Mid-May Freshman Waitlist Update

We Admit It! It’s been a very sentimental few days here in Williamsburg. Graduation was this past weekend, meaning we had to say goodbye to our talented and wonderful graduating seniors. While we’re always sad to see these members of our community go, we’re just as excited to see all of the terrific things that they will accomplish moving forward.

Now that the 2016-2017 school year has officially come to a close, those of us in the Admission Office are hard at work completing our entering Class of 2021. This final phase of the college admission cycle is, as many of you know, the waitlist review process. We understand that waitlisted students reading this post are anxious to know whether or not they have a chance of being admitted to W&M. In the hopes of alleviating some of this tension, we want to provide you with a few updates regarding this year’s process.

To begin this post, we want to emphasize how waitlist review is a day-to-day and week-to-week process. Over the course of this summer, students’ plans will change, and other colleges and universities will activate their own waitlists. As these things take place, the composition of our freshman class will also change. Our office is prepared to take such changes in stride, however this means that, like you, we need to flexible and patient over the coming weeks. While we are able to provide you with some updates below, we do not yet have all of the answers that you likely are seeking.

So what do we know? We know that we will indeed have the opportunity to welcome a select group of students from our waitlist to the Class of 2021. We have already begun making a small number of acceptance offers over the past week.

What can you do to be considered for admission? These same action items were included in our original Waitlist Decisions post, but they are included again below:

  • If you are interested in remaining on our waitlist, you should have already submitted the initial waitlist response form linked in your decision email, as well as the follow-up waitlist response form sent via email on May 5. These forms help us navigate the waitlist review process as efficiently, carefully and thoughtfully as possible.
  • If we did not receive these waitlist response forms, we take this as a sign that you have decided to attend another school. Should this be the case, we of course wish you nothing but the best.
  • All interested waitlisted students are welcome to send our office a few paragraph statement/email/letter of continued interest that explains why you envision yourself as a member of the W&M community. Such statements can be sent to our general Admission Office email address (admission@wm.edu) and/or directly to your regional dean.
  • Interested waitlisted students are also welcome to send our office any recent awards and accomplishments that were not included with their original applications.

Over the coming weeks, our committee will continue to determine if, when, and to what extent we’ll be able to use our waitlist. While doing so, we will review all recently submitted information (statements of continued interest, recent updates, etc.) in conjunction with a student’s original application materials.

Should you be selected for admission, our office (typically your regional dean) will reach out to you directly. This will likely first be a phone call, and if we are not able to reach you, we will both leave a voicemail and follow-up with you via email.

If offered admission, you then have the opportunity to let us know if you would like to move forward, or if you have already finalized your decision to attend elsewhere. If the latter is true, we will simply arrange for your application to be withdrawn. If the former is true, we will send you an official acceptance offer via email, after which our Financial Aid Office will also reach out to you (if you submitted your FAFSA and CSS Profile). Once you have your admission offer and financial aid information in hand, you will be given roughly two weeks to decide whether or not you would like to accept this admission offer, and officially join W&M’s freshman class.

Should you reach this point in the process, and decide to accept an admission offer from our waitlist, you will have the exact same access to housing, roommate selection, and other action items as students admitted in March.

All students who have remained on our waitlist will receive an update from our office via email by mid-June.

To re-iterate, this waitlist process is not an exact science. The size of our incoming class will likely fluctuate in size these next few weeks. There’s a chance that we will receive “YES” responses from the small group of waitlisted students we have initially extended admission offers to, and then be all set for next fall. There’s also a chance that we will see a wave of withdrawals over the next few weeks, in which case we will be able to extend additional admission offers. At this point, we simply don’t know how things will play out. We will be as transparent as possible over this next stretch, and appreciate your ongoing patience.

No matter what happens moving forward, rest assured that next fall you will be on a terrific college campus, and have a world of opportunity at your fingertips.

Hang in there, and have a great rest of your senior year.

Brad Harlan
Assistant Dean of Admission

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