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The Harvard Waitlist
May 18, 2013
Harvard needs to stop putting students who were deferred in Early Action on the waitlist. It’s just plain wrong (photo credit: chensiyuan).
We’d like to raise a concern that we at The Ivy Coach have with the Harvard waitlist. There is absolutely nothing wrong with placing students on waitlists. Sure, it can be unsatisfying to students who have been waiting throughout much of their high school senior years to find out that they have to wait even longer to know their fates. But, hey, you’re applying to one of the finest universities in the land — deal with it. There are only so many beds, only so many seats in classrooms. Harvard needs to know their yield data, they need to know the number of students who will be deferring their admission, etc. before they go to their waitlist. In this way, Harvard is just like most other highly selective colleges (with exception to the fact that Harvard has a ridiculously high yield as the vast majority of students accepted to Harvard choose to matriculate).
But we do take issue with Harvard placing students who applied Early Action to the university only to be deferred to Regular Admission…and then find out that they’re on the waitlist. Seriously? These students applied months and months ago. Harvard really needs more time to decide their fate? That’s just plain not right. These students were mature enough to get their applications in to Harvard for the Early round. They waited. And then they heard that they were deferred. Disappointing of course. But it happens. However, these students should not have to wait longer after the Regular Decision round. Harvard should not need more time. It’s absolutely absurd.
The act of Harvard University putting deferred Early Action applicants on the waitlist must end. It’s wrong. It shows a lack of empathy to stressed out high school students. To the Harvard University office of admission, we await your response. We hope this response will be an end to this practice.