It seems only appropriate, having written REJECTED! (and the sequel, REJECTED (again)), and ACCEPTED!, that I complete the trifecta of admissions articles.  What happens if you are not rejected from a school outright, but also not offered a seat?

At charter schools, you are typically assigned a draw number.  Technically, you are on the wait list no matter what in that regard, but if your number is 200 for a class of 25, you can hardly consider yourself to be on any kind of viable list–this was the topic of my “REJECTED” article.

If the school admits 20 students and your lottery draw number is say, 29, you’re in a more favorable position, yet one that has its own challenges.  One thing you should ask each school–how many students are typically offered seats in any given year?  The schools will generally answer this question with the caveat that results vary year to year.  And heaven help you if you have a borderline wait list number at a charter that is going through uncertainty surrounding plans for expansion.  With or without that kind of additional drama, the offering of seats is nerve wracking partly because of the general uncertainty, and partly because it is out of your control and even out of the school’s control to a certain extent–you are at the whim of those in front of you.  Maybe a family takes a while to decide, maybe a family holds a seat at one school while holding out hope on a waitlist for another.  You never know.  I have heard numerous anecdotal reports of families being offered spots quickly, others being offered seats at the last minute.  I don’t know how commonly that happens or if it more built up by the drama.  Thinking about the tumultuous process of choosing schools coupled with real life (new jobs, relocation, or a whole host of other life changes) I wouldn’t be surprised if openings come up last minute.  The whole wait list situation just adds to the timing issues around making school choices.

How about you?  Have you been on a wait list?  Have you been admitted or not?  If so, please share your story–What school?  What was your wait list number?  If you eventually got an acceptance, when did it come?

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