Fletcher Decision Option Primer, Part Two: Admission and Conditional Admission
My task today is easier than yesterday’s. Whether applicants are offered admission with a condition attached or admitted free and clear, they are still admitted. That said, however, I still want readers to understand the different admission options that Fletcher uses.
As soon as we can wrap up the remainder of the process, many Fletcher applicants will learn that they have been admitted, and can join us in September 2016. Hooray! We hope that enrolling at Fletcher will be the next step you take as you craft your future career!
Some of the offers of admission, however, are accompanied by a condition, and today’s post is to clarify what those conditions entail. The first thing to remember is that we don’t bother to admit someone conditionally unless we’re very enthusiastic about other aspects of the application; don’t let the condition diminish your sense of accomplishment!
What is the basis for a conditional offer of admission? The Admissions Committee looks at the materials in an applicant’s file and makes certain assumptions, some of which lead Committee members to suggest the applicant needs further preparation before enrolling at Fletcher. We’ll make that preparation a condition of admission. The most frequently employed conditions require that, before starting Fletcher classes, the student should improve foreign language proficiency, English language proficiency, or quantitative skills.
We tend to be inflexible about the nature of the pre-Fletcher English training, for reasons I hope are obvious. (In case they’re not as obvious as I think, I’ll spell it out: No one can succeed in Fletcher classes with weak English skills.) There’s more flexibility around foreign language training for native English speakers. We’ll ask students to choose the best program for their level and their choice of language — there are too many variables involved for us to dictate any particular option. And we offer several options for those who should brush up their quantitative skills.
Does this mean that, if we haven’t attached a condition, we’re absolutely sure your English skills are strong enough to cope with a heavy load of reading and writing? Not necessarily, and now’s a good time to work on those skills. Does it mean we’re sure you’ll pass the foreign language exam? Definitely not! Applicants who self-assess as having intermediate-level proficiency might have overestimated or underestimated their ability. Work on those language skills before enrolling! Do we believe you will sail through the required economics and quantitative analysis classes? No — we only assume that you will pass those basic classes. If you’re not so sure, then pick up a text book and familiarize yourself with the basic concepts.
Not everyone who needs practice in English, a foreign language, or quantitative skills will be admitted conditionally.
Beyond the conditions, there’s one other complication to the admit category: Occasionally, we admit applicants to a program other than the one to which they applied. Most common example: You applied to the mid-career MA program, but you don’t have sufficient experience to meet Fletcher’s standard for mid-career. On the other hand, you look great for the MALD program, so we’ll admit you to the MALD!
Our process would certainly be simpler if there were only one type of admit, but the option to attach a condition to admission is the difference between admit and deny for some applicants. We would hate to turn away a highly qualified applicant who needs a little brush-up on English skills, but we would be obliged to do so if we couldn’t require pre-Fletcher English study.
The happy bottom line is that conditional admission is (once the condition is met) ADMISSION! And we’re convinced that fulfilling the condition will enhance the admitted student’s experience at Fletcher. So we’ll maintain our portfolio of admits, sometimes with conditions attached.