Currently viewing the tag: "Early Notification"

This is one of those weeks that most clearly brings home that we are a single Admissions Office in the middle of several admissions cycles.  Our newest Januarians are preparing for Orientation in just over a month.  The majority of our September 2018 applicants are completing their applications before our January 10 deadline.  Applicants to the PhD program and MYF pathway to the MALD or MIB are six days out from their December 20 deadline.  And earlier this week we released decisions on our Early Notification (EN) applications for September 2018 enrollment.

To those EN applicants who were admitted, congratulations!  Learning in December that you have been admitted is a great opportunity to plan for your graduate studies.  Some of you have already sent questions to the Admissions email, and we’ll be getting back to you, as well as reaching out to everyone else who was admitted.  We enjoy the opportunity to work with some real live admitted students while we’re also reading applications.

Today, though, a few words for those who weren’t admitted.  To those who were denied admission, please let me say that we’re sorry to make these decisions, but we hope it will help you craft your strategy on where to apply in January.  Later in the spring, you will also be welcome to request feedback on your application.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  We know that you didn’t submit an application in November in hopes of waiting until March for a decision.  On the other hand, you have the opportunity to update us on your application during the next few months.  If you choose the right update, it can be the difference between bad news and good news in March.

As I’m sure you can imagine, we’re not asking to be flooded with extra information, but here are suggestions of what we’d like to see:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Updating your application is strictly optional, but I’d encourage you to think through whether you have something useful to add.  And in that case, don’t turn down the opportunity!

What should you update? Well, you probably (in your heart of hearts) can identify the weaker areas of your application.  That’s where you should focus.  Are there any documents, or is there anything extra that you can say, that will help us to understand or interpret the weak points in your application?  If so, go ahead and update.  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulled down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.  Note here that I’m not telling you to take the standardized exam again.  I’m encouraging you to review your credentials and make that decision for yourself.  The same is true for your TOEFL/IELTS.  If your scores are low, but you have continued to study English since your first test date, it could be worth it to retest.  Give it some thought.

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  An additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes two.  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to contact us with your questions.

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The Early Notification deadline was only last Wednesday, but I feel like we’re already deep in the application review process.  Our student Admissions Committee members dove into reading over the weekend, and now the burden is on the staff to follow-up.  I’m planning to read applications at home on Monday, which will be a treat.  Decisions will be sent to applicants before the end of December.

One question that has come up a few times regards submitting the scholarship form.  You may already have submitted it with your Early Notification application, but if you didn’t, you’ll want to send it along by the deadline of January 10.  In fact, there’s no reason why you can’t (or shouldn’t) complete it and submit it today.  But if you’re not going to do that, stick a reminder in your calendar so that you don’t need to call us in a panic on January 10.

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Our friend and Admissions Canine Representative, Murray, is all dressed up and looking forward to reading applications for September 2018 enrollment, some of which have already arrived or will arrive today before our Early Notification deadline.  (As usual, Murray reminds you that the ultimate last minute for submitting the application is 11:59 PM EST (UTC-4) today, November 15.)

We have our Admissions Committee — including ten new student members (two for MIB, eight for MALD/MA) — ready to start their reading, and we’ll be meeting early in December.  The turnaround is pretty quick on Early Notification applications.  Everyone with a complete application will hear from us before the end of December.

That speedy process means that, if you’re one of the EN applicants, you should make sure all needed materials reach us very soon.  All the basics (form, essays, transcripts) should be submitted by tonight’s deadline, and you’ll want any lagging items (test scores or recommendations, for example) to reach us within the next week.  Incomplete applications will simply be rolled into the regular application group, which means you’ll have until January 10 to gather those last materials.  (No penalty, and not a big deal, but you also won’t get an early response from us.)

I don’t have a gingham tie of my own but, like Murray, I’m looking forward to reading some applications!

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I was at my favorite Davis Square Farmers Market yesterday (convenient to Tufts, open every Wednesday until the day before Thanksgiving) and the weather was the subject of most of my conversations.  We’ve been gliding along on a stream of endless summery days, but on Tuesday, the winds started to blow and suddenly the weather is what we expect for November in the Boston area.  And once the temperatures dropped, November seemed very real.  I’ve barely been thinking about the big events of the month — Thanksgiving at home, and Early Notification at work — but now that November feels like November, the month is impossible to ignore.

You don’t need to worry about my Thanksgiving planning (still in only the formative stages, but there will be pies), but you might be thinking about applying by our November 15 Early Notification deadline.  If you’re looking for application tips, you could start with the week of Application Boot Camp posts we wrote a few years ago.  (Note two changes since then: First, only two recommendations are required, not three; and second, here are this year’s application instructions.)  Advice on the essays and résumé would still apply.

At the risk of repeating things I’ve written already, I’ll remind you that applying early is great for everyone — we take care of some of our applications in the fall instead of in January, and an early offer of admission means our admitted students have more time to plan.  But that’s only true if you’re really ready to submit your application.  If you are going to rush it through or send it along with pieces missing, that’s not going to serve you well.  Apply early if you’re ready to apply early, and otherwise wait until January.  There’s no admissions advantage for Early Notification applications, and we’ll look forward to reading your story on some snowy day.

That’s about all I have to say about Early Notification until after we’ve released decisions, but I hope you’ll contact us if you have any questions.

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Early Notification applicants will know by now that we have released decisions on all of the complete EN applications.

To those who were admitted, congratulations!  Learning in December that you have been admitted is a great opportunity to plan for your graduate studies.  Members of the Admissions staff will be reaching out to you and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to ask your questions.  Working with you throughout the early spring is a welcome reminder for the staff that the applications we’re toiling over represent future students!

But today I’m really writing for those who weren’t admitted.  To those who were denied admission, please let me say that we’re sorry to make these decisions, but we hope it will help you craft your strategy on where to apply in January.  Later in the spring, you will also be welcome to request feedback on your application.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  The bad news is the lack of happy admissions news, but the good news is that you still have the opportunity to try to bring about happy news in March.  Our Admissions Committee will gladly review an update to your application!  But what makes a useful addition?  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Before I go on, I’ll emphasize that no one is required to submit an update.  Not at all!  But you are invited to submit one, and why would you turn down this opportunity?

What type of optional update is best for you?  Well, let’s start with the parts of your application that you know are weakest.  Are those aspects something you can improve on?  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulled down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.  (Note here that I’m not telling you to take the standardized exam again.  I’m suggesting that you consider if you could have done better and, if so, that you make that decision for yourself.)

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  (An additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes two.)  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send us something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to contact us with your questions.

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One less-heralded benefit of applying by our November 15 Early Notification deadline is a rapid turnaround.  You’ll be hearing back from us before the end of December, less than six weeks after you first applied, keeping the amount of waiting time to a relative minimum.  Given the schedule, you may be wondering what the Admissions Office is up to, and I’m here to tell you.

Our first step toward releasing EN decisions was hiring and training the students who are full members of the Committee on Admissions.  They start their reading with EN applications, which provides a perfect small-batch learning/coaching opportunity for all of us.  We can take the time to offer comments and ensure that the new readers are on the right track.  As it happens, the students on this year’s committee are amazing!  Good news for the staff.

Once we have a committee, we start reading.  Every application is read twice, and then Laurie looks at all of them to ensure consistency from reader to reader.  When needed, we discuss applications in a full-committee setting that will include the professors on the committee.  Our EN meeting will be next Friday.  (Can’t wait!  LVE committee meetings!)  Nearly every application has already been read twice — we’re well on our way through the process.

From the perspective of a staff member (i.e., me), EN is great because it throws us into the heart of the admissions process, but with an application volume that enables us to test and, when necessary, improve systems before the January 10 flood of applications.  Next Friday’s meeting will help students calibrate their assessments of applicants.  Then in January, we’re in the best position for the process to go smoothly.

But none of that matters to you EN applicants.  What you need to know is simply that we are making great progress in completing the review of applications, and you’ll be hearing from us before the end of this month.

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I’ve unintentionally neglected the applicants who applied by our Early Notification deadline but who didn’t receive a final decision from us in December.  Part of the application review process this month is to return to those applications.  Though I don’t have much to add to the suggestions I made in December regarding any supplemental materials that you might want to submit, I’d like to attach a deadline for you.  Thus…if you want to send us updated transcripts, test scores, résumés, or whatever, please plan to submit them by Friday, February 19, roughly a week from now.

Of course, if you don’t take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL until after the 19th, you should submit the scores whenever you can.  For everything else, though, there’s no need to wait any longer.  Send us what you’ve got, so that we can take a look.

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All Early Notification applicants should know by now that decisions were released last week.  To those who were admitted, congratulations!  I hope you’ll enjoy the extra time to plan for your graduate studies.  You will be hearing from members of the Admissions staff to whom you can send your questions.  We’re really happy to start growing the September 2016 entering class!  All that said, this post is not so much for you.

Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission.  We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  The bad news is the lack of happy admissions news, but the good news is that you still have the opportunity to try to bring about happy news in March.  Our Admissions Committee will gladly review an update to your application!  But what makes a useful addition?  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Before I go on, I’ll emphasize that no one is required to submit an update.  Not at all!  But you are invited to submit one, and why would you turn down this opportunity?

What type of optional update is best for you?  Well, the first thing to do is consider whether you have your own suspicions regarding weaker aspects of your application.  Are those aspects something you can improve on?  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulls down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three.  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send us something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to be in touch if you have questions.

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Sticking to nitty-gritty admissions subjects today, I want to address a question that came up not in my survey (responses still welcome!) but in yesterday’s online chat.  No one actually asked the question directly, so I’m going to need to frame it myself.  The question:  I’m racing to complete my application before the November 15 Early Notification deadline, and I’m worried that it won’t be as good as it could be.  What should I do?

The Early Notification (EN) deadline serves applicants well in offering them the opportunity to learn before the end of 2015 that they are admitted to Fletcher for the Fall 2016 semester.  Whether they use that information simply to bask in the glow of success or to start serious planning is up to them.  Students who aren’t admitted may be less satisfied with the result, but they can take the information and use it to shape the list of schools to which they’ll apply in January.  In other words, there are plenty of reasons you may want to aim for our Early Notification deadline to kick off your application process.

On the other hand, there is no admissions advantage to applying early.  We look at the EN applications with the same standards and expectations that we will employ in reviewing the applications we receive in January.  So if you are concerned that you will submit a sub-par application, it may be best for you to pass on the EN deadline.  You can still submit your application well before the January deadline, but you don’t need to rush right now.

The exception to the above would be where you are submitting an application you are 100% happy with, but your GRE scores will arrive five days late.  Or one recommendation will arrive a little late.  Or you will be unable to upload your official transcript until November 17.  In those situations, go ahead and submit the application.  It takes us a few days to review each application and mark it as complete, and there will be no penalty for a late recommendation if your high-quality application arrives before the November 15 deadline.

Cutting corners to meet a deadline is something we’re all familiar with from our academic and professional lives.  But shortchanging yourself by doing less than your best when you race for a deadline, knowing there is another equally good deadline two months from now, is something you should think carefully about.

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All Early Notification applicants should know by now that decisions were released earlier this week.  To those who were admitted, congratulations!  I hope you’ll enjoy the extra time to plan for your graduate studies.  You will be hearing from members of the Admissions staff to whom you can send your questions.  We’re really happy to start growing the September 2015 entering class!  All that said, this post is not so much for you.

Next, let me say that I’m sorry to bid farewell to a group of applicants who were denied admission.  We always regret making these difficult decisions, but we hope it will help the applicants make their choices on where else they should apply.

This post is really for those applicants whose applications were deferred for review in the spring, a good news/bad news situation.  The bad news is the lack of happy admissions news, but the good news is that you still have the opportunity to try to bring about happy news in March.  Our Admissions Committee will gladly review an update to your application!  But what makes a useful addition?  Here’s a list of updates that we particularly value:

  • An updated transcript that reflects grades received since you submitted your application;
  • New standardized exam (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS) score reports;
  • A revised résumé that includes information on a new job position;
  • An additional recommendation that sheds light on an aspect of your background you weren’t able to illuminate in other parts of the application.

Before I go on, I’ll emphasize that no one is required to submit an update.  Not at all!  But you are invited to submit one, and why would you turn down this opportunity?

What type of optional update is best for you?  Well, the first thing to do is consider whether you have your own suspicions regarding weaker aspects of your application.  Are those aspects something you can improve on?  For example, did you decide it would be better not to mention the causes of your weak undergraduate semester?  I’d encourage you to explain it, particularly if it pulls down your overall GPA.  Did you indicate that your language skills are not strong enough to pass our proficiency exam?  Send us information on your plan for achieving proficiency before the end of the summer.  Did you mistype your years of employment at a certain job, making it look like you were there for two months, rather than four years and two months?  You can make that correction now.  And, if your GRE/GMAT scores were significantly lower than you expected, you may want to take the test again.

Another suggestion:  If, upon reflection, your essay didn’t state your goals as clearly as you would have liked, send us a clarifying email!  We won’t substitute it for your personal statement, but it will certainly be reviewed.  This could be particularly helpful if you’ve taken steps to learn more about your ultimate career goal.

Possible additions to your application need not be limited to what I’ve listed above.  The key question to ask yourself is:  Does this actually add anything?  If the information is already included in your application, then there’s there’s not much value in sending it again.  That is, an additional academic recommendation will add little to an application that already includes three.  On the other hand, a professional recommendation will add a lot to an application that only includes academic recommendations.  Think it through before you flood us with info, but don’t hesitate to send us something that will give your application a happy bump.

Whether you were offered admission this week, or you were told we’ll reconsider your application in the spring, we look forward to hearing from you and to working with you during the coming months.  Please be sure to be in touch if you have questions.

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