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Wait List Explained


As you consider your college options, we hope that this information about our wait list will help clarify Hamilton’s decision and your options.

  • Due to the tremendous depth and strength of Hamilton’s applicant pool, we simply run out of spots in the class before we run out of people whom we’d love to invite to join our community. Those offered a place on Hamilton’s waitlist are students whose candidacy we’d like to consider again should additional spots become available.

  • In any given year, several hundred students may be offered spaces on Hamilton’s wait list. From this number, more than half will typically choose to withdraw immediately because they have made alternative college plans.

  • Those candidates who choose to remain on Hamilton’s wait list will be held for further review near or after May 1, the date by which regularly admitted students must either accept or decline our offers of admission. It is not until that time that we really know how close we are to filling Hamilton’s first-year class.

  • If we still have places available in the first-year class as that time approaches, all who have asked to stay on the wait list will be considered. When spots have been available, offers of admission to wait list candidates have varied in recent years from as few as 12 to more than 50.

  • There is no numerical ranking on Hamilton’s wait list. If there are any openings in the class, all candidates in the active waiting pool will be reviewed. Selections will be made on the basis of overall academic and personal strength, and with a goal of balancing the overall demographic composite of the first year class.  In an effort to move as expeditiously as possible, genuinely expressed interest in attending Hamilton may be a factor we consider.

  • Admission from Hamilton’s wait list will remain uncertain until May 1 approaches, and consideration could continue well into the summer months as spots become available. You may elect to remove your name from consideration at any time. As soon as we feel confident that we have secured our class, we will “release” all remaining candidates.

  • If Hamilton is your top choice, we hope you will let us know.  At the same time, it may be in your best interest to fully pursue your other options and pay an enrollment deposit at one of your other colleges, on the chance that a spot at Hamilton may not become available.

  • We regret that we are unable to grant interviews to students who have been placed on the wait list, but you should feel free to write or call the Admission Office if you have any questions or additional information you would like to be included with your application.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to remain on Hamilton’s waitlist, we thank you for your interest in Hamilton and wish you all the best for your college career!

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