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Every School

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:06 pm
by hpharty
Every single school I applied to has responded to at least one other student, accepted or rejected, according to this message board or the grad cafe. I realized this fact yesterday and it is really stressing me out. Anyone else in the same boat?

Re: Every School

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:37 pm
by physchick
Oh yeah. I've found out I've been waitlisted at ALL. Growl.

Re: Every School

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:14 pm
by jburkart
what's the probability of acceptance, given waitlistance? way low, or still reasonable? (obviously it depends on the school)

Re: Every School

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:42 pm
by VT
non zero, positive n less than 1. Sorry.

Re: Every School

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:57 pm
by multigoal
I'm waitlisted in Syracuse......plzzz let them know if anybody doesn't go........

Re: Every School

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:05 pm
by forecast8
VT wrote:non zero, positive n less than 1. Sorry.


I'll wager its MUCH less than one. Keep in mind that the waitlist program is managed by people with extensive training in math. The point of a waitlist is cover the department's rear in case of an unusually high non-acceptance rate. Professors need those RA's to do work, the department administration will prefer they move from TA to RA after no less than 3 semesters. The school needs a certain number of nimble minds, too few students and problems will show up down the road. So the waitlist may happen to benefit some lucky student but the purpose isn't to give false hope, thats just a side effect.

On the other hand, my safety school is pretty small and they can't afford even one extra acceptance so they only ever have out the exact number of offers they can fund. This means they DO draw pretty extensively from their waitlist. A fellow student at my school is bugging me to withdraw my app cause he thinks he's close to the top. I heard informally from graduate students at this school that this practice has burned them in the past since come late April they are making offers to marginal students.

Re: Every School

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:26 am
by Admiralrewd
it depends on the school really. It's a numbers game, they do some poisson statistics, or some similar distribution based on previous years. The issue is, they can't accept too many, cause the school is in trouble if too many accept the offer. So they decide that they need some % confidence level that they won't have more than mu+x or less than mu-x students accept the offer. If you have taken any basic probability classes you could probably pretty easily get a rough estimate of what kind of chances you have. But I would speculate that they are low, like 5-10%, higher if you are number 1 or number 2 on the waitlist.

Also keep in mind that just cause other people have heard, and you haven't doesn't mean it's a waitlist. Some schools do it in waves. So they take the students they are sure they want, and cut out the ones they are sure they don't want. Then they have say, for example, 5-10 spots (assuming normal accepting offers rate) left but still 20-30 applicants. So they do another wave. Each wave drops your chances.

Sorry if that doesn't make you happy.

Re: Every School

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:30 am
by admissionprof
One admissions director (who's a good friend) told me how they do it. They want a class of 10-12, and can't easily afford to go over. So they admit 15-20, and then in talking to the student (phone, email or during the visit) estimate the probability that the student accepts. They add up all of the numbers (yes, we know you don't add probabilities this way), and hope that it is 1000%. If it drops below 1000%, they add a few from the waiting list. So it's a gradual procedure. Doesn't work for larger schools though--the estimates become too crude.

Re: Every School

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:59 am
by jdhooghe
Same here, I will be emailing all to see if I'm waitlisted :(

Re: Every School

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:56 pm
by multigoal
@ jdhooghe
Did Davis or Syracuse reply ur mail?....are they saying that u r waitlisted??........Then i believe we r on the same boat.......

Re: Every School

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:50 pm
by jdhooghe
I'm still trying to get up the courage to ask :oops: