Waiting List: Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make sure I am considered for admission from the waiting list?

In order to remain on the active waiting list, please submit the Respond to Waiting List Offer form in your My Williams Account by 11:59 p.m. on May 1. On the form, you’ll find a section where you can convey your continued interest in Williams and add updates about recent awards, activities or achievements. Please do not feel pressured to respond immediately—we do not rank students based on when they submit the form.

How should I communicate with the Admission Office after I have submitted the Respond to Waiting List Offer form?

If you would like to send us an update or express your continued interest in Williams, please do so by using the Waiting List Continued Interest form within your My Williams Account. This form will display only after you have submitted the Respond to Waiting List Offer form. Using the Continued Interest form will ensure that your communication is added directly to your application for review by the admission committee.

How many students are on the waiting list and how many are admitted?

The total number of students on the waiting list each year ranges between 500 and 650. In the past five years, 25 students on average have been admitted from the waiting list.

Are waiting list applicants ranked in any way?

No, there is no particular ordering of the waiting list. Instead, the admission committee periodically reconvenes to assess the composition of the enrolled class to see what additions might be made to round out the group.

When are waiting list decisions made?

While May 1 is the common reply date for students admitted via Regular Decision, it usually takes a couple of days before we have a firm count of our enrolled class. If we enroll fewer than our target number, we will begin to draw from the waiting list on a rolling basis beginning in early May. The process may take four to six weeks; we try to have all waiting list decisions made by June 30. If admitted from the waiting list, you will be notified via email. We will inform students as soon as possible when the class has been finalized.

Can I place a deposit at an institution and still stay on the waiting list?

You are expected to deposit at or otherwise commit in writing to ONE of the colleges to which you have been admitted by the May 1 common reply date. While it is important that you secure your place at one college, you may simultaneously stay on any number of waiting lists. If selected off a waiting list, and if you choose to attend that school, you must withdraw immediately from the school to which you had originally committed.

What can I do to improve my chances of being admitted from the waiting list?

Be sure to submit your Respond to Waiting List Offer form by May 1. After May 1, stay in touch through the Continued Interest form. There is no need to solicit additional letters of recommendation—if you are on the waiting list, your application is already extremely well-documented. Please note that we do not interview or schedule meetings with students who are on the waiting list.

Will applying for financial aid affect my chances of being admitted from the waiting list?

Williams remains need blind for all U.S. citizens and permanent residents and meets 100% of demonstrated need for all applicants, regardless of citizenship, through the waiting list process, so applying for financial aid will not disadvantage you. If you are admitted from the waiting list, you will be given time to receive and assess your financial aid package before making a final decision.

What if I want to remove myself from the active waiting list?

If you decide you would no longer like to be considered on the active waiting list, please let us know as soon as possible.