You may have a few questions about the wait list, so we’ll attempt to answer them for you here.

What is a “wait list”?
Often a university receives more applications from talented and qualified students than there are places available in the first-year class. When this happens, the university creates an opportunity for a select group of students to “wait” and see if room does become available. At Washington University, we continually assess if there is room in the first-year class throughout the spring to see if we are able to make additional offers of admission. If so, then we begin to reach out to students on the wait list.

I have been offered a place on the wait list, what do I do?
If you have been offered a place on the wait list and are still interested in Washington University, please accept your spot on the wait list by April 15, 2024. Submit your response by logging in to your WashU Pathway account. You will not be placed on the wait list unless we receive your response.

Admissions Perspective

What is a wait list?

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How many applicants are on the wait list?
The number of students on our wait list varies year to year. We will not know how many applicants have chosen to be on the wait list until after the April 15 response deadline.

Have students been admitted from the wait list in previous years? And, if so, how many have been admitted?
In past years, we have experienced almost every situation imaginable, from offering admission to many wait list candidates to not being able to offer admission to any at all. In the last five years, we have used the wait list five times. The most active year was 2020, when we enrolled just over 250 students from the wait list. Unfortunately, we are unable to predict whether we will have the opportunity to admit applicants from the wait list in any given year, and it is best to secure your place at another institution in case we do not have openings.

Where do I rank on the wait list?
No one on the wait list has an actual rank. Space in our first-year class becomes available based on enrollment numbers in each of our five undergraduate divisions (Architecture, Art, Arts & Sciences, Business, or Engineering). If there is space in a given division, we look at the wait list and seek students with those interests.

When will I hear about the final decision on my application?
We will notify all applicants who have chosen to be on the wait list of their status no later than June 30. We will contact you as soon as we have made a decision.

Should I submit a deposit to another school?
Yes. It is critically important for you to deposit at another school so that you can secure your place in a first-year class should we not be able to offer a spot in ours. If you are admitted to WashU, and you choose to enroll, you will forfeit the deposit you made to your alternate-choice school.

Is there anything I can do to improve my chances of admission from the wait list?
At this point, our ability to admit students from the wait list depends on space availability in each division. If you have any updates that you would like to share (i.e., awards, grade updates, personal achievements, etc.), please feel free to submit them via the Application Updates form found in the WashU Pathway. We will place any new credentials you send us in the front of your application file, so the Admissions Committee will see them if we begin to review applicants on the wait list for admission.

If I have been admitted off of the wait list, am I able to request a gap year?
An offer of admission off of the wait list is to enroll for the 2024–2025 school year. The opportunity to take a gap year after admission from the wait list is not guaranteed and in accepting your offer, you should plan to enroll this Fall. In rare circumstances, we can approve a gap year for religious observance or required military service.