The Wait List. Those of you who are “glass half full” types will react with happiness that you haven’t been denied admission and there’s still opportunity to be admitted. The “glass half empty” types will feel the misery of more waiting.

I have a little “full” and a little “empty” in me, but I’m going to encourage those of you who remain interested in Fletcher to take the “half full” approach. This has been my ninth application cycle in Fletcher Admissions, and I believe we have drawn from the wait list each year I’ve been here.

Here’s the scoop on the list. We send out wait list offers in March, and we learn by May who would like to remain on the list. So let’s say we have sent 10 offers; maybe only five people will stay on the list. We don’t rank either the original ten, or the final five — but we draw from the list as makes sense at the time. The best example to explain what “makes sense” means is that we can’t take international students off the wait list in August — they won’t have time to obtain a visa. (In fact, we never want to take anyone off the list in August, but I wanted an example that is always true.)

So what’s a wait-listed applicant to do? If you’re interested in waiting, first return the form. Then, feel free to send us an update. In the months since you applied, you may have taken a course, traveled, changed jobs, or taken your standardized tests again. Tell us about it! You may find that the information you share answers a question that the Admissions Committee had, and will boost up the evaluation of your application. Also feel free to send an additional recommendation that will make a meaningful addition to the materials in your file.

Meaningful — that’s the key word here. You will not be supporting your own case if you flood us with barely-relevant reams of paper. Show some selectivity, but send us some info. Or just a little love! Many applicants refine their own goals in the long period from January to May. If Fletcher now seems like an even better fit for your goals than it did in January, send a letter to tell us so.

Finally, if you’re in the area, stop in. You’re welcome to attend an information session or a class (check the schedule first), and depending on when you’re here, a member of the Admissions staff may be able to take some time to talk with you.

I can’t help letting my “half empty” side sneak in a little. Ultimately, you need to make a back-up plan. Please don’t put all your eggs in the Fletcher basket. What will you do if you don’t receive an offer of admission from Fletcher? Maybe you’ll decide to work for another year, or maybe you’ll take the offer of admission from another school. I can assure you that it’s always our goal to make our wait list decisions as early as possible, so that you’ll know you’re admitted or that you need to move on to Plan B. What’s “as early as possible”? Sometimes it’s the first week in May. Sometimes quite a bit later. For the admissions office, the goal is to work as quickly as we can to ensure we have the right number of incoming students, and then we need to turn our attention elsewhere, too.

Back to “half full.” No one ever prefers the wait list to an offer of admission. But our wait-listed candidates are talented, accomplished and nearly strong enough to have been admitted in the first round. We had a very strong applicant pool. You can feel proud of your achievement.


One Response to As if waiting January to March weren't enough…

  1. Lenny says:

    this blog is the most wonderful thing an admissions office committee could have. incredible how much easier waiting becomes when applicants are informed on the actual review process. thanks guys

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