They usually mean the same thing, but it depends on the school. I am on alternate lists at UVM and UF, but I know that they are both waitlists.
Actually, I bet you are taklking about UVM, b/c I got the letter today and it says "qualified/alternate" list. Read my reply to thundercat in the Allopathic forum for an explanation of how their waitlist works (in case you're wondering).
Yeah you're right...UVM it is...hehe. The thing is that I know someoen that was waitlisted there last year and they said that their letter did not say "alternate list" but "waitlist." So that's why Im wondering if there is some sort of difference? Im just looking for a silver lining...
I think out of all waitlists, UVM's is a pretty good one to be on. They usually go through at least half of it, so don't worry too much just yet. On interview day, I think they explained it pretty clearly, which leads me to believe that they simply changed the name of their waitlist to make it sound nicer to those on it.