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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

Waitlist Status and COVID-19

Let's Talk about Waitlists

Are you wondering about your waitlist status in light of COVID-19? Geography may play a larger role in your chances of getting a coveted spot this year.

Admissions representatives from George Washington University and American University shared in a webinar last week that they are offering admission to students on the waitlist this year as a way to hedge revenue losses from this spring and summer and to protect themselves if retention of current students becomes an issue. While they didn't articulate a specific intent to just take local waitlisted students, they did suggest that students who live in closer proximity to campus may be looked at more carefully. This makes sense if colleges and universities have to start the fall semester online or even late, as the transition to the physical campus would be much smoother for students who can easily hop in the car and get there.

The University of Maryland typically does not consider waitlisted candidates until after the May 1 confirmation deadline, and they have not moved to review waitlisted candidates any earlier this year. As schools begin to hear from admitted students and start to manage their incoming class, they will continue to assess how many students, if any, they are able to admit from the waitlist. My guess is that the closer you are to campus, the better your chances might be for getting a spot, although it certainly remains to be seen what happens.

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