Early last week, I was sitting on the sidelines watching my daughter’s spirited lacrosse team strive to avoid losing every game of their “rebuilding” season.  The conversation among devoted fans (i.e., the girls’ parents) turned to college admissions.  One of the fans, worn out by the college application process her daughter had just completed, asked why schools build long wait lists when they may not admit anyone off them.

Fletcher relies on the wait list in the same way most schools do — as a safeguard against lower than predicted enrollment.  We don’t intentionally under-admit the first time around, and figuring out when to turn to the wait list depends on the conclusion of several processes.

First, wait-listed applicants had until May 1 to let us know they wish to hold their place on the list.  Now that everyone has been heard from, we have set aside the applications of those who want to wait.  About half of the original list will keep waiting.

At the same time, we’re figuring out our enrollment results.  The final response deadline for admitted applicants was also May 1.

Admitted students who were awarded scholarships had an earlier deadline, and the third simultaneous process is to figure out if there are any scholarship funds remaining.

Once we finish crunching all the numbers, if there are spaces left in the enrolling class, we’ll turn to the wait list.  There’s one list for the MALD and MA programs, and separate lists for the MIB and LLM programs.  Since the majority of our applicants have applied to the MALD, I want readers to know that we have not yet considered wait-listed MA/MALD applicants for admission.  It’s always our goal to complete the process quickly, but we don’t always succeed in wrapping it up in May or early June.  All I can say is that we do our best.   (We know that none of the prospective students want the process dragged out either — an example of when our interests are in perfect harmony!)

If you have been thinking about sending a supplement to your application, don’t hold off any longer.  I’ll try to post wait-list updates whenever there’s something useful to say.


6 Responses to Wait List: What's Happening?

  1. I can always count on applicants to ask the questions that are important to them! Thanks, Laurence, for raising a question I hadn’t thought to answer. You do not need to keep checking the system. Before making a decision to admit a wait-listed applicant, we absolutely will contact him or her, generally by email. We don’t want to invest Committee time on that final review, unless we know for sure that the applicant is still interested in a place in the class. People change plans over time, and we understand that some of the applicants on our wait list will change their mind about waiting, either because they will remain at their jobs, or because they have accepted another school’s offer.

  2. Laurence Nguyen says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I would like to know how waiting list candidates are notified of the school’s final decision regarding their acceptance to the program. Should I keep on monitoring the Professional Schools Application Management System or will I receive an email in my inbox?


  3. Thanks for prompting me to provide a bit of info (or non-info as the case may be). Right now, we’re continuing to hold as we monitor the number of MALD/MA students who say they will enroll. The MIB program made a shallow dip into the wait list pool, but is now holding as well. All of this is to say that we have not yet drawn from the wait list. I’ll continue to try to provide information, whenever there is something useful to report.

  4. Joyelle Lee says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Will you post an entry to let us know when you start accepting people off the waitlist? I’m sure I’m not the only one who checks this blog daily! Thanks.

  5. I’m afraid there are never any spots reserved for wait-listed applicants. The situation is really what I described above. Once we finally get a grip on the number of enrolling students, we’ll know if there is space available in the class. I wish we could tell you all more quickly, but there are a bunch of different factors in play. Sorry to make it seem mysterious — it’s just a counting exercise and we’re not done counting. Working on it, though, and we’re making progress!

  6. Ilya Lozovsky says:

    I realize the process is still underway, but would it be possible to tell us whether there are any spots at all for wait-listed MALD candidates this year? It’s an unusual year for a lot of reasons…


    Ilya Lozovsky

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