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Wait List FAQ 2014 Edition


Posted by on Friday, April 4, 2014

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First of all, congratulations!  I know that not receiving an offer of admission was a disappointment for many of you, but your spot on the wait list is a testament to our belief that you would, in fact, be a valuable and successful addition to the Vanderbilt Class of 2018.

Regardless of how you’re feeling right now or what your plans for the future may be, we know that you have a lot of questions.  In the post below, we have done our best to anticipate and answer as many of these questions as possible.

How do I accept my spot on the wait list?

This one’s easy – simply log in to your MyAppVU account and click on the “Claim My Spot” button on the front page.  In addition, be sure to respond to each of the Wait List Interest emails you receive from our office throughout April to let us know that you are still interested in attending Vanderbilt.

If I was wait-listed at Vanderbilt, do I really have any chance of getting in?

Absolutely.  A wait list offer from Vanderbilt is not a nice way of saying no – it’s our way of saying, “we may be able to admit you, but not right now.”  Over the last few years, approximately 8-10% of our incoming freshmen have been admitted via the wait list, so if you’re still interested in enrolling at VU, hang in there!

I’m on the wait list at Vanderbilt, but I’ve decided to enroll somewhere else.  What do I do?

If this is the case, congratulations!  We know you will do wonderful things wherever you have decided to enroll.  Please be sure to decline your spot on the wait list via the electronic form provided on your MyAppVU account.

What are my chances of being admitted?

Just like we cannot predict any one student’s admission chances during the rest of the admissions cycle, we cannot predict your chances of being admitted off the wait list. However, we can tell you that we expect approximately 8-10% of our freshman class to be made up of students who were admitted from the wait list.

Where am I on the wait list?

Because Vanderbilt admits its incoming first year students by individual school, we do not have one giant wait list, but rather four separate lists for each of the four schools. However, we do not rank our wait lists. As places in the class open up, we will be pulling our wait-listed applicants using the same holistic review process we used in the initial evaluation, taking into account high school achievement, standardized test scores, extracurricular involvement, and those wonderful intangibles that come through in your essays and recommendations.

How can I increase my chances of being admitted?

The wait list is the one time in our process where we do take into account a student’s demonstrated interest.  Please be sure to continue responding to each of the Wait List Interest emails we will be sending throughout April to let us know that you are still interested in enrolling at Vanderbilt.  When we begin making offers, we typically consider only those students who have let us know that they are still interested in receiving them.

Should I send in additional information to help my chances of being admitted?

While we do not require you to submit new information during this process, we certainly allow it.  Feel free to send new test scores, new grades, new activities, new leadership positions, or new letters, but make sure to focus on that key word: new.  As previously stated, your spot on the wait list is a good sign that your application was pretty spectacular to start with, and sending additional materials for the sake of sending additional materials will not give you a leg up in this process.

When will you begin making offers of admissions from the wait list?

We will likely begin making offers to our wait-listed students in the first week of May.  Because this is after the national candidate reply date of May 1, we strongly encourage you to put down a deposit at another school to ensure you will not be left without any options.  We will continue to make offers until the freshman class is completely filled, which may occur within the month or well into the summer, depending on how quickly those empty spots are snatched up.

How will you notify me if I am admitted?

If you are offered admission, you will receive an email from the Director of Admissions.  If you are still interested in receiving the offer, your admit status and your financial aid package will be made available via your MyAppVU account.  You will then have a limited amount of time to accept the offer and pay your matriculation fee.

If I am admitted, will I still be eligible for financial aid?

Although we do reserve the right to be need-aware when admitting wait-listed students, those who are admitted and have applied for need-based aid will still receive 100% of their families’ demonstrated need, completely loan free.  Students admitted off the wait list are not eligible for merit scholarships.

We hope this answers all of your questions, but as always, let us know if we missed anything in the comments below.  Congratulations and best wishes to you all!


Posted in Application Process, Demonstrated Interest, Waitlist and tagged: , , , , , , ,


  • Cheng Gong

    Hello Carolyn, thank you for those information, they do relief my anxious in some degree. However, I wonder that if I am waitlisted by my first choice of school, say the CAS, does it mean I was not considered by my alternating choice of school?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      If you were wait-listed for your first choice school, that means you were not offered admission for your second choice school.

      • Cheng Gong

        I understand. Thank you..

  • Bethany

    I wrote a short essay — really more of a letter — on what I love about Vanderbilt and why I want to go here. Am I allowed to submit it for consideration as a supplement?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Bethany,
      Please email this letter to your admissions counselor, and s/he will add it to your application. You can find all of our contact info here: http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/your-counselor/

      • Bethany

        Thank you!

      • AH

        Hi! How can we get the email address of our admissions counselor? Do we have to contact them via the form on their “get to know me” page first?

        • http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/vandybloggers/ Jay Watson

          Hi! Yes, use the form on the “get to know me” page – your message will make it to your admissions counselor’s inbox. Thanks!

  • John

    Hi,
    You say you “reserve the right to be need aware” when making decisions. Does this mean that the need-blind policy completely goes out of the window? Or does this policy hold true only at a certain point where Vanderbilt runs out of funds allocated to undergraduates? Also, approximately what fraction of the students admitted off of the w/l (based on past years) get need-based aid?
    Thank you! (As a person who may require a lot of need-based aid, I’m just asking this to get a realistic idea of my chances)

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi John,
      Some years we need to take students’ need into consideration, and other years we don’t. How much consideration we give this factor also depends on the year and what our class/funds look like at the end of April. Unfortunately I do not know how many of our WL’d students were granted aid last year, but I imagine that will fluctuate as well.
      I know it is difficult to wait without knowing exactly what your chances are, but keep in mind that need-awareness is not a bad thing – it wouldn’t do you any good to be admitted if we cannot supply the funds to make Vanderbilt a feasible option for you and your family.

  • David

    Dear Ms. Pippen,

    I am a National Merit Finalist, wait listed at Vanderbilt. I would really like to attend. As your FAQ mentions, I will have to put down a deposit to another university while waiting for a potential spot off the Vanderbilt wait list. No problem there. I would also have to assign my Merit Scholarship there by April 30. If I get in to Vanderbilt off the wait list, will I be able to bring my Merit Scholarship to Vanderbilt under your program? Thank you, David

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi David,
      I would suggest contacting the Office of Financial Aid with this question. You can reach them at 615-322-3591 or finaid@vanderbilt.edu.

  • http://al-write.blogspot.com Alice

    Ms. Pippen,
    You mentioned that e-mails would be sent out throughout April that would serve as means by which students could continue to express their interest in attending Vanderbilt. It has been over 3 weeks and I have yet to receive any such e-mail. Have there been any e-mails sent out in the past few days? Will there be any post(s) on the blog when such e-mails are sent out?

    Thank you in advance for your response. I want to ensure that I continue to express my desire to be a Commodore for the next 4 years!

    • http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/vandybloggers/ Jay Watson

      Hi Alice, I can tell you that you haven’t missed any emails yet. But do watch your inbox for more on this soon. Thanks!

      • http://al-write.blogspot.com Alice

        Mr. Watson,
        Thank you for your response to my question. I saw the email a little while ago and have already responded accordingly. It looks like all I had to do was be patient for a few more hours.

  • James Smith

    Hi Ms Pippen, if offered a place off the wait list, I see I will have a, “limited amount of time to accept” – how much time do you allow for a reply? Thanks!

  • Carolyn Pippen

    We actually do not publicize this number, and to be honest I don’t even know what it is! Not every student who was placed on the wait list will accept his/her spot, and students accept their spots and remove themselves from the list throughout April and May, which means that the number of students on the list actually fluctuates on a daily basis.

  • Junyi Wen

    Hi, I am an international student on the wait list. Today, I heard that one of my friends got off wait list from Vanderbilt. So I want to know if the first round of admitting students from wait list complete? or do you admit students on a rolling basis in the first round according to when they sent their love letter? Hope to hear your response

    • Carolyn Pippen

      We have begun making offers off the wait list, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis until the class is full.

  • chens1995

    Hi! I’m offered a spot on the CAS waitlist. My friend told me she just got off the waitlist yesterday afternoon. So is the first wave of waitlist offers officially over? :( Will there be a second wave soon? Thanks!

    • Carolyn Pippen

      We have begun making wait list offers, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis until the class is full.

  • Sharon Zilberman

    What is the expected date of first round wait list notifications?

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Sharon,
      We have begun making wait list offers, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis until the class is full.

  • Robert Walberg

    Have you started making offers from the wait list already?

  • Joseph

    To Ms. Carolyn Pippen,

    Hello, I had a few questions about the waitlist process. First, how long of a time period do you mean when you say we will have “a limited amount of time to accept the offer and pay your matriculation fee”? Three days? Or a week?

    Second, if I have paid matriculation fees to another school as security, as you had suggested, should I still put Vanderbilt as my first choice school for the National Merit Scholarship? I wasn’t sure if I should change my first choice school to Vanderbilt from the one I paid my matriculation fee to.

    Thank you, Joseph.

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Joseph,
      Generally, students who are offered admission off the wait list are given approximately 3 days to either accept or decline this offer. In regards to which school you put as your number 1 choice on the National Merit form, that is entirely up to you.

  • Neel Bhatt

    Ms. Carolyn Pippen, I am a transfer applicant and I have been waitlisted. I have already informed Mr. John Nesbitt regarding my continued interest. Now, I have some updates to my application since I applied and I wanted to know if sending information about these new awards and research work will help the admission committee make a decision.

    • Carolyn Pippen

      Hi Neel,
      You are welcome to send these updates to Mr. Nesbitt and he will add them to your application.

  • Robert Walberg

    So is the wait list still open for all schools? Getting very late in the game and just curious. Thanks for update.

    • http://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/vandybloggers/ Jay Watson

      Hi Robert, at this point we have not yet closed the first-year class. That means we may still make offers of admission to students on the wait list. Thanks for your continued interest – hang in there!

      • Robert Walberg

        Thanks Jay… As a guy who used to teach about baseball, you must have been very excited to see Vandy win the CWS. What a huge turnaround for the program in the last decade. Congrats to the school on the big win!!!

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