Monday, April 4, 2011

This is for all our candidates

Today we have written to all candidates for the 2011-12 academic year. Some have been admitted, others not. A small number were offered spots on a wait list.

I'd like to thank all candidates, regardless of the Admissions Committee's decision, for your applications. Your interest proves that SAIS remains highly relevant, and your questions and prodding have kept us on our toes. As many of you know, I am very new to this job and have found the energy among candidates to be invigorating.

Let me use this space to answer some of the most common questions we've received since sending out those emails this morning.

If you have not been offered admission, we are willing to provide feedback on your application. I feel strongly that one can benefit from such feedback when one falls short. I would ask one thing, however: If you would like such feedback, please drop me an email after April 18 and we will try to set up a time to chat.

If you have been offered a spot on the wait list, please let us know by May 16 if you would like to remain on that list. We will know only after that date if any spots open up. There is no way of knowing now if there will be any openings as it will depend on the acceptance rate among those who were admitted. If there are openings, we will be in touch with those on the wait list as soon as possible after May 16.

If you were offered admission, congratulations. You will be receiving more material in the next few days. If you had requested financial aid, you will be hearing from us on that request. Some of you will receive guidance on Economics and the pre-term English course, and applicants to the International Development concentration will learn if they have been accepted.

Many of those who requested financial aid and are offered either none or less than what they had requested will ask: Is there a chance for more aid? At this point we have allocated all of the aid we can. There is a chance that some of it will be returned to us and that we could reallocate that. However, that possibility is not something to count on, and any further consideration would not occur until after the deadline for responding to our offer.

Admitted candidates: Please note that the deadline for acceptance is May 16, and you will nail down your place by paying a matriculation fee. Of course we would be grateful for early responses as that helps us get organized for the next year. It can also speed up our responses to those on the wait list.

I would ask that admitted candidates read the wealth of material that we will point them to before sending us any questions. As you know, we like to respond promptly to questions. I consider that an important part of our job, and we aim to serve and to set the right example. But many questions will be addressed by the material, and we'll be able to focus on the unique questions if those admitted take the time to read the information packet carefully.

Finally, there will be several events in coming weeks allowing admitted candidates to meet students, faculty, staff and alumni. More on that later.

Nelson Graves


Anonymous said...

can you let us know about the ratio of the applicants and the admitted students this year?


Nelson Graves said...

Thank you, David. That's a very good question. We don't publish the exact figures. But I don't want to brush the question off. As you would expect, we receive more applications than available slots and the competition is fierce. We find that there is a great deal of self-selection among candidates, who weigh carefully two important things before going through the complicated application process: (1) whether they are up to the challenge, and (2) whether this the best thing for their careers. We are confident that next year's student body will uphold the 56-year-old standard of the Bologna Center. Thanks again for the question.

Nelson Graves said...

...Your comment, David, has set me thinking. I believe we can try to give our readers a better sense of the selectivity of the process and what sets the admitted candidates apart. Later this week we'll offer a post that profiles the pool of admitted candidates. I hope that will underscore just how good they are.