Here is something I don't understand about waitlist movement

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auburnO5

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I know I have seen this exact same thread before, but I searched for it to no avail.

If May 15th is the deadline for people holding multiple acceptances to narrow it down to one school, then what causes waitlist movement all the way up until class starts?

I should probably know this, because I was on 2 waitlists last year, and 4 this year.

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People on multiple waitlists can withdraw whenever. For example, say someone is an excellent interviewer and winds up with 8 waitlists. If that person gets in off all the waitlists, 7 of them will be moving again. Rinse and repeat.

edit: I thought of a good analogy, in case that didn't make sense. Picture a traffic jam. The whole column of cars doesn't start moving instantly once the wreck gets moved out of the way. If you're 40 back, you'll have to wait for a minute before you get going. Same deal. It takes time for the waitlist declining to go on.
 
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People on multiple waitlists can withdraw whenever. For example, say someone is an excellent interviewer and winds up with 8 waitlists. If that person gets in off all the waitlists, 7 of them will be moving again. Rinse and repeat.

I'd argue that someone with 8 waitlists is a pretty crappy interviewer...

To answer the op's q from an admissions perspective, stuff happens, people decide to defer or not go to med school and it has a snowball effect, because if someone decides to take the waitlist spot that was accepted, the school they were going to go to will take someone off their waitlist...
 
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Some person who was going to Hopkins decides to do research instead, and the butterfly effect ensues all the way down.
 
Because it only takes one. One person decides to defer for a year, and opens up a spot. Person B from the waitlist takes that spot and leaves their spot. Person C at that school's waitlist is now accepted, so he leaves his spot at the next school.
 
Someone being offered a spot off of a waitlist has 2 weeks to decide. So they can legitimately hold that offer and plus the school they had planned to attend for 2 weeks. Let's say May 16-May 30. On May 30, they decline one offer, so that school again goes to the waitlist and that person has until June 13 to make a decision, and so on and so on. Eventually, offers are going to people who aren't holding other offers.
 
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