Admissions work, as you may have heard me say, is ultra-cyclical, but I still try not to repeat myself in the blog. The exception comes in March and April, when I freely steal content from previous years. Today’s stolen post covers the questions we answer most routinely for each year’s newly admitted students. Here are the questions (and related answers) that may be on your mind.
Q: I hope to work when I’m at Fletcher. How can I arrange it?
A: There are many administrative jobs available each year at Fletcher, as well as elsewhere at the University. Fletcher jobs are usually “advertised” via a student email list. Jobs elsewhere at the University can be found through the Student Employment office.
Q: What about research or teaching assistantships?
A: These positions are arranged directly with the hiring department or professor. It can be difficult for you to arrange a teaching assistant position for your first semester, regardless of your qualifications, but there are often opportunities in the second semester. Many professors hire research assistants in the fall, so even first-year students will be eligible. Research assistants are paid an hourly wage, while teaching assistants are often paid per course. (Note that teaching assistants do not teach Fletcher students. Professors teach, but the assistants might arrange course materials or do other “behind the scenes” work.)
Q: How do second-year scholarships compare to those awarded to first-year students?
A: We know that there are schools out there that reserve much of their scholarship budget to distribute to second-year students. That isn’t Fletcher’s model. We split our scholarship budget between first-year and second-year students. Students who remain in good academic standing can expect their awards to be renewed for the second year. Students who do not receive a scholarship in the first year can also apply for a scholarship for the second year, but funding cannot be guaranteed.
Q: I would like to pursue a joint degree. Will Fletcher allow me to defer my enrollment?
A: Fletcher will approve a deferral of up to one year (two semesters) to allow students to start a joint degree at another institution. Prospective students needing more than one year before enrolling should plan to reapply. Anyone wanting a deferral needs to request one — it isn’t automatic — but you can submit your request by email.
Q: I’m not doing a joint degree, but I want to defer for other reasons. Can I?
A: Fletcher allows deferrals for up to one year so that candidates can pursue professional opportunities.
Q: Tell me more about how to request the deferral.
A: Follow these instructions.
Q: The law/business/other school with which I want to pursue a joint degree is not on Fletcher’s list of “official” joint or dual degrees. How will that work?
A: Fletcher will support your efforts to arrange a joint degree that suits your career and academic goals. The process is to transfer courses from your other program so that you also receive Fletcher credit for them. When I speak to students putting together an ad hoc joint degree, I always suggest that they contact the registrar as soon as they enroll at Fletcher. You won’t be able to transfer in your first-year torts/finance/language class, but with careful homework, you will find classes that meet Fletcher’s requirements. (You should also be sure to work with the other school. Our experience is that many other schools are less flexible than Fletcher.)
Q: Can I make my decision after the deadline named in my admission letter?
A: No. There are many administrative reasons why Fletcher needs to know how many students will enroll, but we don’t expect you to care about that. On the other hand, we want you to remember that there are students waiting on the waitlist, and we hope you will respect their need for a speedy answer as to whether they will be admitted. We won’t know if we need to go to the waitlist until we have heard from the students we have already admitted.
Q: Do I really need to respond officially? Can’t I just email you?
A: We enjoy your emails, but we really prefer you respond through the online system or with the enrollment reply form. It helps us keep track of information.
Q: What classes will be offered in 2011-2012?
A: The schedules for next year aren’t set yet, but many courses are offered on a yearly basis. You can see the class schedules for 2010-2011 on our web site.
Q: I was put on the waitlist. Can I request feedback now?
A: Although the waitlist is not the same as being offered admission, it’s also not the same as being denied admission. We only offer feedback to applicants once their applications are no longer active, which is not the case for those on the waitlist. On the other hand, there may be one key item we want to see from you, and it is reasonable for you to contact us and ask directly if there is a particular item the Committee on Admissions would like to see. If there is, we’ll tell you. If there isn’t, we’ll leave it to you to decide what you should send to update your application.