gained admittance off the wait list


Senior Member

Kathryn DeWitt conquered high school like a gold-medal decathlete. < Excessive quotation removed. Summary of omitted text: The story goes on to describe her success in high school as a straight-A student and as an athlete.>

In her first two weeks on the University of Pennsylvania campus, she hustled. She joined a coed fraternity, signed up to tutor elementary school students and joined the same Christian group her parents had joined at their alma mater, Stanford.

But having gained admittance off the wait list and surrounded by people with seemingly greater drive and ability, she had her first taste of self-doubt.

I have a doubt about thıs one. Explain please.

< Edited to reduce quotation to comply with 4-sentence limit (
Rule 4). Cagey, moderator. >
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  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    She was on the waiting list for acceptance at the University of Pennsylvania. The waiting list is for those who either didn't score high enough or didn't register early enough for guaranteed admission. They have to wait until someone who was accepted notifies the university that they don't plan to attend there.

    Eventually she was accepted. Since she was not initially accepted but instead was waiting for admission until someone else freed up a position she felt she wasn't at the same level as the other students.


    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Hi Vadim - the college admission process is complicated and there are plenty of resources online to read about it. To understand this story, this should be sufficient:

    The university has a certain number of available "seats" or "openings" for new students. Let's say it's 500. They send out 500 letters of acceptance to their first-choice students. But some of them may decline the offer because they choose to go to another university they have also applied to.
    So if 50 decline, there are 50 spots open for those on the "waiting list." They are usually listed in some priority order, based on their high school grades and qualifications.
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