Offers will go out starting sometime this week.  You heard it here first.  So, yes, you’ll soon see the 650 area code pop up on your phone or see the congratulatory email from me in your in-box.  Now, I’m not arrogant enough to think that you’re all sitting around just waiting for me to call.  But, today, let’s put the application talk aside and instead take a look at my Don’t Do This list.  Just in case you get a call one of these days, let’s chat about things you should be mindful of when we connect.

1.        Don’t ask “Are you sure?” when I pass along the good news to you.  I wouldn’t be making the call if I weren’t sure.  If you have to ask this question, perhaps I should find a polite way to extricate myself from the conversation and go back and flip through your materials yet again.  Asking this question is not a good thing.

2.        Don’t say “I’m in the middle of lunch.  Can I call you back?”  Yes, indeed, someone has actually said that to me.  Guess what?  I won’t call you back.  I’ll scribble a note on your file…out to lunch.

3.       Don’t say “Stanford is absolutely my first choice!”  I know plans change and other offers may come through, but only say this if you really mean it.  It’s no fun to be pushed aside later after our courtship has begun to really take off.

4.       Don’t ask “How much funding will SLS give me?” At this point in the game, you’ve literally just been admitted and I’ve not yet looked at your financial aid paperwork.  Keep in mind that we’re need-based and not merit-based here so I can’t just throw out a figure to you.

5.       Don’t say “It’s been days (insert weeks or months here as appropriate to your situation) since I’ve sent my materials to you.”  I understand your frustration.  I get it.  So, please understand the process itself and the limitations of that process.  It is a long haul – as I’ve mentioned in other postings – and we can make it move along more quickly if we focus more on the numbers.  But, here at SLS, we’ve opted for a different kind of review and the downside, unfortunately, is the time it takes to accomplish this kind of review.  Bear with us and be patient.  I seem to recall learning at some early stage in my life that patience is a virtue.

The list is brief, I know, but take these comments to heart.  Be yourself.  Be excited.  Be nervous if you must.  Be cognizant of all the hard work you’ve done to get to this point.    And, don’t worry at all if you think of something you should have said or could have asked after the call has ended.  I’m here.  You have my number.  Call me.

2 Responses to And so it begins…
  1. Dean Deal,

    First of all, thank you so much for this amazing blog. It is definitely a comforting resource in this unknown season of applications.

    I was interested in knowing if we should expect more acceptances to come out this week, or if things should be quiet until after the break. Secondly, I wanted to know at what point in the season you would think it appropriate to send in a Letter of Continued Interest if we applied earlier in the season, such as in September or October?

    Thanks again, and have a very relaxing Christmas break!


    1. First, let me apologize for the lengthy delay in getting back to you. We now have a very good process in place for reviewing these kinds of comments and I should be more timely in responding as a result.

      Offers did not go out over the winter break, but rest assured that we picked up right where we left off and decisions have been going on in a consistent fashion since January 3.

      If you’ve not heard from us, it is indeed appropriate to send in a letter of continued interest. While the primary reason of this letter is to show us that you remain interested in SLS, it also shows me that you are an active and engaged participant in this process. Many applicants take the approach of “I’ve done my part and now I just need to wait it out” or “I’ve met all the application requirements and I’ll just sit back and wait for SLS to do their part.” Fair enough. This approach works. However, is it a bad thing to stay a bit more engaged? You just need to exercise some good judgment, though, and decide how much is enough versus becoming a pain.

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