Oct 08, 2010

What happens to my file after I click submit?

By Pat H. - Admissions

With the Early Action deadline of October 13 quickly approaching, you are probably wondering about this question. I may be completely dating myself with this reference, but I am reminded of the “Schoolhouse Rock” episode following the path of a bill through the legislative process. Perhaps we can take a similar approach to follow the path of a file through the admissions process . . . I promise I won’t start singing “I’m just a Bill…” (although, I may hum along).

Okay, so you have put your blood, sweat and tears into preparing the perfect application, and double (no triple) checked it for any mistakes, then you hit the submit button. What happens next? Once we get it, we print out the application and put it in a file with your letters of recommendation (which hopefully have already arrived), and the write-up from your interview (assuming you have already completed one). The complete file then goes to one of our nine admissions committee members for the first read. S/he reads everything that has been submitted and writes a brief evaluation of the pros and cons of the file and makes a recommendation whether to admit or deny the applicant. If the applicant has not already had an interview, the reader also makes a recommendation whether we should invite him/her to interview. Please note that this happens for EVERYONE. We don’t have minimum cut-offs for GMAT, GPA, work experience, etc. All files go through this process. Next, the complete file then goes on to a second adcom reader for another full read. S/he goes through the same exercise and makes a recommendation whether to admit or deny.

So, now we have two evaluations of the application - sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t, that’s why we have more than one person read each file. Next stop for our little file is Dawna's office! Our Director of Admissions, Dawna Clarke reviews each reader’s comments and may read some or all of the file if she needs further clarification. Some of the applicants she reviews are clear admits, and some are unfortunately clear denies. She makes a final decision on those groups accordingly. However, a larger number of applicants fall somewhere in the middle, and that group goes to “committee.”

Committee occurs at the end of the application round, and basically we lock ourselves in a conference room for a few days, with a generous supply of junk food, and the group discusses each applicant. Some of those discussions are lengthy and become quite passionate. Eventually we arrive at a final decision as a group. Final decisions are then communicated to all applicants via their on-line admissions account on the published notification date. Hopefully, the news is good!

Now that we have come to the end of the journey for our file, the important thing to take away is that A LOT of time and attention is given to every single application. One of the things I am most proud of is how thoughtful our process is. We really try to get to know each of the applicants as a person, not just their stats. All of the hard work you put into your application is appreciated, and we really do read every essay you write.