Continuing to help you prepare to receive and interpret the decision on your Fletcher application, let’s talk about admission.

Offering admission to an applicant should be straightforward, right?  Good application equals admission offer.  Well…when it suits our purposes, we abandon simplicity and take a more complicated approach.

On the straightforward end of the spectrum, most applicants who get good news this month will receive plain vanilla admission.  Everything you need is in place!  Hooray!

But plenty of other happy applicants won’t be the plain-old-vanilla type.  When we offer them admission, we’ll attach a condition to make up for a shortcoming.  The most frequently employed flavors of conditional admission require that, before starting Fletcher classes, the applicant should:  improve foreign language proficiency; improve English language proficiency; or improve quantitative skills.

Occasionally, we admit applicants to a program other than the one to which they applied.  Most common example:  You applied to the mid-career MA program, but you don’t have sufficient experience to be admitted.  For the MALD program, on the other hand, you’re looking good, so we’ll admit you to the MALD!  (There’s similar thinking behind offering MALD admission to a tiny number of PhD applicants who lack the master’s level study to enter the PhD program directly.)

We also occasionally (about a dozen applicants each year) admit someone to a future class.  These would be strong students, generally graduating this year, who will be so much happier at Fletcher if they have some work experience behind them.  These “delay admits” will receive a letter that says they are admitted for the September 2011 semester.

Creating all these flavors of admission poses challenges when it comes time to release decisions, but the option to attach a condition to admission is the difference between admit and deny for some applicants.  We would hate to turn away a highly qualified applicant who needs a little brush-up of English skills, but we would be obliged to do so if we couldn’t be sure he would pursue a language program.

The happy bottom line is that conditional admission is (once the condition is met) admission.  And we’re convinced that fulfilling the condition will enhance the admitted student’s experience at Fletcher.  So we’ll keep offering admission in all its different flavors.

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8 Responses to Admission — the vanilla, the chocolate, and the strawberry

  1. Sam says:

    Dear Ms Daniels,

    Thanks a lot for the clarification and also to give us so much insight into the admission process. Kudos to your hard work!

  2. Thanks for that, Kristen!

    And I suppose I should add that we certainly want MALD students to come in with quantitative ability/experience, but there’s more of a safety net for them in the form of a basic econ class. If they can get through the basic quant requirements, they’re all set. Applicants who select a quantitative field of study are expected to have stronger grounding in economics or other quant coursework.

  3. Kristen Zecchi says:

    Hi, Kathleen,

    Thanks for your message about the quantitative conditional admit. Like Jessica said, this status is reserved for MIB candidates. Given that the MIB core curriculum has a heavy quantitative component, we feel that all students should come in with a certain level of exposure to quantitative concepts. There are some applicants who we feel are qualified in every other way, but who could use more quantitative experience prior to their enrollment at Fletcher. We hope this experience will help smooth the way during their intense first year.

    As we do not have a specific program at Fletcher, we work with the individuals to identify the best program to suit their needs.

    I hope this helps. Please feel free to drop me an email at if you have any questions!


  4. Hi Sam,
    I realize that what I wrote earlier this week has been interpreted in many different ways, though I didn’t mean to leave it up to interpretation. I’m going to try to make it clearer this time, though who knows what mysteries I’ll still leave behind.

    First, we will be very, very disappointed if a technical or other glitch keeps us from releasing the first big (90%) batch before the 19th. That’s the outer limit of our window, and we certainly don’t want to be pushing up against the limit. Still, as I wrote earlier, I hesitate to pinpoint a specific day, because stuff happens (and happened to us in each of the last two years). That batch will go out all at once — not in smaller bunches.

    Next, I hope, but can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to release the decisions on the remaining 10% (straggler applications) by the 19th. The LLM, MIB, and PhD Admissions Committees all have at least one more meeting next week. Since relatively few applications will be involved, we should be able to turn everything around quickly.

    So…all you tea leaf readers out there, I hope this is clearer (though I think it’s what I wrote earlier). Our outer-limit deadline is the 19th. A handful of decisions may be released after that but we’ll do all we can to fit them within the outer limit, too.

    And…please remember that you will receive an email when a decision has been made.

    Thanks, Sam, for helping out other applicants by having me clarify!

    Good luck to everyone,

  5. Hi Kathleen,

    Since the MALD, MA, and PhD programs don’t use a quantitative condition (and those are the programs with which I work most closely), I’m going to check in with Kristen Zecchi to see how the MIB program has used it. Stay tuned!

  6. Sam says:

    Dear Ms. Daniels,

    Does that mean we can expect to get admission offers from tomorrow onwards up to March 19 (As you mentioned in a reply to your earlier blog post)?

  7. Kathleen says:

    Hi Jessica:
    When you admit students conditionally with the stipulation that they improve their quantative abilities- what means do you use to ensure improvement? Does the student self-design something or does Fletcher has a summer prep program? If the latter, when does that start?

  8. Hanneke says:

    Regardless of the decision, I think this post confirms that the receipt of it should be commemorated by an ice cream sundae. Because, let’s face it, we’re going to need it no matter what happens!

    Thank you for your regular – and always pleasant – updates. It’s hard to imagine this process without them.

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