The Future is Now Upon Us

By Karen Fisher posted 03-06-2017 12:15


IT’S DECISION NOTIFICATION DAY! A fitful sleep last night for all! Up at 2 a.m. worrying, “Will we make an error in our notifications? We’ll double and triple check. But it could happen! Should we have gone with candidate A instead of candidate B? Will we achieve our enrollment and diversity goals? Will the financial aid budget support our goals and take care of our new admits as well as our currently enrolled families? Couldn’t we just find a little more money to help that one student who is at the top of our wait list?” Finally the alarm rings.

Fast forward to 3:30 p.m. We’ve hit send. The force is set in motion. The die has been cast. We’ve sent the shockwave out to the applicants. Here goes! For those applicants who have patiently waited for many months for decision day, there is elation, despair and the dreaded purgatory—Wait List Land! The future is now upon us. It’s a day where stars align and hopes and dreams can misalign.

An admission officer’s first duty is to advance the school through selecting candidates who both confer a benefit to the school and will derive a benefit from the school. Our viewpoint is that of the school as a living growing community, with many needs and often with competing needs. This is the day when families of siblings who have not met our standards will feel abandoned by us, angry or confused. This is a day when siblings will cry if their little sister is not admitted. This is the day some of our currently enrolled families must decide whether they can pay for their third child to enroll or sell their house and move elsewhere, where good schools are more likely to be free. This is the day our Heads, faculty colleagues and Board Chairs will begin to opine about the work we have done for over a year. This is the day when children’s lives will be changed forever.

If you believe in the mission of your school, you are willing to withstand the tsunami of emotions that are headed your way. But first, take a moment. Thank the stars for your admission team. Thank the stars for your applicant pool. Thank the stars for the energy you and your team have had in greeting people, conducting tours, events, coffees, open houses, sending e-mails, making calls, connecting, creating marketing pieces, reviewing and assessing files, determining financial need ALL WHILE playing nicely with faculty, administration, alumni, parents and your Board. Oh yes, and balancing your personal and family needs to boot!

CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, ADMISSION PROFESSIONAL! Take a moment to breathe and marvel at your work. You are multi-talented. Your skill set is broad and deep. You are indeed changing lives and securing opportunities for children and families. They are charged with the stewardship of the future and will make the world a better place. Now, go home and put your feet up for a minute, please!

About Karen Fisher
Director of Admission and Financial Aid
Francis W. Parker School, Chicago, IL

1 comment



03-07-2017 09:37

Thanks, Karen, for sharing this.  You touch on so much of what we all experience at this time of the year.