You may be wondering whether I’m going to try to spin being denied admission into an “opportunity” as I did with the Wait List yesterday.  No, not exactly.  There’s no question that it’s disappointing to be told that this is not your year for Fletcher or another grad school.

But for some of our applicants, what separates them from admission is their age and experience, and age is one problem that will inevitably fix itself.  As any of us in the Office would tell you, we receive a large number of applications from students who are recent grads, or who have yet to graduate (the 2008 and 2009 graduates in this year’s pool), but we admit very few of them.  In just a few years, many of these applicants will be competitive for Fletcher.

What about those of you who already have professional experience?  What might have held the Committee back from offering admission?  Maybe there was a problem with the way you wrote your application — it might have been confusing, or off the mark.  Or maybe you are trying to shift careers and we were afraid you “couldn’t get there from here.”  (If you want to go from large-animal veterinarian to micro-financier, you may just need a job that will help bridge the gap between your old career and your new one.) Or maybe you need a little more international experience that links to your goals.  These are “problems” that can also be fixed, even if it takes some time.

But often, the “problem” is that Fletcher is blessed with a highly-qualified applicant pool, and we simply can’t admit everyone.  Every year, each staff member is left feeling sad about an applicant we’ve been rooting for, but who hasn’t been admitted.  It’s part of the job.

What can you do now?  For September 2009, there is (unfortunately) nothing you can do.  We don’t reverse decisions.  Plucking out one denied applicant from the stack is like grabbing at the apple at the bottom of a display.  Bad things will follow!  But every year we admit students who have applied in the past, and we look forward to future applications in a future year from some of those who remain interested in Fletcher, though denied admission in 2009.

Meanwhile, Fletcher offers feedback to applicants.  We’ll ask you to wait until later in the spring — a kind of cooling off period.  But after May 1, if you follow these instructions, we’ll get back to you with more information.  You can use the information to figure out how to improve your application, or whether a future application will be a good use of your time and energy.

On the other hand, if you have been admitted to other schools, and this is definitely your year for grad school, then we wish you all the best in your graduate studies!

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