Feb 17, 2010, 12:19 PM
Post #444 of 482
Congratulations on your waitlist, antalya.
Waitlist policies vary by school. Some are very forthcoming with details such as the list's length and your position on it, and others are a little more guarded with their information.
If you haven't already done so, I suggest sending a quick email to Ohio State. You can express your excitement about the program and ask if they'd be willing to provide you with some more information about your position on the list and the genre(s) for which you have been selected.
Generally speaking, waitlists simply acknowledge the fact that top candidates are likely to have choices about where they decide to enroll. You probably won't see much activity on Ohio State's waitlist until some of its peer institutions start notifying their accepted students. Fortunately, that ought to start happening this week and next. If an accepted student at Ohio State decides to attend another program, they'll notify Ohio State about their decision and someone from the waitlist will be offered their spot.
According to the Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees and Assistants, a statement published by the Council of Graduate Schools (of which Ohio State is a member), accepted students have until April 15th to make a final decision about where they want to go.
Really, everything depends on what the accepted students want to do with their education. If Ohio State is a candidate's top school, then they'll accept the offer right away and close a waitlist spot. If they are entertaining other offers, on the other hand, then a waitlist spot may open a little later down the road.
You'll likely see a lot of activity in March and April as students make their final decisions and waitlist spots open up at other programs.
For example, let's say there's a writer who has been accepted outright at Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana and waitlisted at Cornell. The date is March 1.
This writer is lucky enough to have some choices, but she's holding out for that Cornell spot to open up. She immediately rules out Indiana and Minnesota for personal reasons--if she doesn't get into Cornell, she wants to go to Michigan--sowww.pw.orge other schools and removes herself from consideration, which opens up the corresponding waitlist spots at those two programs.
Meanwhile, our candidate tells Michigan that she's excited about their program but needs to wait until she's heard from all of her other schools.
Later, when April 15th arrives, Cornell calls as says that have a place for her. One of their accepted students decided to attend a program closer to home. Our candidate accepts Cornell's offer and sends her regrets to Michigan, which opens up a last-minute waitlist spot for that program. Someone on Michigan's waitlist will then get a call, etc. etc.
Things don't always stretch to that April 15th date. That's just as late as it's allowed to go. You might hear much sooner.
Regardless of the outcome, you should hear from Ohio State as soon as their acceptance list is finalized. Obviously, you'll know if you're accepted off the waitlist, but if things don't work out, you'll get a letter, call, or email that says something to the tune of "We have just filled our upcoming MFA fiction class and, accordingly, do not foresee making any additional offers. We regret that we cannot admit all of the talented writers on our waitlist. Good luck with your future writing..."
I hope things work out for you, antalya. Ohio State seems to have a great program and its hands. I've been reading a lot of Lee K. Abbot lately, and would love the chance to work with him.