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Waitlist Dilemma

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mvalento, Mar 28, 2001.

  1. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member
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    hey everybody. i could use some advice. i am currently on 6 waitlists. i am trying to decide on one school to send a letter of intent to. however, i do not want to alienate the other schools that i am waiting on. i have already sent most of them my grades from last semester (updated transcripts). after reading a lot of posts on this topic, i feel like i should be starting a mass letter-writing/phone call campaign if i don't wan't to fall behind the efforts of other applicants. i thinking of just writing a simple letter to most of the schools telling them that i am still interested in them, what i like about the school etc etc. will this be enough? my concern is that if i don't tell these schools that they are my top choice, they are going to think "well, he's interested but there's obviously schools that he likes better, we better hold off..." (if you can't tell, this is the paranoia stage of the application process). the feeling i'm getting these days is that if i don't tell a school that it is my top choice, it will dismiss me as uninterested/unmotivated. but i am not going to tell more than one school that it is my top choice. thanks-

    bud
     
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  3. GreatPumpkin

    GreatPumpkin Mystical Treatbringer
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    I don't think it would help you to tell any of them they are your top choice. The wait list at my school is just that a ranked list of 1 through ?. As people who are accepted start to decline they start taking people off the list in order. So, it is just a matter of enough people declining so that they get to your position on the rank list. Of course they won't tell you where you are on the list. But, good luck.

    ------------------
    Rob
    4th year med student at MCV/VCU in Virginia. Matched to Pathology at MCV.
     
  4. docuw

    docuw Senior Member
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    Or you could tell them all that they are you top choice...? perhaps a little against the point, but it could get you the job done. Personally, I wouldnt do this.

    You definitely should be sending letters. I think it is ENOUGH to tell them that you are still very interested in their school. That should be sufficient... I dont think they are going to read between the spaces, and comment on what you left out of the letter.

    -Doc
     
  5. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    From what I understand, the waitlist runs a little differently from school to school -- some have essentially an unmoveable rank (although I have a feeling if you had very influential friends call on your behalf, it would move more than you think), others definitely have a more "fluid" ranking, based on changes/updates in your application, interest, etc. I would say pick the school that you like the most and/or think you have the best shot at and send the "you're my top choice, if accepted, I will withdraw everywhere else" letter; the others, I would go ahead and send strong interest letters. There are definitely nuances of speech you can use to convey a very strong interest without explicitly stating that they are your first choice. I don't think that these letters would be bad, because while it may seem like a lot of people on these boards employ these tactics, I think we make up a very small proportion of the applicant pool, and a lot of people are also just generally lazy/worn out by this time in the process. Example -- a very good friend of mine was accepted at Baylor and UTSW by the spring last year, and was waitlisted at Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and Wash U. All along Hopkins had been his first choice, and he had some incredible things from spring quarter to update to his application, but never contacted any of the waitlist schools because he just wanted a decision to be made and the wait to be over. I don't think this sentiment is totally uncommon.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited March 29, 2001).]
     
  6. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    You can hold onto places without concern for your status until June 15. At that time, AMCAS first sends notices to all medical schools where you are holding places of all your other acceptances. You may have noticed that wait-lists first begin really moving around June 15 on.

    In fairness to all wait-listed candidates, you should be giving serious thought now to prioritizing your choices if you are on more than one wait-list. If you delay too long, you may eventually find yourself under the gun: getting letters from where you are holding a place, along the line of "you have two weeks to inform us if you are coming here or you will be dropped from the wait-list". Making a good decision at the last minute is not helpful to the psyche and may result in a wrong choice. There appears to be a lot of time between April and June, but you will be surprised by how quickly "the days dwindle down to a precious few."

     
  7. jimi

    jimi Senior Member
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    Gower, maybe I'm misunderstanding you but what you say sounds VERY strange!

    Are you saying that unless you submit a letter of intent to a school that has waitlisted you, they will threaten to drop you from their waitlist!??!!!

    I've heard this about acceptances but NEVER waitlists!! Waitlists are about WAITING, so that's what people do. I really doubt a school will knock people off it's waitlist unless the applicant chooses to withdraw.
     
  8. jerseybri

    jerseybri Junior Member
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  9. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think I'll take a stab at clarifying Gower's statement. First off, the date that you SHOULD only be holding ONE acceptance is May 15th (but you can be on any number of waitlists). Then, the SCHOOLS themselves are apparently updated about your status by June 15th, the date gower was referring to. At this point, if the schools you have been accepted to see that you are holding multiple acceptances, you can then be "threatened" into dumping your extra acceptances.

    As for being "kicked off of waitlists" I think what Gower was saying is that after April 15th (I believe), schools are no longer restricted by AAMC to give applicants/wait-listers a strict minimum amount of time to decide on an offer of acceptance. Instead they can give them 2 weeks, a week, and in some cases I actually know of 24-48 hours. If you can't make the decision within that time frame that the school gives you, not only do they rescind the offer of admission, but you are removed from the waitlist as well. That is why gower was advising people to start ranking their waitlists now, because those of us who are waiting might have to make some very quick decisions this spring and summer.

    [This message has been edited by lilycat (edited March 29, 2001).]
     
  10. BlueBoy

    BlueBoy Member
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    I also thought the final decision date for multiple acceptances was May 15. One of my waitlist schools said that movement of the waitlist will start late May.

    A word of caution from that date to those holding multiple acceptances. A person in the office of admissions at George Washington said that the medical schools know how many acceptances people are holding. He said of an instance of one applicant holding two acceptances past the deadline and GW revoked the acceptance because of that.

    I am on 5 waitlists now...arghhh!! I think all the letters said to update them on anything that is relevent to your application...research, volunteer, grades. If the waitlist is ranked and that rank does not move, I don't understand why they would want updates. In any case, it can only help you case for you to send in an update letter showing strong interest. I am still trying to decide to send a letter of intent to one of the schools. I have 3 more schools that I am waiting on before I send that letter.
     
  11. mvalento

    mvalento Senior Member
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    thanks for the advice, guys, it is very helpful (much moreso than my pre-med advisor). i think i'm going to send a letter of intent to either michigan or NYU. some of the other waitlists i am on seem to be glorified rejections (duke...) but i guess you never know. good luck to all-

    bud
     
  12. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    May 15 is the correct date. Lapses like that make me realize that I am still human. What is the line: to err is human, to forgive divine? All those who want to be divine, please forgive me for being human.

    Yes, medical schools can choose how long to wait before shutting the door. Two weeks is not uncommon. Late in the cycle the deadline is usually shortened; there have been instances where students pulled out almost the day before classes started: the phone call to the next alternate, if still interested, usually gave them until the next day or two, before moving on to the next name on the list.

    By the way, anyone on an alternate list should be be sure to let the medical school know where they can be reached. If you go on vacation, give them a number where someone knows where to reach you. That seems obvious, but the obvious isn't always obvious to everyone! In that respect too, I discovered I am all too human.
     
  13. Groder

    Groder New Member

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    Errr....a bit off the thread here, but still in the "waitlist" arena. I've seen people quoting stats on how many students were admitted from the waitlist at a certain school last year and so forth. Where could I get my hands on such stats? Any help would be appreciated. Thank ye.
     
  14. TiggerP01

    TiggerP01 Junior Member
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    to the above poster, if you go to the US News rankings website, click on your school, and then go to 'admissions' (i think), there should be numbers such as 'accepted' and 'enrolled'. pretty much the difference in those numbers tells you the number they accept off the waitlist.

    so i'm actually in search of some advice.....i've gotten accepted into a school which i really really like. i just got a great feeling while i was there. i also got waitlisted at a top 5 school, but my impression of the students and atmosphere there wasn't as good. is it worth it to try to get in there just for the name? does a top 5 vs. top 20 school really make that much of a difference?
     
  15. gower

    gower 1K Member
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    I would be interested to know where US News could have discovered how many were accepted.
    The MSAR table, "Information on [date] Entering First Year Class," at the bottom right of the second page for each medical school's two page spread, gives only the numbers for the following categories: Number of Applicants: In-State, Out-of-State, Total;
    Next line, Number of Applicants Interviewed, In-State, Out-of-State, Total;
    Next line: number of NEW ENTRANTS, In-State, Out-of-State, Total.

    I capitalize NEW ENTRANTS to draw attention to it. IT IS NOT THE NUMBER OF TOTAL ACCEPTANCES, BUT THE NUMBER OF THOSE OFFERED ACCEPTANCES WHO ARE ENROLLED IN THE FIRST YEAR CLASS.

    That line is commonly carelessly read as total acceptances.

    The size of professional school classes is fixed by the accrediting agency, not the professional school.

    I seriously doubt that medical schools and the others would release that information to US News, or to anyone other than AMCAS. It would become a kind of public popularity contest: who can fill a class from the fewest acceptances offered.

    During World War II there was a poster campaign: "Careless Lips Sink Ships"
    Careless reading can sink people, as I know from my own not infrequent carelessness.

    Notice the weasel-wording: "not infrequent"
    instead of "frequent." Caveat emptor.
     
  16. lestat

    lestat Member
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    Hi! I don't think the difference between the "accepted" and "enrolled" indicates number of students accepted off the waitlist. The schools send out more initial acceptances than the class size. Based on past statistics, they predict that few spots "may" get vacant inspite of the "oversubscription". A good example is Columbia P&S. They alreadys sent 225 acceptances (around 70 extra acceptances). Last year, only 2 people got off the waitlist at Columbia. God knows if they will take any this year! Good luck!!

     
  17. jerseygirl

    jerseygirl Member
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    I too am currently on 4 waitlists -- no outright acceptances, and I'm also anticipating 2 more waitlists at this point. Any advice on what to do? Should I just proceed along by writing each of the schools a letter of continued interest, and give them my updated contact info? Or is there anything more active that I should consider doing? Thanks.
     
  18. BlueBoy

    BlueBoy Member
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    I'm currently on five waitlists...arghh! I am planning on asking my research professor I've been working with for the past year to write me a letter of support. I've already written one update letter and will write another with new information after the May 15 deadline and the waitlists should start moving.

    bb
     
  19. I can tell you for sure that a lot of medical schools out there will give preference to wait-listed students that announce their medical school as their "top-choice". My friend told a medical school that he was wait-listed for that it was his top choice and when he called the admissions office later, they told him so. He later got in.
     
  20. BlueBoy

    BlueBoy Member
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    Kent, what was the time period between telling the school it was his top choice and being accepted?

    bb

     
  21. Who do you address the "I'm still very interested in your school" letter to? It seems kinda weird to write "Dear Admissions Commitee..."



    ------------------
    Amy
    University of Rochester, class of 2001
     
  22. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I've usually addresed it to the Chair/Dean of the Committee -- whoever has been signing the waitlist or interview letters.
     

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