The Vandy Waitlist Explained
We’ve received a number of inquiries to unpack the waitlist process and I’ll attempt to start that conversation here. Let’s start with the basics (to which you’ll likely say, “Duh,” but I’d like it to be said, so humor me). Students on our waiting list are those to whom we will offer admission if space is available. Please know that it’s impossible to predict exactly how many students will accept our offer of admission. The likelihood of being offered admission from our waitlist depends on how many of the originally admitted students decide to enroll. I know, “duh.”
Some schools have a ranked waitlist . . . does Vandy? No. We use the waitlist to round out the incoming class. So that means that if we need sitar majors, we hit up the waitlist for sitar majors and so on. Please note that at current, Vanderbilt does not have a sitar major, but we do have a class, Music 170: Asian Musical Cultures which heavily features the sitar. I digress.
So, the million dollar question: what can you do to improve your chances of coming off the waitlist? First, return the postcard indicating your interest in remaining an active candidate (again, “duh”). You may also send any additional new academic or personal information (e.g. updated grades, new test scores, etc.) which will support your application. A short statement of continued interest may also be of use as we consider files in May and June for possible admission from the waitlist.
We rarely make any decisions on students on the waiting list before May 5. Once we know how many students are planning to enroll, we will decide whether we can admit any additional students from the waiting list. We will notify students as soon after May 1 as possible. Since it is highly unlikely that you will know anything before May 1, it is strongly advised to make a deposit at another institution by the May 1 national candidate’s reply date to secure a place in a freshman class somewhere.
At the end of the first week of May, we will make initial determinations regarding waitlist admission. If you are offered admission, an officer will contact you by phone. An admissions packet will then be sent by Priority Mail if you say you are interested in receiving the offer of admission. You will typically have one week to respond to the offer.
We attempt to finalize admissions decisions no later than July 1. On or around that date, we will send letters to all remaining waiting list candidates notifying that the incoming freshman class is full.
Hopefully this helps everyone understand what happens over the next several weeks.