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Monday, March 31, 2008

Now what?

I took the weekend off to give you all a chance to chat and share. I will begin to work through the questions and post answers in batches over the next day or two.

Just a few basics:

I haven't had any new information from the Rodman Program, but I will post an update as soon as I get it from them.

Attendance at Days on the Lawn isn't a requirement. It's just an admitted student open house. We'd love to see you here, but understand that plenty of you will not be able to make it.

The waitlist is not ranked. Your official decision will have an FAQ page with it that will explain the process and time line involved. In an ideal world, all of our admitted students would get back to us immediately and we'd know if there is space in the class prior to May 1, but this has never happened. The admitted students have until May 1 to weigh their options, so you need to deposit at another school to ensure that you have a spot in someone's freshman class. As soon as I have information about waitlist movement, I will post about it.

We will take what we call "decision calls" over the next few days. We'll talk with students about their application and give them some information about how they were reviewed. Before you call, I strongly recommend that you read the following:

1. Don't have mom or dad call for you. We're much more impressed by a student who shows initiative and interest in their application than by one who lets their parents do the talking for them. Even the busiest student can carve out five minutes during lunch or after school to talk with us (we're open until 5 PM).

2. Know why you're calling. Many people call us to rant and have no real questions to ask. We'll sit here and patiently listen, but we'll also think about the students we could be talking to; those who actually have questions for us. So, before you pick up the phone, think about the goal of your call. Write down concrete, specific questions. "How would you rate my program strength?" is specific. "You admitted my friend with lower scores than me" is not.

3. Refresh our memory. Sometimes I'll take a call from someone I've met, but don't remember. We meet thousands of students in our travels and while we try to remember them all, it's not always possible. Remind us of where we met and if we had a conversation, what we talked about.

4. Don't call to talk about other students. To be frank, when someone calls to complain about another student's decision, it's a turn off. I've already seen an allegation of cheating in the comments and that is completely out of line. That sort of conversation should be had with your guidance/college counselor. When you call us, you should be calling to talk about you.