When I turned the corner into the produce aisle at my favorite supermarket on Friday, there was my pal the produce manager: “Hey! Where have you been?!” I didn’t go into too long an an explanation of how we had just finished the admissions rush and my usual shopping times had all turned into work time — but it was nice to receive such a warm welcome back. Frankly, it’s also nice to be back to a more normal schedule.
That doesn’t mean the work flow is quite normal. At about noon today, I realized that there wasn’t a single point in the morning when I was all caught up with my email. Every time I finished answering the questions in one message, another message came in. Even as I write this, I can see the little notification box, alerting me that there are more questions to be answered. So, in the interest of efficiency, I thought I’d post a few of the common questions, along with standard answers. If other questions turn out to be regulars, I’ll try to get some more answers up here asap.
Q: I would like to pursue a joint degree. Will Fletcher allow me to defer my enrollment?
A: Fletcher will approve a deferral of up to one year (two semesters) to allow students to start a joint degree at another institution. Prospective students needing more than one year before enrolling should plan to reapply. Anyone wanting a deferral needs to request one — it isn’t automatic — but you can submit your request by email.
Q: I’m not doing a joint degree, but I want to defer for other reasons. Can I?
A: Fletcher allows deferrals for up to one year so that candidates can pursue professional opportunities.
Q: Tell me more about how to request the deferral.
A: Follow these instructions.
Q: The law/business/other school with which I want to pursue a joint degree is not on Fletcher’s list of “official” joint or dual degrees. How will that work?
A: Fletcher will work with you to arrange the joint degree that suits your career and study goals. The process is to transfer courses from your other program so that you also receive Fletcher credit for them. When I speak to students putting together an ad hoc joint degree, I always suggest that they contact the registrar as soon as they enroll at Fletcher. You won’t be able to transfer in your first-year torts/finance/language class, but with careful homework, you will find classes that meet Fletcher’s requirements. (You should also be sure to work with the other school. Our experience is that many other schools are less flexible than Fletcher.)
Q: Can I make my decision after the deadline named in my admission letter?
A: No. There are many administrative reasons why Fletcher needs to know how many students will enroll, but we don’t expect you to care about that. On the other hand, we want you to remember that there are students waiting on the Wait List, and we hope you will respect their need for a speedy answer as to whether they will be admitted. We won’t know if we need to go to the Wait List until we have heard from the students we have already admitted.
Q: Do I need to return the form? Can’t I just email you?
A: You can fax it, or scan it and email it, but we really prefer the form. It helps us keep track of information.
Q: I hope to work when I’m at Fletcher. How can I arrange it?
A: There are many administrative jobs available each year at Fletcher, as well as elsewhere at the University. Fletcher jobs are usually “advertised” via a student email list. Jobs elsewhere at the University can be found through the Student Employment office.
Q: What about research or teaching assistantships?
A: These positions are arranged directly with the hiring department or professor. It can be difficult for you to arrange a teaching assistant position for your first semester, regardless of your qualifications, but there are often opportunities in the second semester. Many professors hire research assistants in the fall, so even first-year students will be eligible. Research assistants are paid an hourly wage, while teaching assistants are often paid per course. (I also want to say that teaching assistants do not teach Fletcher students. Professors teach, but the assistants might arrange course materials or do other “behind the scenes” work.)
Q: How do second-year scholarships compare to those awarded to first-year students?
A: We know that there are schools out there that are more generous to second-year students than to first-year students. That really isn’t Fletcher’s model, though. Students who remain in good academic standing can expect their awards to be renewed for the second year. Students who do not receive a scholarship in the first year can also apply for a scholarship for the second year, but funding cannot be guaranteed.
Q: What classes will be offered in 2009-2010?
A: The schedules for next year aren’t set yet, but many courses are offered on a yearly basis. You can see the class schedules for 2008-09 on our web site.
Q: I was put on the Wait List. Can I request feedback now?
A: Although the Wait List is not the same as being offered admission, it’s also not the same as being denied admission. We only offer feedback to applicants once their applications are no longer active, which is not the case for those on the Wait List. So that means we’ll ask you to make your own determination of what materials will help strengthen your application at this point.
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