April: Financial Plans and visits

I know it seems like plenty of time — Admissions decisions will be released by all your schools in March, and you’ll need to make your enrollment decision by April 20 for Fletcher, and around that time for your other schools. Five weeks (more or less) to think it all through — easy peasy, right? Well… It should be very straightforward: gather all your data, plan a visit or more, make a decision. Done! Enjoy your summer! But year after year, we hear from folks who find themselves scrambling on April 19, still collecting information, feeling extremely stressed, and unable to make the final decision on a school or program. So, friends, let my Admissions pals guide you to avoid that fate. First, Liz has a suggestion for an info-gathering opportunity.

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Prepare for April!

As I mentioned last Monday, the theme (in my mind, at least) of the posts for these two weeks is Prep for App/Prep for April. That is, you can probably put together a perfectly fine application with little advance thought, but the admissions process will go so much more smoothly for you if you first take some foundational steps. Similarly, you can go from January to March without giving any thought to which graduate school you’d most like to attend if admitted, but the process of making your decision by the April 20 enrollment deadline will be so much more productive and less stressful if you have done your research first.

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Prepare for your application

Today we’ll kick off the tips for how to prepare for your application. In past summers, we’ve focused on the nuts and bolts of the application itself, but this time I hope we’ll be helping you with the build-up to applying more generally. Let’s just jump into it, and I think it will become clear. My question to my Admissions pals was simply, “What do you wish everyone would do to prepare to apply to Fletcher?” The responses follow, starting with Laurie’s foundational advice.

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We help you get in shape!

Though the Admissions staff has little to add to your exercise routine, we do know our way around the admissions process. I’ve consulted my Admissions pals and asked them to share their suggestions for two phases of the application cycle — the current moment (pre-application) and that point, many months in the future, when you learn you have been admitted to Fletcher.

Why did I create this particular structure for their suggestions?

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Nearing the end of summer quiet

It’s always the same. The summer plods along: slow slow slow slow, and then FAST! One minute, the big highlight for the week was a newly refurbished restroom down the hall from our office, and the next minute THE PRE-SESSION IS NEARLY HERE! Students will return to campus and we’ll be getting our heads in gear for the new academic year.

The truth is that the students arriving on Monday to attend the pre-session (MIBs and others interested in Strategic Management) make only a ripple in the Hall of Flags. They spend most of their time together in one classroom — but it’s still a big change from the situation this week when, as likely as not, students are rarely sighted day-to-day. And the start of the pre-session will be the push we need to get mentally ready for Orientation, which is just over two weeks away. Soon we we won’t be finding the building quiet at all anymore.

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Local African-American history tour

Though Fletcher is tucked into three conveniently linked buildings, there’s a whole Tufts University campus outside our front door! No doubt there are Fletcher students who never feel a need to venture out. Others will want to use the gym, the main library, or the dining halls. Or maybe they want to hear a concert or visit a museum (one of my favorite quick trips on campus). There are plenty of reasons to explore beyond the walls of the Fletcher “complex.”

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Tweak to the essay questions

Earlier in the summer, I confidently stated that we wouldn’t be changing the application essay questions this year. And then the staff got to talking…and the result is that we have added two options to the existing topic for what we call “Essay 2.” If you’ve already drafted your essay, fear not. Option three is the same as last year’s essay topic.

For everyone who hasn’t yet written the essay, here’s what you’re going to find on this year’s application.

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Fresh new look!

The Admissions Blog had a spa day yesterday and has emerged with this fresh new look! With the redesign, the decorative elements of the blog no longer match the Fletcher website and, instead, are closer to what you’ll find on the main Tufts website or the site for the Cummings School. The Fletcher site will catch the redecoration wave soon (sometime this fall), with the blog having led the way.

Aside from the design, you’ll find that not much as changed. You can still go all the way back in the archives, reviewing our very first of more than 1900 posts, if you want to. I hope you’ll like the new look!

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Five-Year Update: Margot Shorey, F13

Like Ana, whose Five-Year Update appeared yesterday, Margot’s path since graduating has also been featured in the blog. She followed Ana as the second graduate to write a First-Year Alumni update. I shared news about an article she had written, and she has helped out a couple of times when I’ve been in Washington, DC for a graduate school fair. Margot spent two years on the Admissions Committee and I always enjoy a chance to reconnect! Today she’ll tell us about her path since completing the MALD in 2013.

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