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UW-Madison admits wait-listed students

May 22, 2008

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has begun the process of admitting select students from its extended waiting list. To date, 375 wait-listed Wisconsin residents who applied for freshman admission for the fall of 2008 have been admitted.

"This is good news for several hundred students who aspired to attend UW–Madison," explains Rob Seltzer, UW–Madison’s director of admissions. "Our goal has always been to offer the opportunity to attend UW–Madison to as many students as possible."

At its peak, UW–Madison’s extended waiting list included 950 students. The first group of 375 students, for whom wait-list action was taken on May 19, included Wisconsin residents exclusively. Once these students have the opportunity to consider their offer of admission and make their final college choice, the Office of Admissions will determine how many additional students will be admitted from the waiting list.

While UW–Madison traditionally has not taken wait-list action (going to its waiting list only three out of the past nine years and not at all in 2007), this does mark the second year in the past three that the waiting list has been utilized.

"We’re finding increasing uncertainty in the college admissions process," said Seltzer. "The economic downturn, the growing population of high-school seniors, record numbers of applications, students who apply to and then deposit at multiple institutions — all of this makes it harder to predict and project how our admissions cycle will play out."

UW-Madison received the record-high number of 25,123 applications for the freshman class of 2008. Approximately 12,500 of these students were admitted initially, for a 50 percent admit rate.

Currently, 5,480 freshmen have committed to UW–Madison for the fall. With a class target of 5,700 students, the university will enroll 200-300 additional students, many of whom will come from the extended waiting list.

"Last year, we enrolled a freshman class that was slightly above target," explains Seltzer. "We were conservative in our approach to admission this year, to ensure the university’s resources are not overextended. Now we’re at a point where we do have capacity to admit more students as we approach our freshman class target of 5,700. The waiting list is the tool that enables us to reach our enrollment target and offer admission to as many qualified students as possible."