Currently viewing the tag: "Early Notification"

One less-heralded benefit of applying by our November 15 Early Notification deadline is a rapid turnaround.  You’ll be hearing back from us before the end of December, less than six weeks after you first applied, keeping the amount of waiting time to a relative minimum.  Given the schedule, you may be wondering what the Admissions Office is up to, and I’m here to tell you.

Our first step toward releasing EN decisions was hiring and training the students who are full members of the Committee on Admissions.  They start their reading with EN applications, which provides a perfect small-batch learning/coaching opportunity for all of us.  We can take the time to offer comments and ensure that the new readers are on the right track.  As it happens, the students on this year’s committee are amazing!  Good news for the staff.

Once we have a committee, we start reading.  Every application is read twice, and then Laurie looks at all of them to ensure consistency from reader to reader.  When needed, we discuss applications in a full-committee setting that will include the professors on the committee.  Our EN meeting will be next Friday.  (Can’t wait!  LVE committee meetings!)  Nearly every application has already been read twice — we’re well on our way through the process.

From the perspective of a staff member (i.e., me), EN is great because it throws us into the heart of the admissions process, but with an application volume that enables us to test and, when necessary, improve systems before the January 10 flood of applications.  Next Friday’s meeting will help students calibrate their assessments of applicants.  Then in January, we’re in the best position for the process to go smoothly.

But none of that matters to you EN applicants.  What you need to know is simply that we are making great progress in completing the review of applications, and you’ll be hearing from us before the end of this month.

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I’ve unintentionally neglected the applicants who applied by our Early Notification deadline but who didn’t receive a final decision from us in December.  Part of the application review process this month is to return to those applications.  Though I don’t have much to add to the suggestions I made in December regarding any supplemental materials that you might want to submit, I’d like to attach a deadline for you.  Thus…if you want to send us updated transcripts, test scores, résumés, or whatever, please plan to submit them by Friday, February 19, roughly a week from now.

Of course, if you don’t take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL until after the 19th, you should submit the scores whenever you can.  For everything else, though, there’s no need to wait any longer.  Send us what you’ve got, so that we can take a look.

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All Early Notification applicants should know by now that decisions were released last week.  To those who were admitted, congratulations!  I hope you’ll enjoy the extra time to plan for your graduate studies.  You will be hearing from members of the Admissions staff to whom you can send your questions.  We’re really happy to start growing the September 2016 entering class!  All that said, this post is not so much for you.

Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission.  We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  The bad news is the lack of happy admissions news, but the good news is that you still have the opportunity to try to bring about happy news in March.  Our Admissions Committee will gladly review an update to your application!  But what makes a useful addition?  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • 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.

Before I go on, I’ll emphasize that no one is required to submit an update.  Not at all!  But you are invited to submit one, and why would you turn down this opportunity?

What type of optional update is best for you?  Well, the first thing to do is consider whether you have your own suspicions regarding weaker aspects of your application.  Are those aspects something you can improve on?  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 pulls 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.

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.  That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three.  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 us 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 be in touch if you have questions.

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Sticking to nitty-gritty admissions subjects today, I want to address a question that came up not in my survey (responses still welcome!) but in yesterday’s online chat.  No one actually asked the question directly, so I’m going to need to frame it myself.  The question:  I’m racing to complete my application before the November 15 Early Notification deadline, and I’m worried that it won’t be as good as it could be.  What should I do?

The Early Notification (EN) deadline serves applicants well in offering them the opportunity to learn before the end of 2015 that they are admitted to Fletcher for the Fall 2016 semester.  Whether they use that information simply to bask in the glow of success or to start serious planning is up to them.  Students who aren’t admitted may be less satisfied with the result, but they can take the information and use it to shape the list of schools to which they’ll apply in January.  In other words, there are plenty of reasons you may want to aim for our Early Notification deadline to kick off your application process.

On the other hand, there is no admissions advantage to applying early.  We look at the EN applications with the same standards and expectations that we will employ in reviewing the applications we receive in January.  So if you are concerned that you will submit a sub-par application, it may be best for you to pass on the EN deadline.  You can still submit your application well before the January deadline, but you don’t need to rush right now.

The exception to the above would be where you are submitting an application you are 100% happy with, but your GRE scores will arrive five days late.  Or one recommendation will arrive a little late.  Or you will be unable to upload your official transcript until November 17.  In those situations, go ahead and submit the application.  It takes us a few days to review each application and mark it as complete, and there will be no penalty for a late recommendation if your high-quality application arrives before the November 15 deadline.

Cutting corners to meet a deadline is something we’re all familiar with from our academic and professional lives.  But shortchanging yourself by doing less than your best when you race for a deadline, knowing there is another equally good deadline two months from now, is something you should think carefully about.

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All Early Notification applicants should know by now that decisions were released earlier this week.  To those who were admitted, congratulations!  I hope you’ll enjoy the extra time to plan for your graduate studies.  You will be hearing from members of the Admissions staff to whom you can send your questions.  We’re really happy to start growing the September 2015 entering class!  All that said, this post is not so much for you.

Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission.  We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  The bad news is the lack of happy admissions news, but the good news is that you still have the opportunity to try to bring about happy news in March.  Our Admissions Committee will gladly review an update to your application!  But what makes a useful addition?  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • 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.

Before I go on, I’ll emphasize that no one is required to submit an update.  Not at all!  But you are invited to submit one, and why would you turn down this opportunity?

What type of optional update is best for you?  Well, the first thing to do is consider whether you have your own suspicions regarding weaker aspects of your application.  Are those aspects something you can improve on?  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 pulls 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.

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.  That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three.  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 us 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 be in touch if you have questions.

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Decisions were posted yesterday for our Early Notification applicants so, today, I’ll try to anticipate incoming questions and answer them before you have a chance to ask.

First, allow me to congratulate those applicants who have already been admitted!  We’re excited to welcome new students to the community, and I read some super applications in this round!  I’m sure it’s good news that you can just relax through the next three months.  Scholarship decisions will go out with the next round of admission decisions at the end of March, but you don’t need to make a final enrollment decision until April 20.  Meanwhile, I encourage you to use this time to gather information about Fletcher so that you’re ready to make an informed decision.  Of course, if you already know you’ll attend Fletcher, all the better!

Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission.  We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.

Finally (and most complicated) are the applicants who were told we will discuss them again after we receive applications for our regular deadline in January.  That is, we wish to look at the applications in the context of the larger application pool.  Important to note if you fall in this group:  you are welcome/invited/encouraged to update us on changes to your credentials.  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • 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.

Are you thinking of something not included on the above list?  It may be a fine addition.  Just use this simple rule of thumb:  if the information is already in your file in another form, there’s not much value in sending it again.  That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three.  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 us 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 be in touch if you have questions.

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We posted Early Notification decisions on Friday, and applicants will probably have seen their results by now.  Some of you will also have wandered through the blog archives and found previous years’ posts about the decision options.  Here’s the outline for those who want fresh info.

First, congratulations to our newly admitted students!  You probably don’t need further explanation of what the news means.  If we have made the decision conditional upon pursuing study to improve your English or to raise your foreign language proficiency, you’ll be hearing from us directly about the requirement.

Then there are applicants for whom we’ve decided to defer decision-making until the spring.  I realize this is a good news-bad news place to be.  On the good news side, we encourage you to update us before the end of February if there are changes to your application.  New grades, new test scores, updated résumé, or even an additional recommendation can be good additions.  Please, though, make sure that the additional information reflects something new.  We don’t need a fresh copy of your résumé if nothing has changed.  Send the new materials by mail or email — there’s no special defined protocol.

Finally, applicants to whom we have already said no.  It’s only in the last three years that we have been telling EN applicants that they would not be admitted, and we were initially very reluctant to take the step.  Now we feel more comfortable, knowing that the best in this group will use the information to make good decisions about where/whether to apply in January.

Before we call it a wrap on this phase of the admissions cycle, let me give you the details on the very wide geographic spread of this rather small group of admitted students.  Whether they are only temporarily in these places or it’s their home town/country, we have admitted students currently in:

Afghanistan,  Kandahar and Kabul
Albania,  Rreshen,  Mirdite
Armenia,  Yerevan
Bangladesh,  Chittagong and Dhaka
Brazil,  Rio de Janeiro
Cambodia,  Battambang town and Phnom Penh
Canada,  Toronto
China,  Manghuai,  Yunxian County; Beijing; Shanghai
Democratic Republic Of Congo,  Bukavu
Germany,  Berlin and Hamburg
India,  Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi
Indonesia,  Tanjungpandan,  Belitung
Japan,  Urayasu-shi,  Chiba; Kashihara; Tokyo; Yokohama
Macedonia,  Prilep
Mexico,  Guadalajara and Mexico City
Nepal,  Kathmandu
Nigeria,  Lagos
Pakistan,  Karachi
Philippines,  Guiuan,  Eastern Samar and Dingle, Iloilo
Singapore,  Singapore
South Africa,  Kuruman
South Korea,  Seoul
South Sudan,  Juba
Switzerland,  St. Gallen and Zurich
Tanzania,  Monduli and Moshi
Thailand,  Bangkok
Timor-leste,  Dili
Turkey,  Ankara and Istanbul
Ukraine,  Voznesensk
United Kingdom,  London and St. Ives

And, in the U.S., outside of the Maine-Virginia corridor (always well represented), our EN admits live in California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas.

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Decisions on our Early Notification applications went out on Friday, and we’re receiving questions on what it all means.  If you’ve been admitted, congratulations!  I’ll assume you don’t require much more explanation.  On the other end of the happiness spectrum, for the second year, we denied admission to some applicants and, when appropriate, informed the applicant that the missing piece is professional experience.  We always feel some regret in denying applicants, but we hope it will help applicants make informed decisions on where else they should apply.

That leaves those whose application was deferred to the spring round.  These applicants will have their credentials reviewed again in the context of the larger application pool.  Applicants who were deferred are invited to update us on changes to their status.  New grades or test scores definitely should be submitted.  An additional recommendation or a new résumé that sheds light on your recent activities can also be valuable.  The bottom line is that you’re welcome to update us, but please be sure that whatever you send is really an update.  If the same information is already in your file, there’s little to be gained from sending it a second time.

The deadline for PhD and Map Your Future applications is tomorrow, so the Admissions Office is making a quick shift of focus.  If you have further general questions about the deferrals, please include them as comments below.  If general themes emerge, I’ll address them in an additional blog post.

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If, like me, you’re pursued through elevators, shopping malls and supermarkets (or, in my husband Paul’s case, Tokyo hotels) by an endless loop of holiday songs, you may think that this post’s title refers to snowmen and trappings of the season.  No!  The most wonderful time of the year is….Committee Time!

The Committee on Admissions reviewing fall 2012 applications will meet for the first time today.  The meeting kicks off the part of the year when most (all?) admissions staffers agree we’re doing our most interesting work.  We have three returning student Committee members who will help us train the five new students and three new professors.  The Committee’s task is the same each year, but every group has its own vibe and I’m looking forward to learning what this one is all about.

Time to grab my coffee and head over to the meeting.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I don’t usually have a chance to take a full day to read applications at home during our Early Notification review, so today is my lucky day.  All the stars aligned:  a calendar free of appointments and a big box of applications needing attention.  My slippers are on and I’m ready to read!

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