Januarians, assemble!

The arrival of late September in the Admissions Office can only mean one thing: it’s time to think about January! Admissions is a deadline-driven business, and we have an important one approaching. October 15 is the date by which applicants for January 2019 enrollment need to submit application materials. This one has a tendency to sneak up on everyone. Relative to the fall enrolling class, our annual group of “Januarians” is small (usually a few dozen students), and as such the application and enrollment period for them is quite compressed. With a mid-October application deadline, we expect to release admissions decisions for these candidates in early November, and to receive enrollment decisions from them by the end of that month. There’s a lot that needs to happen in just a handful of weeks.

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April flowers…and networking

Today we’ll close out the Prep for App/Prep for April tips. Before Kristen and Dan give you their thoughts on how to gather information, I want to share two items. The first is that the application for 2018-19 enrollment is open now. Whether you want to sit down and conquer it in one session (probably not advised) or start by poking around and seeing what questions you’ll be answering, take a look!

Second, I want to point you toward this very thoughtful New York Times column that Kristen sent my way. The author has done a lot of research and writing on college admissions and the college experience. You might wonder why I would highlight an article that is targeted toward undergraduates. Well, I’ll bet that some blog readers are undergrads. But also, much of the advice is equally relevant for graduate students. Wherever you end up, get to know your professors, remember to sleep, take some risks.

Okay. On to the advice.

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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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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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