Admissions work is predictably cyclical. We do many of the same things in the same month, or even on the same day, each year. But there are, in fact, several “sub-cycles” running at once. On a single day next week (January 15), we have the deadline for September 2010 applications (the start of a cycle), as well as orientation for students starting their studies this month (the end of a cycle). Some of the sub-cycles involve mobs of people (September applications), while others have us in contact with much smaller groups.
And that brings me to a sizable bunch who may be feeling neglected right now — those of you who applied by the Early Notification deadline but learned that we’ll reconsider your application within the full applicant pool. You’ve read the decision letter and may have done your own research, but I thought shedding a little light on your situation would still be a good thing.
First thing I’ll say is that having your application deferred is not the same as having it denied. A portion of the deferred applicants will end up admitted. Another portion will be offered a place on the wait list. It all depends on what we find when we review the applications now pouring into the Admissions Office.
Most likely, you’re applying to other schools, and that process is keeping you busy. When the dust clears, you should consider whether there is any information in your application that needs updating. (I’m emphasizing that particular word, because we don’t need you to add anything unless it reflects a change.) Here are some items we’d like to see: new transcripts listing grades you received in fall 2009; new standardized test scores that you would like us to consider; a new résumé that includes details on your new job/internship; a short excerpt or a link to newly published work. Submitting an additional recommendation can be helpful, but only if it shares new information. For example, let’s say that, in November, you hadn’t yet told your boss you’ll be leaving work to go to grad school in September, and you didn’t have a workplace recommendation. Now your boss knows and would be happy to recommend you. This is new information that can support your application.
Please don’t flood us with materials in the hope we’ll wear down in the face of your enthusiasm. While we really appreciate updates, only information that truly reflects a change since your November application will be useful. All deferred applications will receive new review, usually starting around mid-February. If the added materials reach us by February 1, you can be sure they’ll be considered when we re-consider your application file.
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