Stanford has been most generous in shedding light on its waitlist practices. Here are a few highlights:
- From Stanford's WL FAQ
- "If you have received an offer of admission from another school, we would strongly advise you to accept the other offer of admission."
- "What can I do to help my chances? If I have not yet had an interview,
can I arrange an interview?
"It would be appropriate for you to reaffirm your interest in Stanford by sending a brief letter to the MBA Admissions Office. Additional submissions are neither requested nor suggested in order to be admitted from the waitlist. If, however, someone offers to write a letter on your behalf with new information not already reflected in your application, or if you wish to update us on any recent and substantive changes or achievements, please forward the supplemental information to the MBA Admissions Office at email@example.com.
"Interviews are offered on an “invitation only” basis and are conducted by Stanford MBA alumni. If you have not already had an interview and we feel that one is necessary, we will contact you. Otherwise, please do not travel to Stanford specifically for that purpose. We also are unable to respond to your requests for individual appointments with Stanford MBA Admissions Officers."
"During the latter half of May, we will review the waitlisted candidates as a group. If you choose to stay on the waitlist, we will mail you a letter on May 12th that either: (1) offers you admission to the Stanford MBA Program, or (2) requests that you continue on the waitlist. Naturally, we do not know how many of each type of decision we will make, since the number of candidates admitted from the waitlist depends on the number of available places in the class. Our decision to admit a candidate from the waitlist also will depend on the degree to which the individual candidate’s talents, achievements, and perspectives add to the richness of the existing class profile."
- From correspondence with the Stanford admissions office:
- "Our waitlisted applicants are all extremely qualified to be part of our program, and we look forward to adding them to our class if spaces become available. The key issue here is the small number of spaces that we have for the many competitive applicants who we wish to admit. Our three main admission criteria of demonstrated leadership potential, intellectual vitality, and diversity among students are the same for our "waitlisters." When spaces become available, we review the waitlist and admit candidates whose diverse perspectives will add to and complement those already in the class.
- "We do not rank the waitlist, since all on the list are eligible and each will have individual experiences to share. Our main advice is for them to have patience with the process and to call our office with any questions that they may have. They are not missing or deficient in any area and should not feel that they need to correct any portion of their application."
- "We do what we say and say what we do in our admission process. There are no "tricks" to the waitlist process, either. The decisions we make are dependent on the applicant pools of later rounds and on the candidates who accept our offers of admission - both of which are beyond the Admissions Committee's control. So we ask for and reward patience. We give every candidate we invite to join our waitlist a personal contact person. That is the person in the office he/she should contact with updates, etc. "
- "THE SQUEAKY WHEEL DOES NOT GET THE GREASE. Stanford's waitlist is NOT one in which candidates need to a. strengthen qualifications (re-take GMAT, take classes, etc.), b. demonstrate interest (visit the School, get letters from alumni/students, etc.), or c. modify the application (rewrite essays, etc.). "