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It’s my first day at home reading applications following the January 10 deadline. Liz and Dan both spent yesterday with their own virtual piles of applications, but they’ve generously left me a few to tackle.
In a recent spare moment, I tagged all the posts I could find about reading days. There are a lot! Going back to 2007! Many refer to the paper files we used to need to carry home. Now our reading is all computer-based. Staff members tend to structure their reading days around one of two elements: friendly dogs or warm drinks. I’m definitely Team Tea/Coffee, but I can’t deny that a fluffy dog like Murray is a good companion for a reading day.
As I settle in with a cup of tea in this year’s new mug, I invite you to peruse the many reports written by my Admissions pals (current and past) and me about the days that we spend at home “meeting” the folks who may be students in September.
Tagged with: Reading Days
Today’s post offers information that doesn’t change year to year, but I hope that reading it today will help you navigate the post-submission application process.
With no further delay, if you submitted an application yesterday for the January 10 deadline, let me congratulate you on having completed most of your work! The burden is now on us. Or, at least, the burden will be on us when your application is 100% complete, including the pieces that you didn’t submit yesterday: primarily, recommendations and standardized test scores. You’ll know the application is 100% complete when you receive an email from us. Until then, you need to keep an eye on things.
To that end, here are the instructions for tracking your application.
AFTER YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION, your Application Status page will display the information you need.
To access your Application Status Page you can either click the “Start an Application” link on the Admissions website or save the application link. You will log in with the email and password you used when you created your application.
How do I know if my application is incomplete or complete?
Even after you have submitted all the required materials, your application will wait until a staff member has reviewed each document to check that it is correct and legible. Only then is the application considered complete and ready to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Your Application Status page displays the most up-to-date information on your application status. Please allow us up to 10 days after we receive your materials to update your record. It isn’t that checking each application takes a long time, but there are a great number to review and we want to get it right.
Your application will be marked as incomplete if we find that items are missing, your transcripts are difficult to read or not translated into English, or your application fee has not been received (with the exception of fee waivers). If we are missing materials or cannot read application documents, we (Fletcher Admissions) will contact you.
Fletcher Admissions will also send you a confirmation email when all of your application materials have been compiled and your application is ready to be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Once your application is complete, there’s nothing more you need to do (except wait).
Please Note: Whether your application is processed first or last has no bearing on your admissions decision. But you do need to ensure that you have sent us all the needed materials.
What could possibly hold up my application?
Assuming you did absolutely everything you’re supposed to do (including ordering your test scores), and submitted all the pieces you need to submit (including scanned copies of official transcripts), the glitch that affects the largest number of applications is recommendations that fail to arrive. It is so mean when current or former professors or supervisors agree to write a recommendation for an application due January 10, and then don’t submit it! But the fact that you have my understanding doesn’t relieve you of the need to get that recommendation. You need to do just the right amount of reminding, but when it becomes clear that the recommender is simply not going to come through, then you need to find and register a new recommender.
When will I receive my decision?
Decisions will be released toward the end of March. We will send a message to the email address you used on your application. March decision information will also include details about scholarship awards for students admitted in March or in December (Early Notification).
If you have further questions, please email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.
Please use the email address that you included in your application on all email messages to the office. We try to respond to every message on the same day we receive it, but due to the large number of emails we receive, it can take several days for us to reply to you.
This part of the admissions process certainly requires some patience. Whether you’re waiting for confirmation your application is complete, or for the answer to a question, or for your decision to arrive in March, you can be sure we’re working as hard as we can to make everything go quickly and smoothly. It’s in the interest of the Admissions staff, as well as that of our applicants.
Fletcher is still a quiet place with most students still on their winter break, but the Admissions Office isn’t quiet at all. We’ve had a few visitors today for the last of the on-campus interviews, and two of our Graduate Assistants — Cece and Cindy — are back at work. Naturally, the inbox is keeping them busy, as folks send last minute questions.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), the Admissions staff will be meeting off-site for the day, but Cece and Cindy will take care of your last-minute application questions. And then the following day (Wednesday) is the January 10 deadline, when we’ll receive most of the year’s applications. Naturally, I hope you’re not waiting for the ultimate last minute (11:59 p.m. EST (UTC-4)) to submit your application, but I reluctantly concede that it’s too late to pester you to submit early.
Meanwhile, review of the applications submitted by December 20 for the PhD program and the Map Your Future pathway is well underway. PhD applicants will still need to wait until late March to receive their application results, but MYF applicants will hear this month.
Back to all the January 10 applicants. What can/should you be doing now to ensure smooth submission of your application? I’m going to assume you’ve completed most parts of it, so the big task now is a careful proofreading. Make sure your essays are correct, no longer have editing marks in them, and don’t include mention of any of the other schools to which you’re applying. (Yes, that happens. Too often!) Double check your email and mailing address. For the mailing address, please use standard punctuation and upper/lower case. It’s amazing how many people provide us with an address that isn’t actually useful for mailing things. Take a few minutes and write out abbreviations that might not be clear to us, even if they’re completely clear to you and your peers with the organization. And do return to your essays and make sure they answer the question we’ve asked.
Above all, remember that the application you send us is the one we’ll review. Unless there’s a technical problem that results in an illegible attachment, we expect you to get it right the first time. So proofread proofread proofread! And we look forward to reading your application.
Every year I introduce our new graduate assistants, and I write posts as needed about new staff members. But I generally (and inexcusably) neglect to tell you about the long-time staff. In fact, you may be wondering whom I’m referring to when I mention Liz or Kristen, or another of my Admissions pals. Today I’ll fix that. Note that all of us do a little of everything, but each of us has greater responsibility for certain projects or programs. My introductions focus on the activities that distinguish us from each other. With that, please meet us!
In alpha order, we have:
Dan may be best known to blog readers as the human friend of Murray, our canine pal, but even more noteworthy is that Dan is the lone Fletcher graduate among us. He had previously worked in international education, and a post-MALD position in Fletcher Admissions was a natural for him. Dan is also the Admissions liaison to the LLM program. He reads LLM applications and works with the program staff throughout the application process.
Jessica is me! In addition to the blog, I’m the Admissions link to the PhD program. Anything else you might need to know about me has turned up in some past post.
Kristen is unlike the other members of the staff in that her desk is not within the Admissions Office. She’s upstairs with other folks working on Fletcher’s business programs, reflecting her dual-focus. Like the rest of us, she does a little of everything, but she manages the Admissions process for the MIB program, and also oversees some content aspects of the program itself.
Laurie is the director of Admissions (the assistant dean, to be precise) and naturally she has a hand in everything. Laurie doesn’t have a Fletcher degree, but she’s still a double Jumbo, with undergraduate and graduate degrees from Tufts.
You’ll hear from Liz if you have sent us a question about the May Your Future pathway to admission to the MALD or MIB program. And once MYF applicants have been admitted, it’s Liz who provides them with a pre-enrollment Fletcher community. Liz is also the master-organizer for our fall visit days and spring open houses.
Lucas oversees our Slate application system with zen-like calm. No matter what crazy request we make, he’s likely to make it happen. The interview program took a step into the 21st century this year when Lucas created a mechanism for our volunteer interviewers to receive reminders and for them to file their reports directly into Slate. It’s a behind-the-scenes change, but if you participated in an interview, you benefited from his work.
Marquita is the newest member of the Admissions Staff and anyone who visits will find her out front in the office. We gave her a couple of months to learn everything she would need to know about Fletcher, and then we passed her the task of organizing the winter break coffee hours. Apparently, details do not faze Marquita.
And that’s the Admissions team. You don’t need to worry about keeping track of who does what, but I hope this makes it clearer why you’re hearing from one of us rather than another.
The Admissions Office wasn’t closed last week, but it was a lonely place for Marquita, who was keeping everything going. We’re back today and ready to take your questions ahead of the January 10 deadline. Send us an email, give us a call, or participate in our online chat on Thursday. We look forward to hearing from you!
Please note that the Admissions Office, and the rest of Fletcher and Tufts University, will be closed today and tomorrow (Tuesday) for the Christmas holiday. We’ll also be closed on Friday and on Monday, January 1, for the New Year’s holiday.
If you have questions on any of these days when the Admissions Office is closed, please feel free to send them by email. We’ll respond as soon as we can.
I wish all the readers of the Admissions Blog happy holidays and a happy and healthy start to 2018!
Rather than wait until the Admissions Office is already closed for the holidays, I thought I’d highlight our schedule and some key dates coming up in the next few weeks. This week, of course, there’s tomorrow’s December 20 “odd couple” MYF and PhD application deadline. Our staff is here to answer your questions! Send them along. (If your question is what time on December 20 you need to submit the application, the answer is no later than 11:59 p.m. EST (UTC-5).)
Then, the University will be closed on:
Monday, December 25
Tuesday, December 26
Friday, December 29
Monday, January 1
On the 27th and 28th, Marquita will be here to take your calls and emails. The rest of the staff will return on or around January 2. That will give us plenty of time to reconnect with applicants aiming for the January 10 deadline. Note that those who are still working on their applications can take advantage of a pre-deadline online chat on January 4. Sign up here to ask your questions, or — sometimes even more helpful — to hear the questions of others.
Twice a year, we’re lucky to be able to connect prospective students with current students over a cup of coffee in a city near you. How does this happen? We ask students to volunteer, and they do! Once they have pinned down a date and location, we’re in business. As of today, the cities in which we’ll offer coffee hours is:
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Ann Arbor, MI
Chapel Hill, NC
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Los Angeles, CA
Mexico City, Mexico
New Delhi, India
New York, NY
San Antonio, TX
San Francisco, CA
Seoul, South Korea
There’s a good chance that more locations and dates will be added. You can learn more here and sign up here. (Filter for “off-campus events.”) Don’t leave our students sitting by themselves in a café! Join them, and other prospective students, for coffee/tea/whatever and a chat!
This is one of those weeks that most clearly brings home that we are a single Admissions Office in the middle of several admissions cycles. Our newest Januarians are preparing for Orientation in just over a month. The majority of our September 2018 applicants are completing their applications before our January 10 deadline. Applicants to the PhD program and MYF pathway to the MALD or MIB are six days out from their December 20 deadline. And earlier this week we released decisions on our Early Notification (EN) applications for September 2018 enrollment.
To those EN applicants who were admitted, congratulations! Learning in December that you have been admitted is a great opportunity to plan for your graduate studies. Some of you have already sent questions to the Admissions email, and we’ll be getting back to you, as well as reaching out to everyone else who was admitted. We enjoy the opportunity to work with some real live admitted students while we’re also reading applications.
Today, though, a few words for those who weren’t admitted. To those who were denied admission, please let me say that we’re sorry to make these decisions, but we hope it will help you craft your strategy on where to apply in January. Later in the spring, you will also be welcome to request feedback on your application.
This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation. We know that you didn’t submit an application in November in hopes of waiting until March for a decision. On the other hand, you have the opportunity to update us on your application during the next few months. If you choose the right update, it can be the difference between bad news and good news in March.
As I’m sure you can imagine, we’re not asking to be flooded with extra information, but here are suggestions of what we’d like to see:
- An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
- New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
- A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
- An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.
Updating your application is strictly optional, but I’d encourage you to think through whether you have something useful to add. And in that case, don’t turn down the opportunity!
What should you update? Well, you probably (in your heart of hearts) can identify the weaker areas of your application. That’s where you should focus. Are there any documents, or is there anything extra that you can say, that will help us to understand or interpret the weak points in your application? If so, go ahead and update. For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester? I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulled down your overall GPA. Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam? Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer. Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months? You can make that correction now. And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again. Note here that I’m not telling you to take the standardized exam again. I’m encouraging you to review your credentials and make that decision for yourself. The same is true for your TOEFL/IELTS. If your scores are low, but you have continued to study English since your first test date, it could be worth it to retest. Give it some thought.
Another suggestion: If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email! We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed. This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.
Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above. The key question to ask yourself is: Does this actually add anything? If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again. An additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes two. On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations. Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send something that will give your application a happy bump.
Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months. Please be sure to contact us with your questions.
Tagged with: Early Notification
This has been a nice week, but not a productive week for blogging. One thing or another got in the way of my pulling together some meaningful posts. And now it’s that happy day in the fall semester when the MALD/MA Admissions Committee will first meet, leaving me no time for a lengthy post today, either. I have high hopes for next week.
Today’s Admissions Committee meeting will bring the students, professors, and staff reading MALD and MA applications together for the first time. All the students have read a nice batch of applications, but hearing the perspectives of others will broaden their perspectives. Same for the faculty members.
In case you’re wondering, the MIB and LLM committees meet separately and, I think, may even have met already this week.
On the very same day when we will take the earliest steps toward admitting the incoming class for September, we’ll be saying farewell to the Januarians who started at Fletcher in January 2016. Though they still have finals in front of them, a ceremony this afternoon will recognize this tight-knit class. There are some active members of the community in this group, and we’ll miss them. Here they are, with the dean.
Now I’m going to grab the coffee we’ll serve to keep everyone perky during the four-hour discussion, and I’ll head over to the meeting. Committee meetings are an absolute highlight of my work, and I’m looking forward to jumping right in.
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