The lingo associated with applying to charter schools can sometimes be overwhelming. What is Open Enrollment? What is a lottery? What is a waitlist? We're here to help you navigate the process. This article will focus on waitlists, but you should check out our lottery and Open Enrollment posts as well!
What is a Waitlist?
When more students apply to a grade than there are seats available, a waitlist is created. Any applicants who do not receive a seat during the random lottery are placed on a waitlist. Placement on the waitlist is random during the lottery. If you apply after open enrollment and are added to a waitlist, those positions are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
How do You Get Off the Waitlist?
Being placed on the waitlist is not the end of your charter school dreams. There are many scenarios in which a person who has applied to a school will decline an offer to attend that school. One common scenario is where someone applies at multiple schools and receives offers for all of them. In this scenario, the person often accepts the offer at their top choice and declines the other offers - freeing up seats for people on the waitlist.
If you are far down on the waitlist, don't worry! There are plenty of times in which students far down the waitlist have received offers. Stay on the waitlist and make sure that you notify your school if any of your contact info changes. You want to make sure that the school can get in touch with you in case a seat becomes available.
Common Misconceptions About Waitlists:
- Waitlists may or may not roll over from year to year. Make sure that you read your school's policy on waitlisted applications.
- The waitlist is not a reflection of your application. The waitlist is always contingent on the physical number of students that a school can sustain.
When you know the vocabulary of charter school enrollment, the application process becomes an easy endeavor.