Forty-five percent of four-year colleges and universities used waiting lists in 2012, according to the latest annual report on college admissions from the National Association of College Admission Counseling.
That’s up from 32 percent in 2002 and down from 48 percent in 2010, the peak year for colleges’ use of such lists. Being put on a waiting list tells a student the college would like to admit him or her if there is room. When a student turns down a school, it opens up a place on the B-list for the college to extend an invitation to someone placed on hold.
Institutions using such lists reported placing an average of 9 percent of all applicants on the wait list for the fall 2011 admission cycle.
A version of this article appeared in the April 17, 2013 edition of Education Week as College Access