Morgan Lundblad, (above) 18, a senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, sits at desk in her Spanish classroom in Flossmoor, Illinois, April 5, 2012. She applied to 12 colleges and got accepted to some, denied by others and is on the wait-listed for Harvard, her dream school.
As colleges expand their wait lists, more applicants are being left in limbo. Some students might not find out if they’ve been accepted to a university until midsummer.
After months in limbo, Morgan Lundblad recently opened her long-awaited email from Harvard University to find only more uncertainty.
She had been wait-listed.
The senior at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Chicago had applied to a dozen of the nation’s most elite colleges. When the smoke cleared, Lunblad still did not have a definitive path forward. Of the schools where she was accepted, she narrowed her choices to the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. Still, she can’t quite let go of Harvard, which had a record low 5.9 percent acceptance rate for this fall. She may not know her fate until mid-summer.
“It’s not really a rejection, but it kind of is,” she said. “It just doesn’t help you too much. I need to make a decision.”
While no one tracks the number of college applicants nationwide who are wait-listed, admissions experts and high school guidance counselors agree the ranks have swelled in the last five years. That leaves more students consigned to the half-way house of admissions, where they are unable to fully celebrate an admission or properly mourn a denial.
The number of schools using wait lists is on the rise, according to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. In 2010, 48 percent of colleges reported using a wait list, up from 39 percent in 2009 and 35 percent in 2008. At the same time, the number of students plucked from standby decreased, from 34 percent to 28 percent.
The trend is driven by the lingering economic downturn, along with the unpredictability of the admissions process, experts said. Many schools are seeing more and more applicants as seniors cast a wider net, applying to more institutions to hedge their bets.
Read more: click below.the original article from chicago tribune, written by Bonnie Miller Rubin