College Waitlists: Using Last Year’s Statistics To Predict This Year’s Odds Of Admittance

The dreaded college waitlists.

This year more applicants found a place on one than applicants from past years.Seniors who find themselves betwixt and between enrolling in their top choice college and their not so top choice colleges. The number of coveted spots at the Ivies do not increase according to the number of applicants and it seems that the number of students placed on the waitlists this year fluctuated among the schools. While Harvard University has not released the data on their waitlist for the class of 2015, other Ivies made the information public. The University of Pennsylvania placed 2400 students on their waitlist – that number is down from 3000 last year. Perhaps the fact that they admitted over half of the class via early decision they felt comfortable having 600 fewer applicants waiting in the wings to snatch up a place. Princeton University decreased their total from 1457 last year to 1248 this year. (Implication: Who could turn down Princeton?)

On the other hand, Yale increased their number of students on hold from 932 in 2010 to 996 in 2011. Similarly, Cornell placed 2988 on the list, which is up from 2561 last year.
For students who would like to predict the unpredictable, below is a chart of last year’s waitlist statistics. Most schools say they do not rank the students so in reality the probability is essentially random. Nevertheless, inquiring minds want to know…

Institution Applicants Admitted Students Admit Rate Offered Spot on Wait List Agreed to Be on Wait List Admitted Off Wait List Total Admits Who Enrolled (Yield)
American 16,939 7,373 44% 2,025 390 40 21%
Amherst 8,099 1,239 15% 1,098 471 2 40%
Barnard 4,618 1,293 28% N/A N/A 54 46%
Bates 4,518 1,416 31% 846 223 83 35%
Boston College 29,933 9,310 31% 6,026 2,686 103 25%
Boston University 38,270 22,143 58% 2,370 1,152 8 19%
Bowdoin 6,018 1,185 20% N/A N/A 0 43%
Brown 30,135 2,820 9% N/A N/A N/A 53%
Bucknell 7,178 2,252 31% 1,988 691 79 42%
California Institute of Technology 4,859 610 13% 529 337 7 37%
Carnegie Mellon 15,487 5,164 33% 4,463 563 70 30%
Claremont McKenna 4,264 732 17% 905 384 0 43%
Colby 4,207 1,445 34% 971 510 9 34%
Colgate 7,871 2,596 33% N/A N/A 0 34%
College of N.J. 9,956 4,707 47% 1,322 445 28 31%
Columbia 26,178 2,472 9% N/A N/A 75 58%
Connecticut College 5,301 1,678 32% 1,387 442 0 30%
Cooper Union 3,354 279 8% 74 70 4 76%
Cornell 36,338 6,673 18% 2,561 1,492 0 49%
Dartmouth 18,778 2,165 12% 1,800 1,100 19 53%
Davidson 4,090 1,214 30% 963 422 14 41%
Dickinson 5,030 2,402 48% 432 432 12 28%
Duke 26,770 4,207 16% 3,381 N/A 200 42%
Elon 9,771 4,737 48% 3,403 1,376 159 29%
Emerson 6,865 3,200 47% 1,337 486 78 27%
Emory 15,550 4,488 29% 3,113 1,092 46 31%
Fashion Institute of Technology 5,572 1,684 30% N/A N/A N/A 75%
George Washington 21,177 6,666 31% 2,100 700 20 37%
Georgetown 18,077 3,619 20% 2,118 1,181 116 44%
Georgia Tech 13,553 6,976 51% 1,506 873 311 40%
Grinnell 3,200 1,228 38% 769 355 13 34%
Hamilton 4,857 1,431 29% 1,104 530 52 33%
Harvard 30,489 2,184 7% N/A N/A 70 76%
Holy Cross 6,911 2,450 35% 1,691 595 18 30%
Johns Hopkins 18,459 3,794 21% 3,727 2,121 33 33%
Juilliard 2,467 187 8% 40 36 5 70%
Kenyon 4,066 1,598 39% 776 271 0 30%
Lafayette 5,822 2,425 42% 1,439 535 28 27%
Lehigh 10,337 3,900 38% 2,437 N/A 15 32%
Macalester 4,317 1,837 43% 583 258 0 29%
M.I.T. 16,632 1,676 10% 722 606 65 64%
Middlebury 7,984 1,375 17% N/A N/A N/A 42%
Muhlenberg 4,569 2,194 48% 1,451 383 16 28%
New York University 38,037 11,327 30% 2,628 1,427 117 35%
Northeastern 37,691 14,286 38% 4,994 2,074 163 20%
Northwestern 27,615 6,380 23% 3,188 1,397 21 33%
Penn State 39,256 19,960 51% 1,315 N/A 680 28%
Pepperdine 7,942 2,187 28% 1,625 800 20 31%
Pomona 6,765 990 15% 500 300 0 41%
Princeton 26,247 2,148 8% 1,451 N/A N/A N/A
Purdue 31,002 20,085 65% 571 188 155* 33%
Rensselaer Polytechnic 13,643 5,369 39% 1,561 958 72 22%
Rice 12,392 2,634 21% 2,521 1,444 131 36%
Rutgers, New Brunswick 29,382 17,425 59% 1,652 N/A 176 34%
Skidmore 6,044 2,846 47% 1,448 468 0 26%
Stanford 32,022 2,340 7% 999 N/A 40 72%
SUNY Binghamton 27,163 10,828 40% 1,376 500 28 20%
SUNY Geneseo 9,885 3,711 38% 1,800 1,025 0 28%
SUNY Stony Brook 27,814 11,374 41% 1,847 726 31 24%
Swarthmore 6,040 974 16% 996 410 7 40%
Syracuse 22,914 13,659 60% 2,449 1,101 8 25%
Texas A.&M. 26,632 15,991 60% 7,700 0 451 51%
Trinity College 4,687 2,023 43% 1,337 516 28 29%
Tufts 15,434 3,756 24% N/A N/A 0 36%
Tulane 43,817 11,371 26% 4,800 2,875 44 15%
UC, Berkeley 50,312 12,914 26% 202 121 0 41%
UCLA 57,658 13,088 23% 0 0 0 37%
University of Chicago 19,353 3,623 19% N/A N/A 71 39%
University of Colorado, Boulder 21,107 17,423 83% 949 224 0 30%
University of Connecticut 22,138 11,947 54% 3,464 1,198 479 27%
University of Delaware 26,518 12,755 48% 2,215 767 593 27%
University of Florida 27,306 11,464 42% 0 0 0 56%
University of Iowa 17,146 13,871 81% 0 0 0 32%
University of Maryland, College Park 26,125 11,667 45% 1,023 N/A 0 34%
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 23,174 7,461 32% 2,258 1,115 486 54%
University of Pennsylvania 26,939 3,847 14% 3,000 1,800 40 63%
University of Rochester 12,697 4,893 39% 765 495 2 25%
University of Southern California 35,800 8,725 24% 0 0 0 33%
University of Vermont 22,314 15,748 71% 3,176 982 0 16%
University of Virginia 22,516 7,200 32% 3,746 2,100 200 46%
University of Washington 22,840 12,956 57% 2,582 1,447 426 44%
University of Wisconsin, Madison 25,488 14,384 56% 2,500 500 0 43%
Vanderbilt 21,827 3,906 18% N/A N/A 166 41%
Vassar 7,822 1,847 24% 1,421 568 0 37%
Virginia Tech 20,083 13,412 67% 2,100 1,350 0 40%
Villanova 14,376 6,478 45% 4,957 2,427 479 26%
Wake Forest 10,563 4,232 40% N/A N/A N/A 29%
Washington & Lee 6,624 1,255 19% 2,148 617 55 38%
Washington University in St. Louis 24,939 5,286 21% N/A N/A 0 31%
Wesleyan 10,656 2,190 21% N/A N/A N/A 34%
Wheaton 2,083 1,326 64% 343 250 58 45%
Williams 6,636 1,236 19% 1,125 475 32 45%
Yale 25,869 1,940 7% 932 N/A N/A N/A
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