All the best institutes have been releasing merit lists. Students who got in are jubilant, the ones who have not been selected know what it takes to get into that particular institute, but some candidates have been waitlisted. These waitlisted students face a lot of confusion. Let’s try and understand what exactly is waitlisting.
Students every year apply for admission to MBA programmes in colleges. The total number of seats in all the top colleges is limited. The institute cannot accept every candidate due to limited seats. Once the first list of selected candidates is declared, a batch of selected students is on the waiting list if any student chooses to forgo or cancel their seat. The admission then is offered to the next best candidate. This list of students is known as a waitlist.
Being waitlisted means that the candidate technically has qualified for admission, but the admissions committee felt there were more qualified candidates. Each college or university knows the likely yield rate (percentage of students offered a position who enrol). So they admit a number to try to get the class size they want. Generally, applicants have applied to quite a few schools but can only attend one. When they turn down a position and the admissions committee sees that their yield may not offer the class size they desire, they turn to the waitlist. Some schools use it to fill gaps in their class as the band needs an oboe player, and the one admitted is going to another school.
IIM waitlist consists of the candidates that move up from the waitlist slab to offer. Every single year students wait on the waitlist in pursuit of converting the better institutes than the ones they would be getting into so that the chances of their admission get brighter.
The waitlist movement in IIMs and a few top MBA colleges is category dependent. For the general category, it is stringent, while for the students in the SC, ST, OBC and PwD categories, there is some relaxation.
Except for the admission teams of the colleges, no one can deduce if a candidate will be able to convert to the college from the waiting list.