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FAQs about the general waitlist

I am a high achieving student, why have I not received an offer?

The high number of applications received are in excess of the places available.

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Where am I on the waitlist?

The waitlist is divided by gender. It does not have a numbered priority of applications.

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Are there any students on the waitlist that have a higher priority?

There are a number of scholarships that have an accommodation component. The recipients of these scholarships are announced in October, and if the recipients apply for accommodation, or are on the waitlist, they will receive an offer in the first instance.

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What scholarships are they?

University of Otago Academic Excellence Scholarship, University of Otago Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship, University of Otago Maori & Pacific Island Scholarship, University of Otago Performance Scholarship, University of Otago Alumni Appeal Scholarship, University of Otago Alumni Disability Support Scholarship.

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I have a lot of awards from school and some community organisations, everyone thinks I should have received an offer.

Did you include this information on your application? Colleges only have the information that you provided and if this information was not included, we would not have been aware of it.

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What are the colleges looking for in an applicant?

Every college makes their own selections. They are looking for a variety of applicants who will achieve at a high level in their chosen study.

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I intend to achieve at a high level in my study, so why have I not received an offer?

It comes down to numbers of places available. At this time we have more applications than places.

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What if I don’t get an offer?

The first round is only the start of a very involved process. In the months following the first round of selections the colleges will continue to make offers to students on the waitlist as vacancies become available.

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Should I change my college choices?

After the first round of selections any colleges that have vacancies will be considering all the applications on the waitlist.

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What if I receive an offer from a college that I don’t want to live in?

All of the Residential Colleges offer similar facilities and a high standard of pastoral care. We would recommend that you accept the offer. We have seen students decline an offer and then not receive another offer. These students have had to go flatting when they arrive at Otago.

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I received an offer last year but decided to have a gap year. This year I have not received an offer, am I being penalised for not accepting it last year?

No, it just depends on the range of current applicants. Again it comes down to numbers. Have you provided information about what you have been doing during your gap year? If not, please forward this to us, as your life experiences will help provide more information about you.

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I have an offer from a college that was not my first preference, can I accept it but stay on the waitlist?

No, if you accept an offer your application is retained by the college making the offer.