Waitlists have a negative effect on possible collegiate futures




As college decision day quickly approaches, students all across the country are committing to a school for the next four years. However, as some students prepare their lists of dorm necessities, other students are still anxiously awaiting a response back from their dream school. Why? They have been waitlisted. The amount of applicants that were waitlisted this year was at an all time high, and it is because of these waitlists that students are passing up great collegiate opportunities. Thus, being waitlisted could actually be worse for an applicant than being denied.

To start off, the actual point of a waitlist, according to The Prospect, is for colleges to reserve students to “fill in gaps in the enrolling class.” Basically meaning that these students are backup for the school. While a majority of colleges did not do this before, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling found that 48 percent of colleges are now using them. This is an increase from 2009, where only 39 percent of colleges used waitlists. The increase in these waitlists mean that more and more students would be stuck waiting for answers instead of planning their future.

Students nationwide are being affected by the rising number of universities that use the waitlist system. Instead of picking out classes, they sit anxiously and await a decision from the school. Keeping students waiting is worse than just denying them in the first place. If an applicant is rejected, they have time to cope and accept the rejection, to later move on to other schools. However, if the applicant is waitlisted, it just prolongs their suffering. The waitlist could go on for weeks or even months, and the student is just left to hope and pray that the college gets back to them on time. I have many friends who are still waitlisted by the school of their choice, and they are growing more irritated by the day. This is not healthy for the student, and it is worse if the student is waitlisted for a long time, and then denied.

 In my personal experience, two of my closest friends are currently waitlisted for their dream schools. While they have been accepted to other schools, they refuse to look into any other options because they are still clinging to the hope that they will get accepted. This is one of the more serious negative effects that waitlists have on students. Although waitlists are beneficial for the colleges, since it is easier for them to diversify their incoming class, they have a detrimental effect on the students on that list. There is a high possibility that my friends will lose the opportunity to go to their back-up schools because they are still waiting for a response that may never come.

One positive aspect of waitlists is that it allows students a second chance at being accepted. Students that had a rough year prior to college application season have the chance to redeem themselves while on the waitlist. However, for the most part, the students that are put on the list are qualified students that do not have much improving left to do. Hence, the waitlist is once again rendered useless.  

Overall, the increasing number of applicants on the waitlist is causing worry among the future generation. The more that colleges adopt this method, the more students are going to be put through the grueling and unnecessary experience. There should definitely be an end to waitlists for the sanity of the applicants. They are already stressed out enough in May with final exams and graduation, they should not be worried about what college they are going to attend.

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