As much as we try (really we do!) to simplify and clarify our application and general admissions process, we continue to be frustrated and vexed by mistakes and choices made by our applicants. With this blog entry, we’re going to offer some tips that will help you to ensure your application file is compiled and reviewed in a timely way. If you follow the instructions, you’ll experience benefits not only on your Fletcher application, but also on applications to other schools.

Tip #1 is: Follow the Directions!

I know – you’re wondering why I would waste space with a “tip” as obvious as this. I agree, and I look forward to an application year when every application is completed correctly.

Even if you can’t see any special reason why we do what we do, and ask what we ask, please follow the directions. Confronting a word limit for an essay? Keep to the limit. We won’t count the words, but we know when you go over by 25 percent. Do we ask for the same info in two formats? Supply it both times. Please don’t tell us to refer to your résumé. We know that these forms are frustrating when you’re applying to six different grad schools. But we’re reading nearly 2000 different applications, and it is in your interest to ensure that we can easily find information relevant to our review of your background!

Tip #2 is: Make sure to let us know if your name has changed!

If your name has changed — for example, you’ve gotten married or had it legally changed — please make sure to mention this on your application or let us know via email. This is especially important if any of your documents are in your old name and you are applying using your new name. A member of our student staff just encountered two pieces of supporting information for an application that appear to be for the same applicant, but have different names. Save us from this confusion, please!

I plan to post new tips every week. Most will be supplied by the Admissions Staff members who work most closely with the application files. I hope you’ll find them helpful.

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