Admit It! Admission committees are these mysterious entities. You’ve likely heard all sorts of urban admission myths about what goes on behind those closed doors. Some of the myths are likely funny, others might be frightening. Still others might seem simply absurd. The rumors and gossip surrounding admission committee meetings probably fall into each of the above categories and every one in between. Committee deliberations are not used by all admission offices and are not standardized by those who do. But we DO use the Committee process. What follows is the why and how.
We (and by we, we mean the greater W&M we, the royal we if you want to get punny) are in the very fortunate position of having more qualified students apply to W&M than we have space for in the incoming class. As a result, we utilize a very holistic and thorough two-reads-per-application review process. But there are plenty of instances wherein after those two reads, there is still no clear decision to be made. More voices at the table, alongside a greater perspective on the entire applicant pool can then prove very useful. So we have Committee deliberations.
During Early Decision we hold one Committee that includes all admission deans. The Committee lasts four to five days and we go through each remaining case, one by one, discuss the merits of each student and then render a decision. We realize that this is a very human process and that the decisions we make are neither right nor wrong; they are simply the best decisions we can arrive at given what we know about our applicant pool and what we know about W&M students.
Our ED Committee will begin late next week and our much beloved “Overheard in Committee” blogs will be forthcoming. We will watch the Class of 2019 grow day by day (and our waistlines as Committee requires copious amounts of junk food). Stay tuned as we do our best to let you peak behind the Committee curtain.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission