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While we continue to count the enrolling students, now is a perfect time for applicants on the waitlist to tell us that they are still interested in being considered for admission.  We know that many applicants offered a place on the waitlist accept it in March, but have moved on by now.  That makes total sense!  But it also means that it takes us time to figure out who is really still waiting, and who has enrolled elsewhere.

What can you do to help?  Well, if you have an update to your application, send it along soon.  Monday, April 28 would be a good target deadline to aim for.  If you have missed my suggestions for what constitutes an update, here’s the general list:  transcripts listing any new grades you have received since applying; new test scores; a new résumé, indicating a change in professional experience; an email updating us on activities that may not fit on the résumé; an additional recommendation that tells us something we didn’t already know.

But what if you simply don’t have an update — your application was complete as submitted.  Well, then there is no need to send one.  This is an opportunity, not an obligation.  But it would still be helpful if you would send us a quick note to say that you’d like for your application to be considered.  Updates and notes can all be sent by email.

 

Commonwealth and HerefordThe staff is back in the office after the long Patriots’ Day weekend.  Yesterday was a beautiful day for a marathon, and I had a chance to go over to the race course, where I wandered from one vantage point to another.  It was very busy so I can’t say I ever achieved a perfect view, but my goal was to join the crowd, which I definitely achieved.

Next year, I should time my visit so that I see more of the Fletcher runners.  (I was there for the trailing end of the elite runners and the first wave of fast-but-not-elite runners.)  I’ve checked, though, and it looked like the students I know best, including Liam, all finished.

Even while we’re back in our usual places, we’re trying to figure out where we are with regard to enrollment.  The enrollment decision deadline for admitted students was Sunday, so it should be simple to pull the data and see how many people have decided to enroll.  Alas, it’s not quite that easy to get an accurate number, because we also have deferral requests coming through, especially for future students who will start their dual degrees at another institution.  Once all the required review is complete, we’ll know if we should turn to the waitlist.  I’ll provide more information when I have it.

As we approach May 1, I’d also encourage any applicants who weren’t admitted this year (but who plan to reapply in the future — the only reason they’d still be reading the Admissions Blog) to request feedback.  It may take us a few weeks to respond, but receiving the input now, rather than closer to the date of the new application, gives you maximum opportunity to improve your preparation for Fletcher in the future.  Send your request by email on or after May 1.

 

Tufts University (including Fletcher) is closed today for the Patriots’ Day holiday.  We’ll reopen tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

While you’re waiting for us to return, you may want to take a photo tour of Fletcher.

 

As a public service for admitted students, with the enrollment decision deadline approaching, I want to run through the Admissions Office schedule for the next few days.

Today, Wednesday, April 16:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 17:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Friday, April 18:  Office open normal hours (9:00-5:00 EDT (GMT-4))

Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20:  Office closed for the weekend

Monday, April 21:  Office closed for the Patriot’s Day holiday

Tuesday, April 22:  Office reopens for normal hours

Note that enrollment decisions are due on Sunday, April 20, no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT.  And even though the office will be closed, the GAMS system cannot accept enrollment decisions after the deadline.  Do yourself a favor and make your final decision a few minutes before the deadline, so that you don’t need to worry about being locked out of the system.

Questions?  We’re here!!  Please take advantage of a staffed office today, tomorrow, and Friday to contact us with your questions and concerns.

 

Well, we finished off yesterday’s Open House in fine style, waving off a few of the last visitors (and their luggage) at about 6:00.  Each of us Admissions folk agreed that the sessions we attended went very well.  Adding it all up, we consider the day to have been a success.

Poking around the blog last week, I found a few posts that I had forgotten about, and that might be helpful for admitted students (and future admitted students) who didn’t attend the careers sessions at the Open House.  In 2010, I asked the Office of Career Services staff to describe their work.  Each member of the OCS staff focuses on a sector that is a typical objective for Fletcher students.  Though there are new names attached to some of the sectors, Phillip, the OCS director (and a participant in Admissions Committee meetings) confirms that the structure of responsibilities is the same.  So, below, please find links to past blog posts on OCS’s approach to sector coaching.

Of course, 2010 employment statistics aren’t very relevant now.  To round out the picture, you’ll want to check more recent career reports.

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Open House balloonsWe’re hosting our newly admitted students today and the place is jumpin’.  It’s only about 11:45, and we’ve already had an alumni panel and reception (o.k., those were last night), a welcome session, and break-out sessions for each of the degree programs.  Visitors are currently either grabbing some lunch, attending a panel discussion with current students, hearing from the Office of Career Services, or engaging in a roundtable discussion with the folks from the International Environment and Resource Policy or with Students in Security Studies.  And so it will go, for the rest of the afternoon.  Liz did an amazing job of organizing roughly one bazillion sessions for the day.  And balloons.  She also organized the balloons.

I have just these few minutes to write this post, check my email, etc.  Then I’m off to a lunch discussion on international economics.  I fully intend to learn something while I’m there.  (A perk of the job.)  This is an annual event that, while exhausting, gives meaning to our work throughout the winter and early spring.  It’s such a treat to put together names and faces!

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So it’s about 7:40 a.m. as I write, and I can hear five voices from all corners of the Admissions Office as current students reach out to newly admitted students who live in a time zone 12 to 14 hours ahead of ours.  We’ll be holding these call sessions throughout the week to connect with as many people as we can.  It’s a great way to draw out questions that may not otherwise have been asked.  We generally feel that the more incoming students know, the better prepared they are to make a decision on where to pursue their graduate studies and then to succeed at Fletcher.

It’s a week loaded with activities like the call sessions.  We’ll also hold online chats, two information sessions, and receptions in several different cities around the world.  And then we gear up for our two-day Open House for admitted students.  As of today, only a small percentage of our admitted students have made their decision to enroll (or not to enroll, for that matter).  Over the next two weeks, we’ll learn much more about who will make up the incoming class in September.

 

It’s not that it’s unusual for Fletcher graduates to visit the school, but it’s unusual to have three alums stopping in at Admissions on one March day.  I’m looking forward to seeing Courtney Richardson, a 2013 PhD graduate who is really here to give a talk (“We’ve Reached Our Limits: Insights from China’s UNSC Action on the Libyan and Syrian Civil Wars”), and Han Kim, who was the subject of a blog post back in the day, both of whom served stints on the Admissions Committee, as well as another PhD alum.  It’s always good to reconnect!

In addition to the returning former students, I’ll be meeting some new people at a midday Information Session, and I thought this would be a good time to remind blog readers that we are offering several more Information Sessions this spring.  Attendees at springtime sessions might include prospective applicants, newly admitted students, and prospective students who have accepted a place on our waitlist for September enrollment, which means the staffer running the session is challenged to meet the informational needs of these very different groups.  We’re up to it!  Bring on the questions!

For your planning convenience, you’ll want to note that if you can visit campus, you can join sessions on Thursday, April 3, Monday, April 14, Thursday, April 24, and Monday, May 5.  Sign up for a date that works for you (or just turn up for today’s session — the more the merrier!).  In addition, we’re offering virtual (online) Information Sessions on Thursday, April 3, Monday, May 12, and Tuesday, June 10.  Another forum for learning about Fletcher and getting answers to your questions.

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Fletcher students are in short supply today.  Spring break started after classes on Friday, leaving mostly thesis-writers in the building.  Also spring breaking are the undergrads and other Tufts graduate students, so the entire campus is super quiet.

One place that isn’t quiet is my email inbox, and that of all my Admissions pals.  There’s a steady stream of questions and follow-up questions pouring in from newly admitted students, and there are moments each day when we may suffer from a one-step-forward, two-steps-back condition.  That said, we encourage you to ask your questions!  Assuming you have read through all the material we have sent you, if there’s something as yet unanswered, please be sure to let us know.  We’re responding to emails and phone questions as quickly as we can, but I hope you’ll understand that there may be a delay as we respond, one by one, to requests for more information.  No spring break for the Admissions Office!

 

Despite some technical glitches, a sleepless night for Christine, and just a wee bit of frenzy, yesterday afternoon we released decisions on all applications that were complete.  All the packets were assembled (thus the paper cuts) and shipped out, and will reach admitted applicants as soon as the mail will carry them.

It’s my custom, on the day after decisions are released, to do two things.  First, I want to thank you for reading the blog.  Although comments on the posts are rare, I’m fortunate that now and then I’ll hear that the blog was a good source of information on Fletcher and the application process.  I enjoy writing, and I thank those who enjoy reading what I’ve written.

Next, I want to speak directly to those applicants who were not admitted this year.  I hope you will gain admission to another graduate school that suits your goals but, if you decide not to enroll in another program, please take advantage of our offer of feedback on your application.  Contact us after May 1 with your request and we’ll get back to you with comments.  A great number of the applicants who are not admitted to Fletcher in a given year could be competitive applicants in the future, following a few changes to their profile.  Note that the best time for requesting feedback will be this spring, and not directly before your next application — you’ll want to give yourself time to act on any suggestions.

To applicants who were offered a place on the waitlist:  I’m sorry that we’re dragging out the process still further for you.  We’ll be providing information soon to help you make your decision on whether to remain on the waitlist.

To applicants who were admitted:  Congratulations!!

Hard as it may be to believe, much of the real work of your graduate school planning process is still in front of you.  That is, you’ve sweated over your applications; you’ve stressed while waiting for your decisions; but now you need to select the program that best matches your academic and career objectives.  You have a little over five weeks to gather information about Fletcher and the other schools to which you have been admitted, and then to make a well-considered decision on where to attend graduate school.  We’ll do our part to provide you with details by mail and other media, along with opportunities to visit the School, in order to help in your decision making.  And the Admissions Blog will continue to supply information about our wonderful community and rich intellectual environment.

Speaking for everyone on the Admissions Staff, we encourage you to learn as much as you can before making a final decision.  We welcome your questions!  And, congratulations, once again, on your admission!

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