I have to assume that many of the applicants to whom Fletcher did not offer admission this year are too disappointed or disgusted to look at the blog at this point. But maybe there are still a few of you out there wondering what you can do if you were denied. (I often try to dance around using that word in writing, but we all know what I mean whether I avoid it or not. So, for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use it.)

The answer is that there’s really nothing you can do to change the outcome for September 2008. We don’t re-evaluate applications. So much time and effort goes into ensuring that everyone receives the right decision, and we can’t pluck out one application essentially at random and re-evaluate. It would be like pulling an apple out of a tall display — all the apples above it would come tumbling down.

But I can say that many applicants will reapply successfully for admission to a future class. As we’ve said here many times, Fletcher is blessed with an extraordinarily talented applicant pool. In any given year, there is only a small proportion of fundamentally unqualified applicants. (Yes, there are a few.) The largest group of applicants who are denied are missing professional and/or international experience — problems that can be corrected with time. Another group is on the cusp academically — maybe they didn’t do particularly well as undergraduates but test scores and recommendations tell us they have great potential. A few years of professional experience can also help to reassure us on this front. (Imagine someone with middling grades in quantitative courses, who has five years of number-crunching for a financial services firm — we’re not going to worry too much about how that applicant will do in quant courses at Fletcher.) The last group has a combination of problems. Maybe none of the problems would bring down an application on its own, but together they present more trouble than we think the applicant can overcome. (Think about someone with limited professional experience, modest but acceptable undergraduate grades, and limited second language proficiency. Achieving success at Fletcher would be an uphill battle.)

To help our applicants figure out if an application in the future would be a reasonable idea, we offer feedback on applications. Please wait until after May 1, and then send an email. Details on what to include in your email are included here: How to request application feedback. The idea is that you ask us what you can do to improve your application, and we tell you, and then you follow our suggestion. If we suggest several years of work experience is what’s missing, you probably shouldn’t come back with an application for January enrollment. The only exception is if there was a major error in your first application. Then, correcting the problem may well bring you success.

Last, I want you all to know how often we look at an application and hope that a different grad program will make an offer of admission. Sometimes the fit with Fletcher isn’t there, but the applicant’s achievements and promise are clear. We’re rooting for you behind the scenes! And we wish all of you all the best in your graduate studies and future careers.


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