Wait-list wasteland: A letter to high schoolers in purgatory

Dear wait-listed high school students,

We at Student Life understand your plight. You want to come to Wash. U. Who wouldn’t? But that tease of a Washington University Office of Admissions acceptance letter is tantalizing you, putting our illustrious institution within smelling distance (the sweat of overachievement is pungent, is it not?) and you in purgatory. Despite a 15 percent increase in applications for the Class of 2015, Wash. U. admitted 15 percent fewer students. There were 28,823 bright-eyed hopefuls that applied this year.

So why are you languishing in the wastelands, hoping for salvation? This may have something to do with the fact that someone’s calculator malfunctioned last year and now, approximately a bajillion (give or take a kajillion) students now populate the current freshman class. While we at Wash. U. love freshmen, at least in theory, this year they mostly just increase the lines at Bear’s Den and make frat parties even sweatier and more disgusting than usual.

To be honest, we are thrilled that fewer freshmen will be admitted. Enough of our classmates have been screwed over by housing selection this year to ignore the issues with over-enrollment. A repeat of this process would dramatically increase the number of face-palm-related injuries (up this year by more than 45 percent).

This may have something to do with college rankings. Not that our infallible administration would ever decrease the number of admitted students to increase our ranking in U.S. News & World Report. This connection seems unlikely, as the most obvious way to advance our selectivity would be simply to admit 10 students to the freshman class, decreasing the acceptance rate to a mere .00035 percent. The admissions team is definitely intelligent enough to figure that out. Whether this connection exists or not, we are definitely better than Johns Hopkins; this tie thing is complete B.S.

This is not the time to despair. No need to attempt to bribe the admissions committee just yet (although it never hurts to plan for the worst). Even though no one was admitted off of the wait-list last year, more students should be taken off of the wait-list this year. Last year, the University over-admitted in terms of the regular admissions applicants, so there was no room for anyone from the wait-list. This year, it is much more likely that you will be admitted. You will not be compensated for emotional anguish experienced in the interim.

Even if you don’t get in, take this to heart. Your rejection, as painful as it may be, will only serve to increase the value of a Wash. U. degree for the rest of us. The rising exclusivity of our little club of overachievers makes employers and graduate schools drool over us like a drunk undergrad over a half-and-half. Although this basically relegates you to the role of sacrificial sheep, really, it’s quite an honor (credit marcus). Perhaps you could do us all a favor and tell your friends and family where exactly Washington University is located. We are assuming that you did a bit of research and realize that no, you did not apply to that school in D.C. If there has been a mix-up, we are not sorry. It’s in St. Louis, damnit, the Paris of the Midwest. Someday it will be home to the most selective university in the world. Thanks for helping us get there.


Student Life

  • Gerrard

    Wasteland ur butthole. So cute to see you acting as if you are a king just because you are in WASHU. Shame on you and your school as well. LOL

  • Jun

    A total Shame that I have applied to this school. Never want to be in the university with someone filled with such self-arrogance. I wasted my application-fee.

  • C K

    Who the hell wrote this article? This article is downgrading WashU, dude. As a guidance counselor, I will make our students think again before applying to WashU.

  • waitlisted 2013


  • Jaye

    What a sadly shockingly arrogant piece of drivel. The kind typically spewed by people who are second rate, know that they are second rate, and will always be second rate.

  • Cassidy Hartman

    This is so rude. Why would anyone want to hear that they are the sacrificial sheep? This is again, the most rude and egotistical article I have ever written. Am so glad I am not going to Wash U anymore if it is filled with people like you.

  • Jerome Bauer

    This is better than April Fools! Really it is!

    All you waitlisted students, please scroll back and see the article, “WU recognized as best value institution by Princeton Review,” http://www.studlife.com/news/2011/03/09/wu-recognized-as-best-value-institution-by-princeton-review/

    Here is my comment on this article:

    “Please see Kate Gaertner’s fall 2008 op-ed, “What Money Can Buy,” about WashU’s identity crisis, its unhealthy obsession with its national rank, and its tendency to overreact to perceived problems by spending money. Here is the link:


    In spring 2008 I responded to a rather tepid Student Life endorsement of the school by promoting it as a fixer-upper for community minded students. I exhorted rabble-rousers and trouble-makers to come here and shake things up a bit, in a good way of course. I stand by this.

    Despite all the flash and hype, WashU is still an underrated midwestern gem, or at least it could be, if we make it so.”

    When I made that post, I had to scroll back a few weeks on my own Facebook Wall to find my favorite Student Life op-ed, Kate Gaertner’s “What Money Can Buy,” because a search for the title of the article, and the title linked to the author’s name, yielded no results. i tried again today, and my search yielded even fewer results. Are they rolling out the red carpet for April Welcome, by censoring their INDEPENDENT student newspaper? I know Student Life Editor Kate Gaertner has been accused of censoring her newspaper, but I really don’t think she would censor her own article, do you? My posts and published articles have been censored, and I have documented this very carefully. I can only speak for myself. Others must speak on their own behalf, at least for the present.

    Speaking of April Welcome, please see my op-ed, “SWA [Student Worker Alliance] a necessary presence on campus,” http://www.studlife.com/archives/Forum/2006/10/11/SWAanecessarypresenceoncampus/

    Please see also my April Fool’s joke, “LIving Wage Sit-In for Tenured Professors,” http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=107667452597965&ref=ts

    It’s just a joke, isn’t it? April Welcome and April Fools!!!!!

  • Kait

    This made me laugh.