From the monthly archives: March 2008

I know there’s a lot of nervous hand-wringing going on out there, and the waiting period for applicants is within a few weeks of coming to an end. Thinking it may be helpful if the explanation precedes the event, in today’s entry I’m going to run through the different decision options that Fletcher offers.

The great majority of Fletcher’s applicants will receive a decision letter that requires no further explanation. In the most general sense, there are three possibilities: Admit, Deny, and Wait List. Not content to keep things simple, though, we also work with several variations on the main themes.

On the admit side, is conditional admission. Although we reserve the option of requiring any condition that may seem appropriate, we generally impose only two, both for language study. The first is when we ask non-native English speakers to pursue an English language program to improve their skills before starting their studies. The other condition we commonly attach to admission is summer foreign language study for native English speakers whose second language skills appear insufficient to pass Fletcher’s language proficiency exam. Though some students grumble about the conditions, I believe that most of them ultimately appreciate the additional preparation that their pre-Fletcher study gives them.

Also on the admit side, is delayed admission. This would be reserved for very strong students who have just completed their undergraduate studies. We offer admission, but require a year of professional experience first. Students offered delayed admission this year will have a place in the class starting in September 2009.

Although there are various reasons why the Admissions Committee might deny admission to an applicant, we divide our letters into two types. One is general and, frankly, not very informative, covering many possibilities. The other specifically mentions lack of work experience as the underlying reason – and we sincerely hope to see these applicants again. We’re confident that two or three years down the road they’ll be great.

Finally, there’s the dreaded wait list, involving more nervous hand-wringing for some students, but still with the promise of admission down the road. I’ll talk more about the wait list later in the spring.

Most applicants will only receive one decision from Fletcher. I hope that knowing the options will help you understand the letter that turns up in your mailbox in the next few weeks.

 

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