From the monthly archives: April 2007

About a year ago, an incoming student asked us if Fletcher would match his AmeriCorps Education Award. With so many students who have service experience, and so many alumni in public service, forming a connection with AmeriCorps seemed like an obvious step for Fletcher to take – but somehow it hadn’t yet been taken. A bunch of conversations and some research later, I’m happy to announce three new partnerships for Fletcher. Formally or informally, we are connecting with key organizations through which our students pursue service opportunities before starting their graduate studies.

For September 2007 incoming students, Fletcher is officially among the schools that match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards, and we will provide the match for as long as the student is studying full-time at Fletcher. The match amount (generally $5,000 per year) will serve as the base for the AmeriCorps alum’s scholarship, and additional funds could be awarded following our usual review, which considers both need and merit. You can find Fletcher listed on the AmeriCorps web site, among the grad schools that have pledged to match this post-service benefit received by AmeriCorps members.

We didn’t stop with AmeriCorps – and looked next at how we might connect with Teach For America. We will award a scholarship of $5,000 per year to Teach For America alumni who enroll at Fletcher, and these students will also be eligible for additional funds based on need and merit. You can find Fletcher listed among the Government and Public Policy schools on the grad school partnerships page of the Teach For America web site.

Finally, we considered the service organization that is best-represented among our students: the Peace Corps. Every entering Fletcher class has a half-dozen or more returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and we count on them to bring passion and experience to the classroom. Although the Peace Corps doesn’t have a partnership program precisely like those of AmeriCorps or Teach for America, Fletcher will offer the same $5,000 per year base scholarship to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

We’re very much looking forward to the opportunity to recognize the service experience of our students. If you have questions about Fletcher’s connection to any of these programs, please contact me directly.

 

Our first enrollment decision deadline was April 20. We love getting the daily (sometimes hourly) updates on which of the admitted students will join us at Fletcher in September. There are still quite a few people to hear from before the second deadline of May 1 – so we’ll keep checking the mail, the email, and the on-line responses.

Those of you who are enrolling should know that, from this point forward, the process of molding the class is up to you and your fellow students! The Admissions Committee may have made the selections, but it’s up to you to make the experience! Of course, you’ll have support from returning students, faculty, and staff, but each class takes on its own themes and flavor.

Enrolling students won’t hear too much from us in May, but should expect a packet from the registrar some time in June. The packet will contain information and forms (universities and forms go together like milk and cookies) to get you started on the registration process.

Classes end on Friday, and we just held the last information session of the spring. We still welcome visitors, but there are fewer opportunities for observation as the student community disburses for the summer. If you’re interested in a visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

It’s hard to say why I’ve had so little to report for the last few weeks. The office is very busy, but with such a collection of different activities that I have trouble capturing them in an interesting way for an update.

Of course, admissions staff members are still devoting a lot of time to the recently admitted students. We held our Open House last week. As in past years, it was a hectic day, but it was also very satisfying to see the prospective students at the end of the day…looking just like our current students.

Most admitted students need to make their enrollment decision by Friday, and those decisions are trickling in. It’s a nice turn-around for applicants – you spend most of the winter/spring waiting for us to make decisions. Then we spend the month of April waiting for you.

Outside of the Office of Admissions, Fletcher is chock-a-block with activities. There is an impossible-to-attend-them-all list of events every day in April, particularly this week. Somehow all these lectures and presentations are well-attended, despite students’ growing workload. (Though I was impressed by a second-year student I saw this morning over coffee, who told me that the end of the second year isn’t nearly as frenzied as the end of the first year. Maybe that’s true for students who have finished their thesis…)

A lot of my time is already being devoted to next year’s admissions cycle. I’m starting to organize the fall program of evaluative interviews – lining up interviewers, and tweaking the questions we’ll ask. We’ll all start looking at the travel calendar soon. Updated information on interviews and travel will be up on the web site later in the summer.

And looking forward, I might add, that if you are thinking of applying for January or September 2008 admission, it’s not too early to start putting some pieces in place. Make arrangements to take your standardized exams. Line up interviewers. Come up with a plan for financing your education. The more you take care of now, the better you can focus on your applications when they need your full attention.

For now, I’ll join my colleagues in working on the matters that are all-too-easily ignored when there’s a new deadline every day. And we’ll keep an eye on that stream of decisions, while we wait for the admitted students who spent the winter waiting for us.

 

Apologies for the long silence between posts! The office is always busy at this time of year, though the pace becomes more manageable as we head deeper into April.

Admitted students keep the phone ringing and email flying with questions. We’re always glad to hear from you! But it may save you some time if I answer your question before you need to call or write. Here are some Qs (and some As) that we hear most often.

Q: I would like to pursue a joint degree. Will Fletcher allow me to defer my enrollment?
A: Fletcher will approve a deferral of up to one year (two semesters) to allow students to start a joint degree at another institution. Prospective students needing more than one year before enrolling should plan to reapply. Anyone wanting a deferral needs to apply – it isn’t automatic – but you can submit your request by email.

Q: The law/business/other school with which I want to pursue a joint degree is not on Fletcher’s list of “official” joint degrees. How will that work?
A: We’ll help you to arrange the joint degree that suits your career and study goals. When I speak to students putting together an ad hoc joint degree, I always suggest that they contact the registrar as soon as they enroll at Fletcher. You won’t be able to transfer in your first-year torts/finance/language class, but with careful homework, you will find classes that meet Fletcher’s requirements. (You should also be sure to work with the other school. Our experience is that many other schools are less flexible than Fletcher.)

Q: Can I make my decision after the deadline named in my admission letter?
A: No. There are many administrative reasons why Fletcher needs to know how many students will enroll, but we don’t expect you to care about that. On the other hand, we want you to remember that there are students waiting on the wait list, and we hope you will respect their need for a speedy answer as to whether they will be admitted. We won’t know if we need to go to the wait list until we have heard from the students we have already admitted.

Q: I hope to work when I’m at Fletcher. How can I arrange it?
A: There are many administrative jobs available each year at Fletcher, as well as elsewhere at the University. Fletcher jobs are usually “advertised” via a student listserve. Jobs elsewhere at the University can be found through the Student Employment office.

Q: What about research or teaching assistantships?
A: These positions are arranged directly with the hiring department or professor. It can be difficult for you to arrange a teaching assistant position for your first semester, regardless of your qualifications, but there are often opportunities in the second semester. Many professors hire research assistants in the fall, so even first-year students will be eligible. Research assistants are paid an hourly wage, while teaching assistants are often paid per course. (I also want to say that teaching assistants do not teach Fletcher students. Professors teach, but the assistants might arrange course materials or do other “behind the scenes” work.)

I’ll keep my eye on my email inbox and post more Q&A if it seems helpful. Meanwhile, we look forward to hearing from you and meeting you!

 

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