Currently viewing the tag: "Consult Christine"

ChristineWhat’s in a name?  A lot, if you are on the receiving end of thousands of transcripts, emails, and applications every year!  For this week’s blog post, I want to focus on the importance of name consistency with your application.

Your name is your own.  It is what distinguishes you from everyone else.  It has special family meaning.  It is your legacy.  It is also what ties all your application materials together into one nice package.  Therefore, it is important that you keep your name consistent for all parts of the application.

Starting with email correspondence to the office in your early stages of graduate school inquiries, make sure to include your full name as it will appear on the application.  Then when taking the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, etc., please use the same name format you will on your application.  This is very important, and saves a lot of confusion when it comes to processing applications, and that is good news for both you and us.  Finally, on the application itself, continue to use the same name.  When we go to pull your materials together, it will make me and all our student interns infinitely happier if we have all your items together!

In addition to people who use different versions of their name in different settings, there are also people who changed their name (usually due to marriage) in the years between their undergraduate studies and their Fletcher application.  If you’re one of them, please make us aware of the name change!

So while I may want to go by “Chris” or “Tine” (I don’t) in my informal correspondence, when it comes to formal graduate school applications, I will stick with my given name.

If you’re unsure what to do, just remember to keep it consistent!

For name-related questions and other queries, email us or call us at +1.617.627.3040.

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This time, Christine isn’t exactly answering a question she has been asked.  More like she’s answering a question that she wants you to ask.

While the semester seems to be flying by, we still have a few more weeks of information sessions, visit events, and interviews before the January 10 deadline!  One of our additional special offerings is “Coffee with a Student,”  which allows prospective applicants the opportunity to chat informally with a current student about anything from classes, to life in grad school, to internships and other topics.  Nothing is off the table!  And the best part?  You get a free cup of coffee (or tea, for people like me!).  So while you plan your visit to The Fletcher School, consider dropping in for one of our three weekly Coffee with a Student sessions:

Mondays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Fridays, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

You do not need to register for Coffee with a Student, but you should stop by the Admissions Office to check in and we will guide you from there.

We hope you can join us!

As always, for questions please call us at +1.617.627.3040 or email us.

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Christine’s response to a perennially frequently asked question.

A popular question in the inbox this week (and always) is about scholarship aid: who is eligible; how can I apply; how many full tuition scholarships do you have; and are there other financial aid opportunities.  I have always been taught that it is not polite to talk about money, but in this case, I will make an exception!

We consider all applicants for Fletcher scholarship awards based on both merit and need.  To be considered, you must fill out the Fletcher Scholarship Application, which is included as part of the online application.  The more complete your answers to the questions, the better the picture we can get of your individual financial situation.  There are no awards based on need alone or on merit alone.  And no distinction is made between U.S. and international students when awarding funds.

In addition, some special externally funded scholarships become available throughout the year for enrolled students, and announcements will be made with further instructions on eligibility and application requirements.  More information on these scholarships can be found here.

As for full-tuition scholarships, while they are offered relatively rarely, they have been granted to the most outstanding candidates, also based on a combination of merit and need.  Emphasis is placed on candidates who exhibit exceptional academic achievement and a strong commitment to the field of international affairs.  Both international and U.S. students are eligible.

In addition to scholarships offered by Fletcher, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply for loans and work-study funds.  These awards are determined by the university’s Student Financial Services office, based on the FAFSA.

Besides scholarships and loans, there are also opportunities for students to work on campus during their time here.  The great thing about Fletcher being a part of the larger Tufts University community is that students can work within a Fletcher department (for example, Admissions!) or find something that suits them better elsewhere on the Tufts campus.  Campus employment is a great way to help finance your education or earn some pocket money for a night out in Boston!

In addition to office work, there is the also the possibility of becoming a teaching assistant or research assistant.  Opportunities for teaching assistants can be found both at Tufts Arts and Sciences departments such as political science, economics and history, and also here at Fletcher.  It is very unusual for students to be hired as teaching assistants in their first semester, but they have more opportunities in the second and later semesters.

We understand that graduate school is as much a financial investment as it is a professional one.  Fletcher scholarships are offered to as many students as possible to help meet the cost of attending graduate school, but nearly all students identify other sources of funding beyond the scholarship, such as savings, loans, family contributions, and income from campus work.  Following graduation, the Tufts University Loan Repayment Assistance Program can be a source of further assistance.

Financial aid is a key consideration for most of our applicants.  For further questions, please contact us by email or phone to +1.617.627.3040.

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Today, Christine tackles one of the topics about which we’re asked the most:  test scores.

The Who, What, When, Where of Standardized Tests.  I purposely did not put “why” in the title.  Why?  Because we all know we have to take standardized tests.  They are not fun, nor are they meant to be, but they give the schools you’re applying to a quantitative base for reviewing your application.  Here at Fletcher, we look at the entire application as a whole, but tests are required nonetheless.  More importantly, we will not consider your application complete until you submit your test scores.  So now that we have gotten the “why” out of the way, let’s move on to look at the other aspects of testing.

Who needs to send test scores?  Ready, all together now: everyone!  The GRE or GMAT is required of all applicants (except for LLM applicants).  For non-native English speakers or those who have been educated less than two years in English, a TOEFL or IELTS will need to be submitted with your application as well.

What will Fletcher accept for test score reports?  We will only accept official test score reports sent directly from the testing center — no exceptions.

For the GRE or GMAT, the scores must be no more than five years old.  Some good news: if you have taken the exam multiple times, we will look at the best scores from each section.  In addition, we do not have a cutoff for scores.  In recent years the middle 50% for the GRE verbal score has been in the 77th to 96th percentile range, the middle 50% for the GRE quantitative score has been in the 61st to 84th percentile range, and the middle 50% for GRE analytical writing in the 49th to 92nd percentile range.  For the GMAT, the middle 50% has been in the 73rd to 92nd percentile range.

For the IELTS or TOEFL, the scores must be no more than two years old.  The scores listed below are generally considered evidence of sufficient English language ability for graduate study at Fletcher.  Occasionally we will admit a student with a score just below the listed minimum but require that the student complete additional language training before enrolling.  Minimum acceptable scores are as follows:

  • TOEFL: 100 (with sub-scores of 25 on each section)
  • IELTS: 7.0 (with sub-scores of 7 on each section)

When do I need to send my scores?  We strongly prefer that your scores arrive on or before the date you submit your application.  However, we will allow a grace period of a few days after the application deadline. Keeping this in mind, you should take your exams at least a few weeks before you plan to submit your application.  For the GRE and GMAT, it usually takes about two weeks for us to receive your scores if you take the test electronically.  If you take the exam on paper, it could take upwards of six weeks before we receive the scores. The TOEFL and IELTS exam reports usually arrive in about two weeks.

Where do I send my scores?  Scores should be sent directly to the Fletcher School, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.  For the GRE and TOEFL please use the code 3399.  For the GMAT, please use 7JB-L3-70.

Taking the exams may be unpleasant, but at least the rules for reporting scores are straightforward.

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Today, Christine gives you all the details on Fletcher’s evaluative interview program.  Remember to check this page when you plan your interview!

The Evaluative Interview program has kicked into high gear!  Appointments are starting to fill throughout the fall, leading to many happy interviewers, who are eager to get to know you!

By now you may be thinking, how can I interview and meet one of Fletcher’s highly trained student interviewers?  Well, I am here to answer your interview-related questions.

What is an evaluative interview?  Great question!  A personal evaluative interview is a valuable way for you to share information about yourself and learn how The Fletcher School will meet your academic and professional goals.

Should I interview?  The interview is recommended, but not required, for all applicants; however, PhD applicants are encouraged to interview.

When should I have my interview?  Interviews should generally be completed at least one week prior to the application deadline.  The interview program kicked off on September 23 and will run through Friday, December 6.  Interviews are offered Monday through Friday during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  Additional interviews will be conducted on a very limited basis until January 9.

When should I schedule my interview?  You should schedule your interview as soon as possible, once you have an idea when you would like to visit.  We have a good number of appointments available, so it is helpful if you can name a few dates that would be convenient for you.  (Note, though, that dates in late November and December fill early!)  If you are visiting from out of town (or even down the street!), you may want to schedule your interview in conjunction with an Information Session.  More details regarding Information Session dates and times can be found here.

How should I schedule my interview?  Please call the office directly at +1.617.627.3040.  You should have dates and times in mind when you call, to allow us to best schedule you!  If you are unable to call, you can also schedule your interview by email, though this can involve a long back-and-forth process until we find a convenient date.  Scheduling by phone is more efficient.

I’m all scheduled!  Now what?  Once you have scheduled an appointment, you will receive an email confirmation with the date and time of your interview.  Make sure you save and read this email thoroughly as it includes directions to the school, as well as what to bring with you (your resume!), practical suggestions (how to dress), and even hints as to the interview content!

If you have questions about the interview program or anything else Admissions related, please call us at +1.617.627.3040 or send us an email.

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Today, Christine describes several options for visits to Fletcher.  (During your visit, you can even Consult Christine in person!)

Christine

Christine has your answers.

You may have noticed that we have some exciting new programming taking place this year in the Admissions Office.  In addition to our weekly Information Sessions and Evaluative Interviews, the team has added “Visit Events,” a new way for you to interact with staff and students and to learn about Fletcher.  Now let’s dig a bit deeper into these visit options!

Visit Days: One of our Visit Events, Visit Days will be offered on several Fridays this fall.  The events will all include lunch, an information session, a current student panel, and a tour of Fletcher.  There is also the option to interview before or after the event, though space is limited.  (Interview appointments will be made on a first come, first served basis.)

Evening Information Sessions: These are similar to our Visit Days, except, well, you guessed it, at night!  We will have two evening sessions this semester to provide prospective applicants even more flexibility to learn about Fletcher at their convenience.

MIB Visit Days: MIB Visit Days provide the opportunity for prospective applicants to learn more about this program.  These sessions, which will held on Mondays October 7 and November 4 this fall, allow you the opportunity to interact with current students, sit in on Fletcher classes, and attend an information session that will cover the specifics of the MIB program.  Lunch is provided.  (How could you say no to that?!)  There is also the option to interview while you are here.

PhD Visit Day: This year’s PhD Visit Day will be held on Monday, October 21.  This day is specifically tailored to the needs of prospective PhD applicants, including an informative session focusing on this program.  It is also strongly suggested that you schedule an interview, should you attend this event.

All of our visit options are free and open to all interested applicants!  If you have questions about any of the programming this year, please send us an email or give us a call at +1.617.627.3040.  We are happy to answer any questions you have and even happier to meet you when you visit!

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With the graduation of Dear Ariel last spring came a dilemma.  Who would write a weekly blog post answering applicants’ hot questions?  The answer was as plain as the front desk of the Admissions Office — Christine has the FletcherAdmissions email inbox clearly in her sight at all times.  Thus, Consult Christine was born.  Today, Christine provides her perspective on the most efficient ways to connect with us.

Christine

The hands that may answer your next admissions question.

After a year of sitting at the “Command Center” of the office, I have fielded calls, emails, and walk-ins with many different questions.  I often hear, “I am not sure if this was the right way to reach you,” or “I am not sure if this is the right place to be asking,” so I thought I would take the opportunity for my first Consult Christine post to break down the best ways to reach us.  From Information Sessions to Interviews, and Visit Days to off-campus events, we have a lot going on this fall and want you to be able to contact us in the most efficient way possible.

With the Evaluative Interview program starting on September 23, it is timely to start with this!  I will have an upcoming post going into more depth on the interview program, but for now the best way to schedule an interview is to call us at +1 617-627-3040.  This is the easiest option for both you and us, so we can tell you what times are available and you can provide us with all the information we need.  Plus, it’s a great opportunity for you to ask questions.  If you are not able to reach us by phone, you can certainly email us to set up an appointment. But I would encourage you to call if you can!

Information Sessions, which will be in full swing starting next week, are a great way to get a general feel for Fletcher, see the campus, and interact with students and staff.  The best way to register for an Information Session is to use our online registration portal.  However, if you are already on the phone with us, we would be happy to register you.  The same applies for Visit Events.

Questions or comments can be forwarded by phone or email.  We answer email in all of our inboxes consistently, and try to have answers to you in a timely fashion.  I would recommend email if you have more in-depth questions!  If you feel that it would suit you better to call us with questions, we welcome the opportunity to talk with you over the phone.  Both staff and our team of student interns is happy to speak with you about whatever you may need.

And you can always pop in for a visit!  We welcome visitors to Fletcher to chat with an Admissions Officer, sit in on a class, or interact with our students.  Note that the office is open from 9:00 to 5:00 U.S. East Coast time.

I look forward to hearing from you as the year goes on, however you choose to connect with us!

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