of selection is. If you believe that the school as a whole really does feel you're not as good of an applicant which is why you got the waitlist, one would tend to feel the way you do. If you believe that there's a lot of randomness to it and the adcoms themselves kind of pick haphazardly, one would tend to feel like I do.
     
  11. Sean2tall

    Sean2tall Pathology Resident
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    Something like this happened this year for a basketball scholarship. Schools are only allowed to send one as a recruitment for their top b-ball player, and they sent it to someone with the same name as the guy they wanted. I believe he refused to give it up and became part of the basketball team despite not being any good. His logic was (I think?) that he achieved well in school and he deserved his chance just as much as the basketball player or something? Maybe somebody else remembers this story.

    I think I would allow them to take back my acceptance though. I wouldn't feel right if it was a mistake.
     
  12. I'd still go. Sometimes I think the admissions process is almost this subjective already. The pulling names out of a hat phenomenon. If you get the interview, I think you are just as qualified as the others.
     
  13. Sean2tall

    Sean2tall Pathology Resident
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    Yeah you're right, it can be pretty arbitrary. Hmm. I guess I wonder what it is that made them not choose me. To be honest I would probably consider myself just as qualified as some of the people who actually got in. If it was just that they thought I looked funny or my state of residence was not what they preferred or something, then I probably shouldn't feel bad that I didn't get in. I guess I was assuming that they had a bunch of applicants just about the same as me and they chose the one with the better scores or GPA or something. Hmm. . .
     
  14. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I'll bet that guy was really popular with the other players and coaches. In that situation, I'd give it up without thinking much about it. I think the only way you could not refuse to give it up is if you were on the team as well and you felt you were as good as the guy who was supposed to get it. That's ridiculous to say achieving well in school is the same thing because there are tons of students that achieve well but don't get scholarships.
     
  15. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Sometimes it can just be the interviewer you got. For example, I got interviewed by both UCLA and UCSD. I got a post interview rejection (not even a hold, which is basically the same as a rejection, let a lone a waitlist) at UCLA and an outright acceptance at UCSD.

    I've concluded it had to be my interview at UCLA, although I thought it went great, that got me the rejection. There must have been something about me the interviewer didn't like or else why would I get a rejection? My numbers were above their averages so there's no other reason why I wouldn't at least get a waitlist/hold. At UCSD, my interviewers seemed to really want me to get in and wouldn't you know it, I got in straight up.

    The bottom line is, I think I was just as qualified to get into both schools and I got vastly different results so yeah, it's highly subjective.
     
  16. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    36 votes so far and it looks like just about 1/3 of people would feel some resentment while the other 2/3 wouldn't care. Interesting.
     
  17. UseUrHeadFred

    UseUrHeadFred Oh no! It's a Wumpus!
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    A huge portion of the overall medical school class comes from the waitlist. For example, I think SLU has more than half their class come in that way. If you get in off the wait list, you're in pretty good company. Why be resentful?
     
  18. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I guess it's purely psychological. It makes me wonder though, has there ever been a discussion between adcoms that go something like this:

    Adcom 1: "Damn it. We got more withdrawals this year than usual. Now we need to pull more people off the waitlist."

    Adcom 2: "But we've already used up all the waitlisted applicants we felt were qualified."

    Adcom 1: "Well, what choice do we have? Just start pulling names (at random) from the applicants we have left."
     
  19. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Keep voting everyone. I want to see at least 100 votes so we can make some kind of conclusion about this.
     
  20. BassDominator

    BassDominator Senior Member
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    I got in off the waitlist and turned out pretty well. I didn't take it personally at all.
     
  21. bmischen

    bmischen word!
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    I won't care if I get accepted off of the waitlist.....I feel (and I am probably biased) that just being on the waitlist means that they liked me enough to take me if a spot opens up...not that they will take me if no one else wants to come....they have limited spots!
    It is funny...EVERYONE that I know from medical school came off of the waitlist except for 1 person!....they all did/ are doing well some even near the top of their class...
     
  22. Newquagmire

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    i would and i do "resent" the situation, but that doesn't mean i wouldn't take the spot and be super happy about it too.
     
  23. izzyfine

    izzyfine Member
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    While a part of me might be a tad resenful, from what I've seen many people who come off the waitlist are more energized about the school than are the people who are just straight out accepted.
    Think about it...

    Applicant A gets accepted lets say in February. They are extremely happy, get the school sticker on the back of their car and tell everyone about it. They are so happy and grateful, they make sure to send in their deposit of $100 certified mail (just to be on the safe side). A few months go by, they get used to it and pretty soon they are wondering if they could have done better.
    By August the newness has worn off and they are already beginning to obsess about how best to study. :mad:

    Applicant B on the other hand is strung along on the waitlist (presumably of a school they want to go to) for months. :scared: They pray constantly and send more letters of intent than all of the west coast combined. Very late in July they get an offer, jump up and down and by the first day of classes are still happier than a pig in **** :love:

    Reason - Sometimes the only thing more satisfying than getting the gold metal is escapeing the knife.

    Who is happier - The candidate that learns he is the new president of the United States or the deathrow convict who learns that the governor has granted him the appeal?

    I know that comparing presidency/deathrow to accepted/waitlist is VERY melodramatic but while I was an undergraduate I think I was more thankful when I learned that I barely passed a course (which I was afraid I would fail) than when I learned that I just did well in a class.

    Accepted - Temple, NYMC
    Rejected - Pretty much everywhere else
     
  24. camstah

    camstah running thru dandelions
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    well not all of the west coast...just cali :laugh:
     
  25. gaf

    gaf Senior Member
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    I wouldn't care. Would you care if you were someone's 101st choice out of 300 applications? How about 125th choice out of 3000 applications? Either one could be a straight accept as easily as it could be a waitlist. I'd be glad to go.

    As for the same name thing, I don't know how you would find out they wanted the other guy, but presumably they would figure it out somewhere before the first day of classes and send him an acceptance as well. I'd go without shame.
     
  26. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Well, they could send you an acceptance letter and notify you in the following weeks that the acceptance was actually meant for someone else with your same name. At this point, they can only ask you to let them withdraw their acceptance but for legal reasons, I think it's your choice.

    So after 121 votes, it seems that ~25% of people feel some sort of resentment coming off a waitlist while ~75% just wouldn't give a damn. I'll be willing to bet if this wasn't the SDN population (which is known to have an overrepresentation of super-qualified candidates), the number of people not giving a damn and just being happy they got in would be closer to maybe 90%. Any thoughts on that?
     
  27. Trekkie963

    Trekkie963 Senior Member
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    I think it was about three years ago, some major undergraduate university sent a whole crapload (like hundreds) of accidental acceptance letters out. For some reason I feel like it was either Columbia or Yale. They then turned around soon thereafter and informed all the accidental acceptees of their mistake and rescinded their admission. They said they were sorry, but also that there was no way to just let it slide and offer these people admission because there were so many.
     
  28. docmemi

    docmemi 1K Member
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    i would not feel good about going somewhere that took me off the waitlist since i would be there second choice. then again, if was my first choice and i realized the process isnt always fair, maybe i wouldnt be that bitter.

    and yeah, i agree that outside SDN most people would be ecstatic to get accepted, waitlist or not...
     
  29. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I'm sure they could have gotten sued. So what if you immediately withdrew your acceptances to other colleges and were only left with your bogus acceptance? I think that it was the school's mistake so it's their obligation to accept you, mistake or not. Maybe no one pushed it but I'm sure that a few people, if they made a strong case, could have bullied their way in using their bogus acceptance.

    Anyone know about the legalities concerning an acceptance letter? Is an educational institution legally obligated to give you a spot whether they sent the letter by mistake or not as long as it's addressed to you?
     
  30. Ozymandsss

    Ozymandsss Member
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    You know, what you need to understand is that even those people who are waitlisted are in a privilaged minority of american students who are competitive for medical school. I really dont see a reason to get hung up on whether you are accepted off the waitlist or outright. I mean, there will ALWAYS be someone smarter than you, with better grades, or MCATs or whatever. But there will just as well be people whom you are more qualified then. Coupled with those two facts is the reality that the admissions process simply makes no sense and follows no rhyme or reason. I am sure that you all have personally experienced getting rejection letters from schools that you would consider to be far "worse" than some other school that interviewed or accepted you. You have to realize that in being put on the waitlist, you are being deemed more competitive than the vast majority of other students who even hoped to apply to the school. What difference does it make to you, as a practicing physician, whether the school wanted to take a second look at you before then feeling you met their expectations? I am on the waitlist at my first choice and will be so excited and flattered should they accept me off of it.
     
  31. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    I concur with what you're saying but technically speaking, there are people who don't have to worry about someone else having better grades or a higher MCAT score (those with a 4.0 gpa or 45 on the MCAT). :)
     
  32. Optimist

    Optimist Senior Member
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    If it was my only acceptance, I certainly wouldn't care, but if I was accepted out right at school A, and off the waitlist at school B, it would definitely skew my opinion to favor school A. I don't even really know why, I guess it's since I'd like to be in a place that really wants me there.
     
  33. Alexander99

    Alexander99 Ghetto Fabulous
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    Let's bump to get some more votes on this (the results seem somewhat conclusive though that people don't give a damn for the most part.)
     

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