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Wait List Explained


We are keenly aware of how frustrated and uncertain you may feel about being placed on the Hamilton College wait list. We hope this information will clarify your situation and answer your questions.

Unfortunately, we ran out of spots in the first-year class before we ran out of qualified candidates. We realize that you will have other  college options, but in the event that admission to Hamilton may become available for you, we hope you will consider remaining on our wait list. Regardless of your decision, we thank you for your interest in Hamilton and wish you all the best for your college career!

  • The wait list has been offered to several hundred candidates for admission. Of this number, nearly two-thirds will choose to withdraw immediately because they have made alternative college plans.
  • Those candidates who choose to remain on the wait list will be held for further review after May 1, the date by which regularly admitted students must either accept or decline our offers of admission. It is not until the end of the first week of May that we really know how close we are to filling our first-year class. Since admission from the wait list will remain uncertain for some time after May 1, even if Hamilton remains your top choice, it is in your best interest to pay an enrollment deposit at one of your other college options.
  • If we still have places available in the first-year class after May 1, all who have asked to stay on the wait list will be considered. The actual number of places offered to wait list candidates is unpredictable, but has varied in recent years from as few as zero 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, and selections will be made on the basis of overall academic and personal strength, as well as degree of interest in attending Hamilton. We also make an effort to balance the overall composite of the first-year class.
  • Any possible admission from the wait list will begin in early May and could continue well into the summer months. You may elect to remove your name from consideration at any time. As soon as we feel that further openings are unlikely to occur, we will “release” all remaining candidates.
  • 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.
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