Today is the last day of classes for the spring 2013 semester, and it’s also the last day of Fletcher classes for (Dear) Ariel. There are many second-year students I will wish to thank in person or in the blog for their contributions to the community, and Ariel will be the first.
Ariel started work as an Admissions Intern in September 2011 and she is the quiet super-charged engine of the student staff. There’s no task that she doesn’t complete efficiently, and that includes writing a Dear Ariel column. A typical week had me sauntering over to her on a Tuesday at noon and asking if, based on questions turning up by email, she had any ideas for a blog post. By 12:30, a perfect piece of writing was in my inbox.
Ariel’s final column today returns to the basics of advising prospective applicants. Next year I’ll face the challenge of finding another writer who may come close to Ariel’s efficiency and skill. For now: Thanks, Dear Ariel!
Dear Ariel: Is my GPA competitive for Fletcher?
Every student admitted by Fletcher’s Committee on Admissions must be able to succeed in Fletcher classes, and the applicant’s academic profile is the most important aspect of an application. But academic potential (which is indicated primarily by GPA, test scores, and recommendations) is still only one part of the application. We seek students who, by virtue of their background, achievement, and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship and practice of international relations. Even a strong GPA, in the absence of international and professional experience, does not guarantee admission. Since Fletcher students come from a broad range of educational backgrounds that utilize different grading scales, calculating an average GPA for all admitted students is impossible. Among admitted students who attended colleges or universities using a 4.0 scale, the middle fifty percent of GPAs has fallen in the range of 3.4 to 3.8 in recent years.