Just when you thought it was over… it was only kind of over. The wait list is an odd land of limbo and is easily the admissions decision which yields the most questions via phone and email. For the general good, I’ll go through some of those questions and provide answers here. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re wondering about something I don’t address.
Why am I on the wait list? Because we wanted to admit you but couldn’t. Every student on the wait list is someone who, if we had space, we would be happy to have on campus. Our admitted cohort will have first dibs on seats in the class but, wait listers, we were excited about you, too.
Why is there a wait list? There are only so many beds in dorms, seats in classrooms, and tables in the dining halls. If Tufts were an ecosystem, about 1,300 or so per class would be our carrying capacity. We run numerous models, predictions and analytics when we admit students and, to the best of our knowledge, we *think* the right number will enroll. If we come up short, we use the wait list to complete the class.
What do I do next? Weigh your options. By May 1st, enroll at one of the schools where you’ve been offered admission. If you’re excited about that place, but still think you’d rather attend Tufts (or another school where you received a wait list offer), confirm that you would like to remain on our waitlist by submitting the wait list response form in TAMS or emailing us. You must do this by April 24th. I do not recommend taking a spot on more than one wait list. Technically you can, but I think it muddies the water.
Is it ok to enroll at one school and be on the wait list for another? Yes. It is against rules that govern this process to enroll at more than one school (i.e. – double depositing), but it is completely acceptable to enroll at one and accept a wait list offer from another. While universities are always sad to see one of their enrolled students withdraw over the summer, we understand that it will happen every year.
How many students are on the wait list? We don’t know. We send out wait list offers, but the actual number on the wait list depends upon how many individuals decide to take a place on said wait list. We won’t know that until the end of April.
How many students have you taken off the wait list in the past? Let me preface my answer by saying: this is not a helpful question. The truth is: typically anywhere from zero to twenty-five, but this has no bearing on you. For all of the dean’s mapping and modeling, we really have no idea what will happen in a given year. If enough of our admitted students are excited to come to Tufts, we won’t use the wait list at all. If it sleets during all of our admitted students’ programs this April and everyone decides to go to Seventy-And-Sunny-Year-Round University instead of Tufts, we could take quite a few students off the wait list. There’s no way to know until the enrollment deadline on May 1st.
Is the wait list ranked? No.
What about financial aid? If a student is admitted off the wait list, they will receive the same financial aid package that they would have received if admitted in the early or regular rounds. Tufts meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students.
How do you decide who comes off the wait list? We’ve told you a lot about our holistic process and how we assess the various merits of each student. Based on that full review, every student on the wait list is one we’d like to admit. But the time for holistic review has passed; you have already crossed that particular hurdle. In the event we go to the wait list, it will be for specific markers over which you have no control. For example, if none of the future Russian majors we admitted decide to enroll, we might look for a student interested in Russian. If no one from Delaware enrolls, maybe we’ll want a student from there. If the baseball team doesn’t have a catcher for this season… you get the idea. We don’t know what we’re looking for until the class is formed.
Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of being admitted off the wait list? Make sure you confirm (via email or the wait list response form) your continued interest in Tufts. Maybe check in one more time with your area’s admissions counselor (find out who it is here) closer to May 1st, just to reiterate that if a spot is available you would take it (if that’s true, of course) and to provide an update on school, activities, etc. If new or final grades become available, submit them. Other than that, sit tight and start getting excited about the college or university where you plan to enroll. There is no need for you to acquire extra letters of recommendation, call or email every day, visit campus, or send us cake. These things will not make a difference.
When will I know more? After May 1st. For everyone’s sanity, we will try to move quickly once we know where the class stands. When there is information to have, you’ll have it, but please be patient. You should hear from us sometime in May or early June.
Again, we’re here to help so ask below if you need clarification.