You run to the mailbox (or check you email) every day only to find a letter that is not one of acceptance, and not one of denial either – instead it is a waitlist letter. Colleges use wait lists when they’ve accepted the maximum number of applicants but still view some applicants as well qualified. Fastweb.com describes the wait list as, “a safety net colleges use to fill their class if not enough accepted students enroll.”
Most schools send out a letter asking you if you will accept a position on the waitlist. You can choose to accept or refuse this offer. How long you wait depends on the school’s enrollment statistics. Though most students receive a decision in May or June from colleges using their waitlist, others have been known to receive acceptances a week before classes start.