The Last Stretch
Committee is complete.
As I described before, each file we take into committee could fit perfectly well into the class, but we only have 1,600 spaces in the first-year class. We evaluate the applications on the bubble (typically between admit and waitlist) in a committee format. OUA completed approximately 58 hours of discussion over the past ten days in order to carve out our Class of 2015.
The Committee Process
The logistics of committee vary a bit by officer, but generally operate the same. Here was my committee experience this year:
- In my committee I presented to my two Associate Directors and to my Director. The same committee (often including the Dean of Admissions as well) listens to every single officer present; this consistency ensures fairness and balance between officers and geographic territories.
- For each student I laid out their general information sheet on the table (this paper is a summary of the courses the student took in high school, the grades received, their SAT/ACT score, and their AP scores if they submitted results). If we considered multiple students from the same school we sometimes looked at their general information sheets simultaneously in order to compare curriculums, are these students all challenging themselves or is one student above and beyond the rest in terms of rigor?
- Once the committee digested the basic information I gave my elevator pitch (described in my previous post) and argued the case for each student – why him/her in the context of 24,000+ applications? What makes this student unique?
- After I advocated for each student the committee would often ask me questions or ask me to cover a particular topic in more depth, such as the extracurricular involvement of the student.
- Finally, the leadership team talked out the student’s application briefly and let me know which decision best fit this student. This entire process could take anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes depending on the depth of discussion.
Now that committee is complete almost every single file has an initial decision on it: admit, waitlist, or deny. So why can’t we send out decisions immediately? There’s still a lot of work to do!
- We’ll go over the application pool today through Wednesday and look for anomalies or outliers. Essentially we want to ensure that every file, whether it was read way back in October or just last week, has a decision that makes sense given our application pool.
- At the end of the week we print decision letters and stuff envelopes.
- Monday through Wednesday of next week will consist of admissions officers and APC staff members checking each letter by hand to make sure that the right person gets the right letter with the right decision. It takes MANY hours to look at 24,000+ letters!
- At this time we expect to send out every single letter on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 23rd (but we reserve the right to mail on the 24th or 25th if necessary).
Check back later this week for my mythbusters post. I hear rumors all the time about when/where/why/how mailing day works so I’ll lay out the rumors and tell you how it all works here at OUA.
I will continuously provide updates on the blog; when I know something, you’ll know something. As always, we will provide an official blog on mailing day once the post office picks up all of our letters.
Last note: stay calm. I know the end of March produces frenzy in your school, on the web, and even at home. Exercise, journal, keep yourself ridiculously busy so you don’t have to think about it. Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place. Know that a year from now, when you’re a very happy first-year student on campus somewhere, this craziness will be a distant memory