Reading applications is solitary work.  We take a stack from a box, read them, and put them into a different box.  If I’m the first reader of an application, I won’t know what the second reader thought.  If I’m the second reader, I can see the notes of the first reader, but rarely have a chance to discuss the applicant.  Until, that is, we meet as a Committee.

The Committee on Admissions and Scholarships includes the office staff, three professors, and seven current students.  We review all the applications for the MALD and MA programs, which are the great majority of the applications Fletcher receives.  MIB applications are reviewed by a smaller but similarly constructed committee.  Prospective LLMers are considered law-school style — by the full LLM faculty.  And PhD applications take a long and winding road through the School before decisions on them are made by a committee of faculty and staff.  But, as I said, most applicants will be making their case to the Committee on Admissions.

We have our first meeting of the year tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it!  We all know each other, but the annual Committee process starts by establishing new relationships among all the different participants.  The student-professor relationship around the Committee table is particularly different from the one that exists in a classroom.

For EN applicants, this means we are starting the final phase of the review process.  Most applications have already been reviewed by two readers, but no final decisions have yet been made.  During the next three weeks, we will complete discussion, assign final decisons to each application, and (following extensive quality control) release decisions.  Remember that applicants will either be admitted, or will receive word that we’d like to reconsider their application in the context of the full application pool.


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