Up to now, I’ve tried to keep everything upbeat by focusing on admitting students. But blog readers aren’t so uninformed as to think we admit everyone. While I have your attention, I want to share a little Admissions Committee perspective on why an applicant may be denied admission.
The first is the most obvious. We have 1800-ish applications. We couldn’t possibly fit everyone in the School. Even if every single applicant were completely qualified, we’d need to find a way to select among them.
Given our actual applicant collection, we’re always looking to create a strong match between the School and our students. Broadly speaking, applicants are denied admission because they don’t present clear enough evidence of:
♦academic strength or potential; or
♦the experience (professional and international) that will help them achieve their goals; or
♦clearly defined goals in line with Fletcher’s offerings.
We’ll make the decoding easier for some of our youngest applicants by telling them, in the decision letter, that everything is in place except work experience.
Every year we’ll receive a few calls or emails from applicants who challenge our decision, saying (for example) that we’re wrong, and that he (or she) really does have potential. In fact, when the Committee makes a decision to deny admission, we’re not exactly saying that the applicant doesn’t have what it takes to succeed at Fletcher. We’re saying that, based on the data and other information in the application, the applicant hasn’t presented a convincing enough case. That difference leaves the door wide open for future successful applications.
The last decision category that doesn’t fit the “admit, admit” model is the waitlist. Neither good news nor bad news. I’ll have some specific advice later on for waitlisted applicants. For now, I’ll only say that we understand that the offer of a place on the waitlist can seem like an extension of the admissions process — possibly unwelcome news, given the several months of waiting already behind you. But the waitlist is an opportunity, too, and in most years a good number of waitlisted applicants will ultimately be admitted.
Between last week’s and this week’s posts, I’ve shared all the information I can think of to prepare readers to access and interpret their admission decision. Now we just need to crank those decisions out.
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