Though I’m getting ahead of the process, today I’ll run through the nature of the different decision letters that applicants will receive in the next few weeks.

Starting on the deny side, applicants who will not be admitted this year may receive one of two letters, a standard letter, or one that indicates that professional experience is the big missing piece.  When we talk about candidates in Committee, we often want to send letters that will clue the applicant in to the missing piece — English skills, international experience, undergraduate record, quantitative strength, disconnect between goals and experience, or any of a zillion other reasons — but it simply isn’t feasible.  Still, it’s a Fletcher Admissions characteristic to try to be encouraging, so we do have a separate letter about work experience.  We ask ourselves:  Will this person look good to the Committee with a couple of years of relevant experience, but no other changes?  If it appears we will still be concerned about academic strength or some other factor, we will go with the standard letter.

Quickly shifting to happier news — let’s turn to the different “admit” letters.  Of course, there’s the garden variety, unmodified “congratulations, you’re in!” letter.  Hooray for good news, and simplicity!

We also occasionally offer conditional admission.  The applicant is admitted, but the deal isn’t complete without further English study or development of a second language.  We’ll be in touch with these applicants later in the spring to discuss our expectations.  Sometimes, we admit an applicant to a future term.  You’re so fabulous that we’re willing to take a chance on you, but you’re young and need a year of work experience, so we’ll see you in September 2010.  Applicants who receive this decision will also hear from us.

Once in a while, we admit someone to a program he or she didn’t apply to.  For example, we will see an interesting applicant who lacks enough professional experience for the MA program and offer admission to the MALD instead.  Same with the PhD program — a small number of those applicants will be admitted to the MALD program.  We leave it to the applicant to decide if the MALD is the right step.

And, finally, there’s the Wait List.  Hard to deny that the Wait List is rarely seen as good news, but that doesn’t make it exactly bad news, either.  We have admitted students off the Wait List for September enrollment for quite a few years now.  Many great members of our community were originally on the Wait List.  (Lots of us are late bloomers!)  If you are offered a place on the Wait List, keep in touch with us.  You have a special chance to update (and upgrade) your application.  Don’t miss that chance!

While we’re still a good ways from releasing admissions decisions, now you know what the different options are, and I hope it will help you interpret the news you hear from us.


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