We Admit It! Another week of Committee has come and gone. With each day the class grows more and more complete but there’s still more work ahead of us. And still tons more snacks. We’re not actually sure we can clear the cart but we’re doing our darndest day by day, snack by snack. But that’s not what this blog is focused on. So once again we turn our attention to the conversations we’ve been having and how they help to shine a light on our process.
Overheard in Committee: Ah, that one makes me a little bit sad.
We had just decided to waitlist an applicant who had some very compelling components to her application. The Committee genuinely liked her. But every application we were reviewing was strong, and every student was compelling in their own right. In the end, the Committee, despite their admiration for this student, decided that her application wasn’t quite as competitive as the other applicants who we were admitting.
During Committee, we are making very tough decisions among one great student after another. It’s literally outstanding student after outstanding student after outstanding student. We can find great reasons to admit each and every one. These decisions are tough, and at times painstaking. But our job is to craft a class and to make those tough decisions. So we do our job, and we make decisions. But that doesn’t mean they come easily to us. You, our applicants, certainly make our job a tough one (in a good way of course). And sometimes we are legitimately saddened about the students who we are not able to admit. We think sometimes people picture an Admission Committee sitting around a table gleefully rejecting students right and left (they likely also picture people with hairy warts and yellow teeth). That’s not our Committee however (either in attitude or appearance). We are so humbled by the strength of our applicant pool and the individual accomplishments each of you have achieved. We love being able to admit students; what we don’t relish is not being able to admit students. Sometimes that’s a harder decision to make than others, like in the case today.
This will be reiterated in the Decisions, Decisions blog when the time comes, but our decision to not take a student is not one we make lightly and in no way implies that the student is somehow lacking. It’s a decision that while not easy, was one that was arrived at after two informed reads and thoughtful deliberation. We don’t make these decisions in a vacuum and we don’t make them without emotion. But we make them nonetheless and do our best to make the most informed and best decisions possible.
And we will get back to doing just that.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission