Admissions Waitlist Turns Students Into Stalkers

Today the New York Times takes us into a new kind of dating world, a world fraught with insecurity, inappropriate behavior, and heartbreak. That world is the college admissions waitlist.

Forget finding a spouse at school — these students are pouring their hormonal adulation into the admissions process, pursuing universities with a fervor that would convince courts to compel lesser men to stay away 1,000 feet. Waitlisted students are "bombarding" schools with "baked goods, family photos, craft projects depicting campus landmarks, and dossiers of testimonials from civic and religious leaders." And that's just the students who are trying to demonstrate good behavior.

Because just like in the dating world, some suitors are psychotic. Admissions directors recount waitlisted students insulting the college, disparaging accepted students, threatening the admissions officers' jobs, showing up for unscheduled interviews, and of course, showing up at the admissions office with a camping tent.

And it's not just the stalkers that admissions officers have to watch out for. These kids also have parents — insecure parents.

“There’s a mother who e-mails me every third day — they must have timers on these things,” Union College admissions head Ann Fleming Brown told the Times. “There’s one parent who calls up and yells at me: ‘I can’t believe this happened! This is a horrible thing!’ And then he calls 10 minutes later and says, ‘I’m sorry.’ Then he calls and says, ‘I know you don’t like me. I’m being a complete pest.’ ”

Nor do dowries seem to rescue these doomed relationships.

The Times notes that "at a time when top academic institutions now recieve nine-figure donations, there is little point" in trying to buy your kid into the school. Nor can Michael Motto over at Yale be swayed by love notes, cookies with his name on them, two free pizzas a week for a year, rotator cuff surgery or carpal tunnel surgery, all of which he claims suitors offered him and he callously rejected.

But despite this seemingly one-sided courtship, sometimes the schools get their hearts broken too.

Moncia Inzer, the dean of admissions at Hamilton College, recalled the day she lost her naïveté.

"Last year, I had a girl who wrote to me every day,” Inzer said. “She’d send me e-mails; she’d send me letters; she had alums write to me. We all knew that this girl wanted us more than anyone else.”

When a spot opened up, Inzer immediately thought of the girl. After all, they'd been talking every day, things were going well, Inzer even dared to think that maybe she'd finally have someone to show off at those Admissions mixers. But it was not to be.

“She said, ‘Eh, I’m going someplace else.’"

[via, photo via Getty]