Waitlist Donor Bank

A senior in VA lies awake, agonizing over her decision between Bowdoin and Vanderbilt. A lucky young man in CA vacillates between Brown and Columbia. And twins in CT think about a coin toss for their decision between Tulane and Northeastern. Once they decide, who will get the spots they give up? This week the Neurotic Parent answers questions from readers about those elusive waitlists, guaranteed to provide false hope to families all over.

I have a niece who got into Middlebury off the waitlist and gave up her slot at Hamilton and her brother got into Emerson off the waitlist, which opens up a slot at Northeastern.  How long do you think it will be before you know who got their spots?


It was actually our Oberlin-bound DGC (Dylan-Ginsberg Clone) who happily gave up his Vassar space for the Santa Barbara girl.

These comments reflect a new trend that is unfolding for students who are admitted to their dream colleges from waitlists. Mere acceptance was once cause enough for celebration. But now many waitlist recipients feel a need to know the identity of the anonymous donors who made it possible for them to enroll at their reach schools.

With this in mind, the Neurotic Parent Institute has started a new foundation, Waitlist Donor Trace. Using cutting-edge research methods, we will locate the girl or boy who gave your child the gift of matriculation. And for a nominal fee, you can receive periodic updates about how your donor is faring at the better school that let him or her in at the last moment.

We are also starting a Waitlist Donor Bank. Top students can now be proactive in giving a lucky girl or boy their hand-me-down acceptances.

So, if you are someone like Mr. 2400, CJ’s friend who just achieved a perfect score on the SAT, here’s a simple strategy that could potentially touch the lives of thousands of students all over the world:  Apply to eighteen colleges. You will probably be accepted at sixteen. Send in deposits to every college that accepts you. Then, when you get the call from Harvard or Princeton, you can provide places to sixteen lucky waitlist recipients. Not only do you get to go to a prestigious school, but you can also help other human beings in limbo, like the Middlebury and Emerson kids mentioned above.

This act of selflessness will take much less effort than going to Namibia to work with the baboons, and will give you the incomparable satisfaction of having made a difference in the life of an eleventh grader who has had to overcome the misfortune of having been born in 1998 or 1999.


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