Why are waitlist rankings left to be such a BIG MYSTERY??!

Bruin2012

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    I have been placed on the waitlist for 5 different schools and only one of them tell me "relatively" where I am. One of the schools ranks their waitlist into thirds: top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3... but the other four schools DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING!

    I'm just curious, why do schools keep waitlist rankings such a mystery? Wouldn't it be better to inform everyone so that the bottom 1/3 can begin planning for reapplication and the top 1/3 can make tentative plans to move to the medical school? Why such a cruel process?
     

    Arbor Vitae

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      I have been placed on the waitlist for 5 different schools and only one of them tell me "relatively" where I am. One of the schools ranks their waitlist into thirds: top 1/3, middle 1/3, bottom 1/3... but the other four schools DON'T TELL ME ANYTHING!

      I'm just curious, why do schools keep waitlist rankings such a mystery? Wouldn't it be better to inform everyone so that the bottom 1/3 can begin planning for reapplication and the top 1/3 can make tentative plans to move to the medical school? Why such a cruel process?

      Because they are trying to fill demographic quotas. They probably won't offer acceptances by "rank", but rather by what demographic they are trying to replace or fill.
       

      sector9

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        I think that part of the reason may be that the school is trying to balance their class as people drop out. So, if 5 guys drop the acceptance and they're aiming for a class with an approximately equal male/female ratio, then they could end up accepting a batch of men from the waitlist. If the waitlist is strictly ranked, that starts to cause problems when creating the school's perceived "ideal class".

        Other schools may just not release the information so that the admissions office doesn't have to deal with a deluge of anxious premeds calling to find out where they're at on the waitlist.
         
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          Because they are trying to fill demographic quotas. They probably won't offer acceptances by "rank", but rather by what demographic they are trying to replace or fill.

          I think that part of the reason may be that the school is trying to balance their class as people drop out. So, if 5 guys drop the acceptance and they're aiming for a class with an approximately equal male/female ratio, then they could end up accepting a batch of men from the waitlist. If the waitlist is strictly ranked, that starts to cause problems when creating the school's perceived "ideal class".

          Other schools may just not release the information so that the admissions office doesn't have to deal with a deluge of anxious premeds calling to find out where they're at on the waitlist.

          This is exactly it. I imagine most schools use a method like this.

          Keep in mind that schools don't necessarily accept people that are the most "qualified" (whatever that means). They are likely looking to build a class that is "diverse," whatever that means to the particular institution. Depending upon how important that mission is to them, a ranked waitlist may or may not exist.
           

          NickNaylor

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            Also, it is in a schools best interest to have a large population to pick from as a contingency, regardless of demographics.

            ...though this seems to be especially important for the ranking-hunting schools. :) Thus the ridiculously and unnecessarily large waitlists that often exist at these schools, e.g., a 700 person waitlist at a school with a 100-120 person class.
             

            kexy

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              This is exactly it. I imagine most schools use a method like this.

              Keep in mind that schools don't necessarily accept people that are the most "qualified" (whatever that means). They are likely looking to build a class that is "diverse," whatever that means to the particular institution. Depending upon how important that mission is to them, a ranked waitlist may or may not exist.

              I get this, but I still don't understand why schools that refuse to reject post-interview that get an ENORMOUS waitlist (e.g. a waitlist of 600 for a class of 100) can't at least divide their waitlists into two or more groups ("pursue other options" and "competitive pool" or something). I'm sure a smaller pool of 300 people would still contain plenty of diversity for building the class to desired specifications. It'd just be nice to have some sense of whether to continue hoping/waiting or move on...
               

              Slack3r

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                ...though this seems to be especially important for the ranking-hunting schools. :) Thus the ridiculously and unnecessarily large waitlists that often exist at these schools, e.g., a 700 person waitlist at a school with a 100-120 person class.

                UTMB has an unranked "alternate pool" of about 250. Stupid.
                 

                blizzah

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                  Some schools (looking at you georgetown) waitlist almost everyone then see who on the wl will send in (the best) letters of interest. Helps them with their yield, I'm sure although this doesn't seem to be true when you look at US news acc/matric numbers
                   
                  They like keeping us in the dark.



                  Plus, I'm sure they do it to prevent a possible lawsuit. When you learn about how duke and cinci (and many others) do their waitlist, you see that it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


                  Ex: Asian Male musician drops, so they try skim the waitlist for another asian male musician? I mean come on.
                   
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                  Thego2guy

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                    They like keeping us in the dark.



                    Plus, I'm sure they do it to prevent a possible lawsuit. When you learn about how duke and cinci (and many others) do their waitlist, you see that it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


                    Ex: Asian Male musician drops, so they try skim the waitlist for another asian male musician? I mean come on.

                    Where did you hear this from? I never heard of that yet..and I've been browsing SDN for years. Lol.
                     

                    Mazdave

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                      I know Cincinnati uses demographics. I don't think they get as specific as musician but it's been discussed on a couple of years' threads that there are about ~10 demographic categories they will use to pull people. If the person who withdraws is an OOS male, they will look to fill that spot with an OOS male. I'm sure this is not uncommon.
                       

                      kexy

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                        I know Cincinnati uses demographics. I don't think they get as specific as musician but it's been discussed on a couple of years' threads that there are about ~10 demographic categories they will use to pull people. If the person who withdraws is an OOS male, they will look to fill that spot with an OOS male. I'm sure this is not uncommon.

                        It would be so awesome/hilarious if they ranked people within those 10 categories. "You are number 3 on the male Asian musician waitlist."
                         

                        LizzyM

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                          Some adcoms hate to reject people (we love you, we really do, we just don't have room for the 500-1000 people we interviewed). Plus they know that if they interviewed fabulous applicants that many of those waitlist people will drop off the waitlist because they got an offer that they like as much or more than being on the waitlist. So a waitlist of 400 can shrink to 100 in the blink of an eye.

                          Yes, a school can use the waitlist to balance a class demographically. It is not to say that a school is looking to replace a specific person (asian male musician) but if after May 15 the school has only one ___ student, it might be time to pull some ___ students from the waitlist. Future students like to see students who look like them when they come for an interview or when they look at the school's stats. Otherwise, they have the impression that the school is unfriendly to ___ and it becomes a downward spiral.


                          Also, not every school is going to take many applicants from the waitlist. One year it can be <2% of the class and another year it can be 25%. There is no easy way to predict. So, telling you that you are in the top 1/3 of the list may mean that you hear nothing.

                          If you have nothing but waitlists, start preparing for another application cycle. (Plan to skip a cycle if you are optimistic but at the same time feel you might benefit from a year to buff your application.) You might be pleasantly surprised but it is always best to prepare for the worst.
                           
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                          Arbor Vitae

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                            They like keeping us in the dark.



                            Plus, I'm sure they do it to prevent a possible lawsuit. When you learn about how duke and cinci (and many others) do their waitlist, you see that it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.


                            Ex: Asian Male musician drops, so they try skim the waitlist for another asian male musician? I mean come on.

                            That's not a law suit waiting to happen. They want to keep the class diverse.
                             

                            RedSox10

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                              Also, my assumption is that schools DO take into account where you have already been accepted (maybe LizzyM can prove this wrong, though it may be different from school to school).

                              At some point (in March?) schools you've interviewed at have access to where else you've been accepted. I'm guessing that schools use this data to determine whether or not you'd even accept an offer from them if given the chance. A person's acceptances can change at any moment, which would mean their likelihood of being accepted at other schools could change. For instance, if you're a Cali resident and get into UCSF/ UCLA, I'm pretty sure that Jefferson, Vermont (or any other school) might think twice about accepting you off a wait-list. Same goes for someone who's been accepted to Harvard, etc. Schools want to keep their stats low at the expense of the applicants.
                               

                              LizzyM

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                                Also, my assumption is that schools DO take into account where you have already been accepted (maybe LizzyM can prove this wrong, though it may be different from school to school).

                                At some point (in March?) schools you've interviewed at have access to where else you've been accepted. I'm guessing that schools use this data to determine whether or not you'd even accept an offer from them if given the chance. A person's acceptances can change at any moment, which would mean their likelihood of being accepted at other schools could change. For instance, if you're a Cali resident and get into UCSF/ UCLA, I'm pretty sure that Jefferson, Vermont (or any other school) might think twice about accepting you off a wait-list. Same goes for someone who's been accepted to Harvard, etc. Schools want to keep their stats low at the expense of the applicants.

                                True to some extent. My school assumes that if you have not withdrawn your application that you are still interested in matriculation. But they also love to hear continued bleetings of interest so that they know that despite being admitted to [sounds like everyone's dream school] you have personal reasons for wanting to live in [less desirable location] . And one of my former colleagues was aways bitching about applicants admitted elsewhere who would reject an offer from the waitlist because they just "forgot" to withdraw. Don't be that guy.
                                 

                                chronicidal

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                                  True to some extent. My school assumes that if you have not withdrawn your application that you are still interested in matriculation. But they also love to hear continued bleetings of interest so that they know that despite being admitted to [sounds like everyone's dream school] you have personal reasons for wanting to live in [less desirable location] . And one of my former colleagues was aways bitching about applicants admitted elsewhere who would reject an offer from the waitlist because they just "forgot" to withdraw. Don't be that guy.

                                  Do schools at which you're waitlisted get to see (in AMCAS) what schools have accepted you or which schools you still hold an acceptance to?
                                   
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                                  RedSox10

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                                    Do schools at which you're waitlisted get to see (in AMCAS) what schools have accepted you or which schools you still hold an acceptance to?

                                    I'm curious about the same thing...if you've been accepted to X and Z, but withdraw from X after an acceptance, will school Y (where you are wait-listed) see your acceptance to both X and Z, or just Z?
                                     

                                    RedSox10

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                                      Found this from an old post, not sure if it still applies but I assume it does:

                                      drbenmd
                                      03-17-2010, 12:53 PM

                                      From the AMCAS 2010 Instruction Booklet, p.19:
                                      "AAMC Policies Regarding Data Collection, Processing,and Dissemination"

                                      The AAMC shares acceptance information across schools in order to assist medical
                                      schools adhere to AAMC recommendations. These data are shared as follows:

                                      a) Beginning in February of each year, a medical school that has accepted an
                                      applicant can view the other school or schools that have accepted the applicant, if
                                      applicable.

                                      b) Beginning in April of each year, a medical school can view the school or schools
                                      that have accepted an applicant, even if that applicant has not yet been accepted by
                                      the medical school.
                                       
                                      Found this from an old post, not sure if it still applies but I assume it does:

                                      drbenmd
                                      03-17-2010, 12:53 PM

                                      From the AMCAS 2010 Instruction Booklet, p.19:
                                      "AAMC Policies Regarding Data Collection, Processing,and Dissemination"

                                      The AAMC shares acceptance information across schools in order to assist medical
                                      schools adhere to AAMC recommendations. These data are shared as follows:

                                      a) Beginning in February of each year, a medical school that has accepted an
                                      applicant can view the other school or schools that have accepted the applicant, if
                                      applicable.

                                      b) Beginning in April of each year, a medical school can view the school or schools
                                      that have accepted an applicant, even if that applicant has not yet been accepted by
                                      the medical school.

                                      trust your elders :laugh:
                                       

                                      gonnif

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                                        Still exists in 2013 AMCAS instructions as well

                                        "This statement describes specific uses of personal information as it pertains to AMCAS applicants and medical students. The AAMC disseminates application information to medical schools to which you have applied. The AAMC also shares acceptance information across schools in order to assist medical schools’ adherence to AAMC recommendations. This acceptance data is shared as follows:
                                        • Beginning in February of each year, a medical school that has accepted an applicant can view the other school or schools that have accepted the applicant, if applicable.
                                        • Beginning in April of each year, a medical school can view the school or schools that have accepted an applicant, even if that applicant has not yet been accepted by the medical school"
                                         

                                        mduck

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                                          I'm curious about the same thing...if you've been accepted to X and Z, but withdraw from X after an acceptance, will school Y (where you are wait-listed) see your acceptance to both X and Z, or just Z?

                                          You guys didn't answer the original question...do the "acceptances" that schools see include only those you currently hold or all acceptances you have been offered (current + withdrawn)?
                                           

                                          gonnif

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                                            You guys didn't answer the original question...do the "acceptances" that schools see include only those you currently hold or all acceptances you have been offered (current + withdrawn)?

                                            This is speculation but from the way AAMC reports data later, where it aggregates all acceptances and matriculation for certain stats, I would think that the schools see all the acceptances, even though withdrawn
                                             

                                            saveourpens

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                                              True to some extent. My school assumes that if you have not withdrawn your application that you are still interested in matriculation. But they also love to hear continued bleetings of interest so that they know that despite being admitted to [sounds like everyone's dream school] you have personal reasons for wanting to live in [less desirable location] . And one of my former colleagues was aways bitching about applicants admitted elsewhere who would reject an offer from the waitlist because they just "forgot" to withdraw. Don't be that guy.

                                              Judging by what people have said about Pitt I think LizzyM is an adcom member at the University of Pittsburgh! :) (or not)
                                               

                                              littlefaster

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                                                True to some extent. My school assumes that if you have not withdrawn your application that you are still interested in matriculation. But they also love to hear continued bleetings of interest so that they know that despite being admitted to [sounds like everyone's dream school] you have personal reasons for wanting to live in [less desirable location] . And one of my former colleagues was aways bitching about applicants admitted elsewhere who would reject an offer from the waitlist because they just "forgot" to withdraw. Don't be that guy.

                                                Have you ever heard of something like this affecting that applicant's chances of matching into a residency program at the same school four years down the road? Along those lines, is there anything an applicant can do that is so horrible they'd be remembered? Do medical school admissions committees ever talk to the residency programs at their school or produce a "black list?"

                                                Probably a long shot that this happens, but I've always wondered.
                                                 

                                                LizzyM

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                                                  Judging by what people have said about Pitt I think LizzyM is an adcom member at the University of Pittsburgh! :) (or not)

                                                  Attempting to determine the location of the Bat Cave is contrary to the terms of service. You have been warned!:smuggrin:

                                                  The person who bitched the most about peeps not taking themselves off the waitlist was not in contact with residency directors or in a position to gossip about applicants by name so I wouldn't worry about that.
                                                   

                                                  RedSox10

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                                                    Attempting to determine the location of the Bat Cave is contrary to the terms of service. You have been warned!:smuggrin:

                                                    The person who bitched the most about peeps not taking themselves off the waitlist was not in contact with residency directors or in a position to gossip about applicants by name so I wouldn't worry about that.

                                                    LizzyM, can you comment on whether schools can see where you currently hold acceptances, or where you have been accepted and (perhaps subsequently) withdrawn?
                                                     

                                                    1289

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                                                      LizzyM, for applicants on the waitlist, is it typically seen as a good or bad thing if they have no other acceptances? on the one hand it means they are most likely to go to that school if accepted, on the other hand does it make them think twice about wanting that student?
                                                       

                                                      LizzyM

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                                                        LizzyM, can you comment on whether schools can see where you currently hold acceptances, or where you have been accepted and (perhaps subsequently) withdrawn?

                                                        I don't have access to those data but I have seen lists produced in October of every one of our accepted applicants and all the other schools that accepted each applicant and where the applicant matriculated. It helps schools answer the question, "where are we losing them to?"

                                                        LizzyM, for applicants on the waitlist, is it typically seen as a good or bad thing if they have no other acceptances? on the one hand it means they are most likely to go to that school if accepted, on the other hand does it make them think twice about wanting that student?

                                                        I have no idea. My task is over when we have 'em sorted into accept now, waitlist, deny. The big boss takes over from there with regards to waitlist.
                                                         

                                                        gatorade848

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                                                          I don't have access to those data but I have seen lists produced in October of every one of our accepted applicants and all the other schools that accepted each applicant and where the applicant matriculated. It helps schools answer the question, "where are we losing them to?"



                                                          I have no idea. My task is over when we have 'em sorted into accept now, waitlist, deny. The big boss takes over from there with regards to waitlist.

                                                          that profile picture makes me feel you take particular pleasure in rejecting people:

                                                          "so you want to be a doctor eh? well you can always go to the Caribbean, or the school of Isuckcock in I-dont-give-a-crap. now get out of my office".

                                                          lol
                                                           
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