Approaching the end of my year with one foot (the professional one) in the graduate school admissions cycle, and another foot (the parental one) in the undergraduate cycle, I’m now shifting to the decision-making phase.

On the Fletcher front, our admitted applicants continue to email, visit, phone, speak to current students, and generally find ways to gather the information they need.  Email overload notwithstanding, I enjoy the opportunity to find out more about an individual I had previously “met” only on paper.

The information gathering task is similar for my daughter, Kayla, who last Thursday heard from two-thirds of the schools to which she had she applied.  (She had received decisions from the others earlier in March.)  Of those to which she was admitted, a few quickly rose to the top and are the focus of her research.  They’re all good options, but she’ll be figuring out which seems like the best place to live, learn, and grow through the next four years.  We’ve sketched out a calendar of visits for April.  I’m trying to ensure she takes a common sense approach, while also trying to get out of her way and let her make the right decision.

Although the Admissions staff is here to provide answers to our applicants’ questions and support their decision-making, at some point we’ll also need to get out of their way.  Our objective is to ensure the accuracy of information that serves as the basis for a decision.  Much as we hate to learn someone has chosen a different path and won’t be enrolling at Fletcher, we understand that the choice of a graduate program rests on a complicated collection of factors.

But don’t get me wrong — we’re not stepping out of the way, yet!  We have nearly 200 visitors expected for our upcoming Open House, and staff members and alumni have already hosted about that number of admitted applicants at an assortment of receptions.  The information flow is running full force, during this narrow window of time to make decisions.


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