2006 Wharton MBA Waitlist Admissions Chat with Thomas Caleel

2006 Wharton MBA Waitlist Admissions Chat with Thomas Caleel

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MikeCronin (Feb 2, 2006 8:02:02 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Wharton waitlist chat.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 9:56:54 AM)
I also want to give a special welcome to Thomas Caleel, Wharton's Director of Admissions and Michael Cronin, Associate Director of Admissions.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 9:57:06 AM)
Thanks to everyone for joining.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 9:58:24 AM)
I know this is a stressful position to be in, and I appreciate everyone's participation today.

Patiently_Waiting (Feb 2, 2006 9:58:34 AM)
Hi Linda - Thanks for scheduling this chat. Thanks to Thomas and Michael for taking the time to help us out. I have an admit for another school but I am waiting for the decision on my Wharton waitlist situation because Wharton is my top choice by far. Can I contact my interviewer to convey the same / reiterate my interest in Wharton?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 9:58:54 AM)
Good question.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 9:59:12 AM)
We strongly recommend that waitlist candidates NOT contact our office or their interviewer to provide additional information. We do this in the spirit of equity and fairness to all candidates.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:00:10 AM)
Thomas, why can applicants contact you after they have submitted and before placed on the waitlist and not after they are on the waitlist?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:00:33 AM)
I think I should clarify that statement.

shinjani (Feb 2, 2006 10:00:46 AM)
Can a waitlisted applicant be waitlisted again in the next round?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:01:31 AM)
Applicants can contact us after submitting their application, but we do not accept additional information. In rare cases, we might try to add information to a file if there are extenuating circumstances prior to the decision.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:02:27 AM)
Ok. Let me clarify my question. Applicants can let you know about an improved GMAT for example. Why aren't you interested in similar information from waitlisted candidates?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:02:33 AM)
It is not fair to other waitlisted candidates for us to accept additional information once a candidate is on the waitlist.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:02:38 AM)
Shinjani- yes. A waitlisted applicant can continue on the waitlist into the third round.

redbaron47 (Feb 2, 2006 10:02:52 AM)
How are the Round 2 numbers shaping up and do you have any rough projections as to how many will be admitted off the waitlist?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:03:33 AM)
Actually, Linda, there's no guarantee that an improved GMAT score will make it into the applicant's file. We discourage applicants from submitting additional information except in extreme circumstances in the interest of equity and fairness.

redbaron47 (Feb 2, 2006 10:03:44 AM)
The adcom is very clear about not adding any additional information to a candidates application when they are on the waitlist. My question, though, is can an alumni (unsolicited by me) write a letter on my behalf?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:04:41 AM)
Redbaron- it's too early in the round to make any comment about the numbers or any waitlist movement.

Bao (Feb 2, 2006 10:04:46 AM)
Is there a dead drop date that waitlist folks will hear about whether they got in or not?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:05:34 AM)
Redbaron- Alumni can certainly submit additional information. However, given that we specifically ask candidates NOT to submit additional information, we view this as a judgment call.

JLevi (Feb 2, 2006 10:05:41 AM)
How large is the current waitlist? And historically, what percentage of waitlisted candidates are accepted?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:05:47 AM)
Bao- decisions for Round 2 will be released on March 16th.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:06:57 AM)
Bao - Although we do release some waitlist candidates, the latest we keep people on the waitlist is late July.

Patiently_Waiting (Feb 2, 2006 10:07:12 AM)
Thomas, will the Round 1 waitlisted applications be read again along with the Round 2 applications or is the application given some sort of a grading which is then compared with the new bunch?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:07:17 AM)
JLevi- Apologies for sounding like a broken record, but we don't discuss the number of applicants on the waitlist. Also, percentages vary from year to year and round to round.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:08:04 AM)
PW- they are not re-read, but they are re-considered during the final review of the Round 2 pool. No grading system is used.

Bao (Feb 2, 2006 10:08:08 AM)
If I get accepted late July, how does that affect my financial aid possibilities?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:08:58 AM)
Bao- if you are accepted, you are guaranteed financial aid. You will have to move quickly to submit your documents, but we will give you all the support you require.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:09:03 AM)
Thomas to follow-up on that earlier question about information on significant developments, while there is no guarantee that a the hypothetical improved GMAT score will make it into the file before the file is reviewed, Wharton does accept such information. Waitlisted applicants are not even supposed to submit information like that. There seems to be a difference in approach, a more restrictive approach for waitlisted applicants than for applicants who have already submitted an application but have not passed the decision date.

Anthem (Feb 2, 2006 10:10:20 AM)
Michael, are waitlist candidates viewed in comparison to one another or versus the broader Round 2 candidates?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:10:23 AM)
Linda, let me take this in two parts. First, there's no guarantee that an updated GMAT score will be considered as we evaluate the file (pre-decision). Second, once the candidate is on the waitlist, it is not fair to allow them to submit additional information. There is no one reason a candidate is on the waitlist, so blindly guessing what information to send us is not the best approach. Again, the core belief here is equity and fairness - we must treat all applicants equally.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:11:02 AM)
Anthem - waitlisted candidates are viewed against the entire pool of applicants, including each other and the current round we are evaluating.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:11:42 AM)
How would waitlist status affect a reapplication next year, if one is not accepted from the waitlist this year?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:12:36 AM)
A waitlist status is part of the overall application. What is more important is that the candidate takes advantage of our feedback sessions in the summer.

Anthem (Feb 2, 2006 10:12:46 AM)
Is the GMAT score alone enough of a reason to deny a waitlisted candidate?

redbaron47 (Feb 2, 2006 10:13:33 AM)
Michael, have a good number of people removed themselves from the waitlist following acceptance to another school? By the way, thanks for the transparency in the application process. It's much appreciated by the applicants.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:13:40 AM)
We do not review the GMAT in isolation. It is part of the overall academic profile we evaluate to see if a candidate can handle the academic side of Wharton. Once we establish that, we look to many additional factors, so a GMAT score by itself is not enough to deny an applicant.

Patiently_Waiting (Feb 2, 2006 10:14:09 AM)
Given the problems in obtaining the interview dates for a US Visa, does an international student, pushed into the third round with a Round 2 waitlist, have any real chance of making it in after the summer results? Any precedents?

redbaron47 (Feb 2, 2006 10:14:51 AM)
Thomas: Does being waitlisted mean that the adcom has already determined that an applicant can handle the academics?

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:15:01 AM)
RB - While I don't have the stats for that, I am aware of a few people leaving the waitlist. It is not a significant number.

JLevi (Feb 2, 2006 10:15:24 AM)
Michael: Have those applicants that have been placed on the waitlist already passed the GMAT hurdle?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:15:26 AM)
PW- we certainly take visa issues into consideration when determining the waitlist. Rest assured that if you are accepted and if you have visa problems, we can always discuss a deferral.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:15:56 AM)
redbaron- certainly. But keep in mind that over 85% of our applicants can handle the academics based on test scores and prior academic achievement.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:16:21 AM)
What factors will move someone from the waitlist to the accepted list or the rejected list?

Patiently_Waiting (Feb 2, 2006 10:16:29 AM)
Thanks Thomas, that is very reassuring.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:16:32 AM)
JLevi - We only put applicants on the waitlist if we feel that they could be here, and that they are a good fit. They all could handle academic life at Wharton.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:17:12 AM)
Linda, it's the same as the regular process, really. We evaluate each candidate holistically, and see where they fit into the class. There's no set criteria to move someone on or off the waitlist.

shinjani (Feb 2, 2006 10:17:34 AM)
How will an applicant who has been waitlisted again in Round 2 get feedback if rejected in Round 3, as the feedback sessions are conducted in May?

redbaron47 (Feb 2, 2006 10:17:55 AM)
Who's going to win the Super Bowl?

BT (Feb 2, 2006 10:18:09 AM)
Michael: Is living in close proximity to the Philadelphia area viewed positively when evaluating waitlisted applicants in Round 3 due to the relative ease and flexibility of local candidates to enroll on short notice?

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:18:24 AM)
Shinjani - we reserve feedback sessions for people who are waitlisted that long, and will do our best to accommodate you.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:18:50 AM)
The bottom line is that we know this is a difficult process, and that you are all successful because of your drive and determination. It is hard for you to wait and see, and I respect that. But please trust us that it is the best strategy...

JLevi (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:11 AM)
If people remove themselves from the waitlist are they still entitled to a feedback session? Or are feedback sessions reserved only for those that are officially dinged admission?

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:15 AM)
BT - No, we do not take that into consideration when evaluating candidates in any round.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:24 AM)
redbaron- if I knew that, I'd be retired on an island by now!

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:35 AM)
Yeah, but it was a fun question. :-)

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:55 AM)
Jlevi - Feedback sessions are intended for applicants who will be reapplying.

whartonWL (Feb 2, 2006 10:19:58 AM)
Thomas, can you give us a general picture of who is waitlisted? Just someone from an oversubscribed group or someone who has some weaknesses that make them not an admit but not weak enough to ding?

dotted1001 (Feb 2, 2006 10:21:09 AM)
Is a school visit absolutely necessary before applying? I am thinking of applying in the third round but due to work commitments, I cannot take time off.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:21:17 AM)
whartonWL- there is no standard profile. It really comes down to several factors, which may differ for each candidate on the waitlist.

is2005 (Feb 2, 2006 10:21:35 AM)
Michael: Is there a limit in the the number of final admissions for people from different background? For example, the number of admissions for people with engineering background will not exceed a certain limit.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:21:58 AM)
dotted- absolutely not. Our commitment to equity and fairness means that we do not require an on-campus visit. That is also why we travel the world to bring Wharton to our international community. We also provide hub interviews and have over 1,500 alumni interviewers.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:22:20 AM)
is2005 - We do not place applicants into "buckets" and have no quotas whatsoever. We admit when we see strength.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:04 AM)
Next year applicants will also see some great changes to our website that make Wharton even more accessible to everyone.

Anthem (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:07 AM)
Is next year's class going to be approximately the same size as this year's?

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:19 AM)
Clearly some waitlisted applicants are not going to make it. Can you give some advice to these clearly strong applicants who want to reapply?

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:35 AM)
Can you give us any hints as to these changes?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:44 AM)
Anthem- Huntsman hall is our limiting factor, so yes, we will remain at 800 students.

JRHD (Feb 2, 2006 10:23:53 AM)
Cronin- What kind of things do you look to see strength in?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:24:10 AM)
Linda- the best thing to do is to read the deny letter carefully and make sure you get a feedback session. Wharton spends a lot of time and effort accommodating several thousand feedback sessions every summer for just this reason.

spans (Feb 2, 2006 10:24:18 AM)
Thomas: How does the waitlist work for dual-degree applicants? Any differences?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:25:01 AM)
Linda, I can't ruin the surprise now, but I think the changes will be value-add for our applicants.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:25:11 AM)
We evaluate in a holistic manner, and want to see strength across the board. This includes, but is not limited to, academics, work experience and progression, essays, leadership, recommendations, etc...

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:25:33 AM)
I look forward to seeing the changes and I will enjoy the anticipation in the mean time.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:25:39 AM)
Spans- no difference. Each school makes their own, independent admissions decision.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:25:50 AM)
Any other questions.

spans (Feb 2, 2006 10:26:02 AM)
Including Lauder?

shinjani (Feb 2, 2006 10:26:48 AM)
Thomas, isn't 800 the yield number the website says admitted students' number is 1200

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:26:59 AM)
spans- Lauder is an unique case, as we make our decisions separately, but in conjunction with each other. But if you are on the Lauder waitlist, then the process is the same as for the Wharton WL.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:27:49 AM)
shinjani- we take a class of 800, but the admitted number varies slightly from year to year. It is safe to assume that the 800/1,200 convention will remain for next year, however.

SocialEnt (Feb 2, 2006 10:28:16 AM)
Ok, please forgive me if this question is not relevant to this waitlist discussion. My concern is that in my application I put down Jan. 31st as the date for sending updated GMAT scores. My exam was cancelled & has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, 7th Feb. I will turn in my GMAT then. I was wondering if a 600 GMAT could decline my application until I turn in my scores next week? My application was updated to complete on Jan 11th, but haven't heard anything since then from the adcom.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:29:41 AM)
SocialEnt- without seeing your entire application, it is not possible to answer your question. The GMAT is just one component of your candidacy.

Bao (Feb 2, 2006 10:30:08 AM)
Can you give us any indication on the volume of applications you've seen this year? More or less than previous years.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:31:03 AM)
Bao- application volumes have been up across all top MBA programs.

whartonWL (Feb 2, 2006 10:31:33 AM)
adCom -- I understand that the number of people that get off the waitlist is to an extent dependent on the yield of Round 1 and Round2. Given that, how is Round1 and Round 2 application volume looking this year?

JRHD (Feb 2, 2006 10:32:07 AM)
Michael- What do you look for in a strong recommendation?

shinjani (Feb 2, 2006 10:32:31 AM)
Thanks Thomas and Michael.

whartonWL (Feb 2, 2006 10:33:21 AM)
Are you able to provide more visibility on what percentage the increase is like specifically for Wharton rather than all programs?

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:33:30 AM)
whartonWL- actually, Wharton has a very late matriculation deadline, so candidates are admitted based on the strength of their application, not on yield per round. Again, application volumes have been up across all top MBA programs.

Thomas_Caleel (Feb 2, 2006 10:33:45 AM)
Linda, thank you for organizing this chat, and thank you to everyone for participating.

CroninM (Feb 2, 2006 10:33:51 AM)
The best recommendations come from direct supervisors who know you very well. Solid recommendations come through only when they are comfortable speaking in detail to all the questions we ask. Having said that, there is no magic phrase or paragraph that makes a recommendation stand out.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:33:58 AM)
You're most welcome.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:34:10 AM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Thomas and Michael for taking the time to virtually meet with you, provide this information, and make this process as transparent and humane as possible.

Linda Abraham (Feb 2, 2006 10:34:22 AM)
Have a very good evening! Good luck with your applications!

Patiently_Waiting (Feb 2, 2006 10:38:12 AM)
Thanks Linda, Thomas and Michael. Good luck to all the applicants.

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