The Waiting Place...

“… for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow…”

Waiting Place Suess

If it isn’t obvious, this post is for those left in admission limbo: the waiting list. So late March has come and gone, and you still don’t have an answer. I know you have questions- and I promise I’ll get to those- but first I want to reiterate one thing from your decision letter: a spot on the waitlist list is a positive response from the Olin community and the Admission Committee. The waiting list is where people we wanted to admit came crashing into the reality of our tiny class size.

An incoming class of eighty-four people is not many, and, unfortunately, we have more wonderfully compelling Candidates than we have spots. If you have an offer of admission from a school where you will be happy, we wish you well and are grateful we got the chance to know you. If you still firmly believe Olin is the place for you, hang in there and read on.

What do I do now? Send your Waiting List Reply form to We need you to claim your spot on the waiting list so we know you are still interested in Olin. Start thinking about where you will enroll. More on this below. 

Should I send an updated resume? A portfolio? Fourteen more letters of recommendation? A love letter? Should I come to campus? No. Once you’ve confirmed that you want to remain on the waiting list we do not need any additional information. You may send something like updated grades or a short statement about your continued interest in Olin (if that’s true!), but that’s it. We have the benefit of both your application and meeting you at Candidates’ Weekends. We are already excited about you- otherwise we wouldn’t have offered you a spot on the waiting list!

How many students are on the waiting list? Yet to be determined. We’re still waiting to see who will remain on the waiting list for further consideration.

IF you do go to the waiting list, how do you decide whom to contact first? As I explained at Candidates’ Weekends, the waiting list isn’t ranked. The order in which we would contact students to offer a spot in the Class of 2020 is determined by who is already in- or perhaps more accurately who is not in- the Class. For example, if our gender balance is out of whack, we might go to the waiting list for men or women, or if no students from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enroll, perhaps we’ll go to the waiting list for someone from our home state. You get the idea; it’s out of your control and not something we can know until the majority of the Class of 2020 enrolls.

If I’m admitted from the waiting list, can I still get the Olin Tuition Scholarship and need-based financial aid? Yes! Any student we admit (straight out or via the waiting list) is guaranteed the Olin Tuition Scholarship for eight semesters (valued at over $93,000 over four years). Similarly, any student admitted from the waiting list receives the same benefits of our policy to meet the demonstrated need of eligible students. Read about our financial aid policies here:

What if I’m interested in Olin’s gap year option for waitlisted students? Email me right away at and I will walk you through the options. Please note that any admitted or waitlisted students who are thinking about a gap year will need to submit a Gap Year Proposal form (which I will send you) to me by April 20, 2016.

What’s the timeline? When will I know more? We will do our best to notify all students on the waiting list of their status, but it is very likely we will not know anything until at least the end of April. It is certainly possible that we won’t know anything until after May 1st, the National Candidates Reply Date.

I understand that this last question may be the hardest. I can’t offer you a firm date when we will know if we will activate the waiting list so you will need to make an enrollment deposit at another school. So my best advice? Send us your Waiting List Reply form and forget about us. Visit your other options- and I am sure they are wonderful- and start imagining your next four years. Fall in love with another school, another opportunity. And then be happy and surprised if we call.

“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS.”

Moving Mountains Suess

Excerpts and images from Oh, The Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss

Posted in: All Admission Staff Blogs, Emily