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Waitlist Transparency: Harvard Business School vs. Wharton

The other day, we noted how remarkably transparent the HBS waitlist process has become, with the HBS Admissions Committee offering qualitative information and hard numbers to those who are “stranded” right now. Unfortunately, as you can tell from Wharton’s Admissions Committee’s blog posting (below), their process remains pretty opaque. Disappointingly, they offer no numbers at all….

Guidelines for Waitlisted Candidates

For those candidates currently on the waitlist: we have heard from a few of you, looking for guidance or information.  We have already emailed all waitlisted candidates the information below, but wanted to post our guidance on the blog, as well. While we can appreciate how challenging it can be to be waitlisted, please keep in mind that being waitlisted should serve as an affirmation of your accomplishment and achievement in a competitive applicant pool!  We thank you for your interest, and ask that you please adhere to our waitlist policies.

• For those candidates on the waitlist, we will retain your name on the waitlist for consideration at the end of the next round unless you request your application be withdrawn. If you would like to withdraw, please e-mail mba.admissions at wharton.upenn.edu, using the subject header: “Waitlist Remove.”
• All waitlist candidates will be reconsidered for admission in Round 3, and will be notified of the Admissions Committee decision by 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) of the Round 3 decision date, May 15, 2008. Decisions include “admit waitlist,” “waitlist continue,” and “deny waitlist.”
• In the spirit of fairness and equity, we will not accept additional materials for inclusion in your application. In this same spirit, we do not offer another interview.
• There is no point person in the office for the waitlist. All waitlist decisions are handled by the Admissions Committee.
• Feedback to candidates is not offered to candidates while they are on the waitlist.
• There is no rank order to the waitlist.
• The chances of being admitted off the waitlist are difficult to predict since much depends on the strength of the pool in subsequent rounds. Historically, the admit rate has varied from year to year, and has very little correlation with the number of candidates placed on the waitlist.

Thank you in advance for honoring these guidelines. We sincerely appreciate your interest in the Wharton School




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