What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

Admissions Decisions

Our counselors answered:

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

If acceptance from the waitlist comes much later that regular acceptance, then the financial aid offer might be substantially less do to the timing. In some instances, it won't make a difference, but usually it will, or at least the college may make you think there won't be enough financial aid for the student. Colleges are known to play dirty tricks on families, just in case you didn't know!

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

Timing. A student who is accepted by "regular acceptance" hears when the college sends out their acceptances, April 1st for many. A student who is wait listed is unlikely to be accepted off the wait list prior to May 1st the response deadline for the regular acceptance students when the college gets a sense of their yield. Some schools experience "summer melt" which means sometimes students are accepted off the wait list during the summer.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

Not much accept when it happens. Waitlisted students have to wait further in to spring and summer to learn of their acceptance.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

Acceptance is acceptance. Accepted regular or off a waltlist, you got accepted to the college!! And no one will ever know that you got in off of a waitlist. You are a student at the college with all the rights and privileges of all students. The only difference may be access to freshman housing. As you may have missed the housing deadline, you may go to the end of the housing list. But that is a small price to pay for getting into a college you really want to attend.

Brittany Maschal
Founder/Director B. Maschal Educational Consulting

What is the difference between regular acceptance and acceptance off of a wait list?

There is no difference—once you are accepted you are accepted. The only difference is when you are notified; it means no less to be accepted at a later date!