Don’t give up hope.
Not only are we seeing quite a bit of movement across many different schools in the past week, but historical data show that there are still going to be changes to come throughout the summer — this year possibly more than most.
The school are coming off a softer season, as we’ve been saying, and they’re now trying to lock down their classes. But even in a better year, there’s still going to be lots of changes at any school as the summer progresses.
Here’s some data to share:
For the Class of 2015, which was the admissions season from fall 2012 to spring 2013, we tracked Harvard as making some really remarkable adjustments to its class roster as the summer months slipped by.
When they first announced their class profile — which Harvard typically does by now, and the fact that they haven’t yet is also a sign that things are in flux — they had 941 students in the class. That means, they’d accepted however-many as the whole season went by, but 941 had formally paid a deposit and the admissions office was counting on them to matriculate.
But lo and behold, EssaySnark monitors these things, and as the summer dripped away, so did Harvard’s class size. (In academia, they even call this the “summer melt” — it happens at every educational program, at schools of all sizes and prestige).
The next time we caught it, the class profile named 932 students in the HBS Class of 2015.
But then much later, when the numbers showed up on a site like US News or somewhere, the HBS Class of 2015 turned out to have had only 925 students total.
941 -> 925 is a lot.
Now unfortunately, what didn’t happen at HBS that year is, they didn’t go to their waitlist and scoop up more lucky souls. Instead, that pattern of data looks to be like an overenrollment situation, and in fact when that’s happened at some schools like MIT Sloan, the admissions office actually paid students to defer a year; they offered them scholarship money to sit out their matriculation and come to campus for the subsequent class. MIT has been very careful about its admit practices since then, to avoid such a horrible situation.
Can you imagine getting accepted, and excitedly paying your deposit, only for admissions to come back and say, “Ummmmm….”
Anyway, in most cases, when a school loses a deposited student, they’re going to go to the waitlist and make an offer to the most qualified candidate who will a) help their class averages (this is where having a higher GMAT can sometimes be a very big advantage), and/or b) pretty much be guaranteed to accept the school’s offer.
So what can you do right now?
Well, this is not what we have typically advised in past years, but this is turning into a somewhat atypical year — or at least, counter to the trends that we’ve been facing in recent memory. We’ve seen some BSers send in updates to their waitlist officer with no formal update: Meaning, at least one person wrote in just to say, “Hey, I’m still here and really interested in you!”
Typically, we’d say “NO don’t do that, you’re just being a pest!”
However, in a school that wants to go to its waitlist only for a candidate they can be sure of matriculating, then a well-worded and timely statement of interest might tip the scales all the way over.
Want some input on your situation? We can offer quick feedback through our Private Consult (not set up for a major app review or detailed strategizing on your profile, but appropriate for a look-see on your plans for taking action this week on your waitlist status and opportunity at one school). Or, if we worked with you in detail on your essays or apps at any point in the last season, hit us up for some help by updating your School Targets in My SnarkCenter and we’re happy to let you know what we think.
Bottom line: Things might still happen for you! It’s far from over for the Class of 2021.