As you have seen, decisions for our Class of 2026 have all been released as of last week. A good number of students were placed on the waitlist. Based on my inbox, I know many of you have questions, so we’re putting all the answers in one place!
What is a waitlist? A waitlist is a group of students who have been flagged as being admissible, but institutions aren’t sure if they have space in the class for them. Every year, enrollment managers do their best to try to project the size of their incoming class, but it is never a precise process. As deposits come in as the May 1 deadline approaches, Deans across the country are monitoring their yield and figuring out how many seats they have open. Waitlists are a necessary part of the admission process, but we acknowledge that it can be a frustrating decision to receive.
Who is on the waitlist? While Tulane does not release the exact number of students who have been waitlisted, I can tell you that it is a significant (but not humongous) group. The number will get smaller as we ask students if they would like to remain on the waitlist over the course of the coming months.
Is the waitlist ranked? No, it is not. All students on the list are in the same boat..
Will you go to the waitlist this year? That all depends on one factor: space in the freshman class. We have a finite number of spaces in the class, and we simply can’t admit everyone who is academically qualified and interested in Tulane. As we get closer to May 1st, we compare our numbers to previous years and predict how large the class is going to end up. If we are seeing that our numbers are a bit lower than we would like, at that point we can admit a few students off the waitlist. If the numbers are up, it is less likely that we will be able to admit anyone from the list. It is worth noting again that we did over-enroll last year, so we are being conservative so we don’t do it again.
What has happened in previous years? Some years, we admit a group of students off the waitlist, others not. Last year, it was fewer than 50.
If I am admitted from the waitlist, will there be aid available? Yes, students admitted off the waitlist are eligible for merit-based scholarships and need-based aid. Merit scholarships are evaluated with your application by the Admission Office, while you can apply for need-based aid through the Financial Aid Office.
What can I do to strengthen my case? For the most part, the ball is in our court. There is no need to send in additional documentation at this point. Maybe just ONE email to your counselor if you’ve already been in touch. Be sure to reply to every one of those emails we send out asking if you would like to remain on the list.
When will I know? We will release decisions by July 1 at the latest. It comes down to numbers and available space, and we won’t exactly what our situation looks like until after May 1.
So… doesn’t that mean I need to have a backup plan, in case I am not admitted from the waitlist? Yes. You will have to deposit somewhere else by May 1st.
I know this can be a frustrating and stressful time, so I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Best of luck as May 1 approaches!