As promised last week, I’m continuing to lay the groundwork for decision time (COB March 19) by devoting a few posts to Fletcher’s different decision options.
Today I’ll start with the bad news end of the spectrum. While I understand that applicants don’t want to prepare for the possibility of disappointment, I also know that once people receive the news, they’ll shut down their RSS feed and never read the blog again. (A fact that is both sad and understandable.) I need to seize this moment to share information.
The truth is that admitting applicants is the easy part of admissions work, and naturally we focus on the easy and fun. But denying admission is an inescapable aspect — the most challenging aspect — of what we do.
When we review applications, we’re looking for a combination of academic potential, professional and international experience, and clear goals for study and a post-Fletcher career. Applicants who are denied admission might be missing one or more of those elements, or they might be just a little weak in all of them, particularly compared to the overall qualifications of admitted students.
While it’s true that bad news is bad news, we do make one distinction among those who will not be offered admission this year. Some applicants will receive a letter saying that, though they look great overall, we really want them to gain some relevant professional experience, and it’s the work history that stands between them and the admission they hoped for. We’ll only use this “work deny” decision for applicants within about a year of their university graduation. (This year, that means 2011 and 2012 grads.) We encourage them to work for a couple of years, although (depending on their internship record), it could take more or less time for them to build their professional experience and become competitive applicants.
There are two final points to make on this sad topic. The first is to emphasize that Fletcher welcomes applicants to reapply. Someone who applies unsuccessfully, smooths up some of the rough points in the application, and reapplies in a subsequent year, has shown determination and a strong interest in the School — two qualities we love in our applicants.
The second point is related to the first. Fletcher will provide feedback to applicants. If you’re planning to reapply, I encourage you to ask for feedback this spring. (That is, don’t wait until the month before your next application — you may want some time to make improvements.) We’ll accept feedback requests on May 1 (more on this topic later in the spring) and you’ll hear back from us within a month or so of your request.
The next post about the decision spectrum will describe the waitlist.
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