Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Down, 2 To Go

My updated report:

First the completed applications...
  • Harvard application packet has been sent to the admissions committee and is currently under review.  I should hear around March 15th.  It has three letters of recommendation now (using my alternative letter writer)...none of them academic.  Things don't look particularly hopeful, and they are offering no encouragement, though I am hoping, wishing, and keeping my fingers crossed anyway, as silly as it may be.
  • Yale application packet is being processed and may or may not yet be with the admissions committee.  My letter writer who was ill very kindly contacted them and asked that her letter be included in my packet after she returned from her most recent medical procedures.  I am very thankful, and they let her letter in yesterday.  I otherwise had the same three letters of recommendation at this school as I did at Harvard.  I hope the professor's letter is not too late to make a difference.
As for my incomplete applications...
  • All items except for my personal statement have been sent to Meadville-Lombard.  By all items, I mean everything including my application fee.  My personal statement is coming along painfully slowly.  I hope to get it done this weekend and unburden myself of this application.  As for letters, I have no idea if the professor will still be sending her letter.  However, I did get three extra letters for them (on top of the two I had), as they except four letters as their minimum.  I am just waiting on one of those letters to be mailed.
  • My Andover Newton application is the least complete.  I am stuck on the personal statement and essay.  The questions this school uses as prompters for the writing are *so* different from the other schools that I basically have to start from scratch, and I admit I am overwhelmed.  Still, I plan to get this done within one week.  I have three letters at this school, plus the professor's letter if she sends it.  They take supplemental materials so would consider the fourth letter.
That's it.  That's where I am.


  1. Greetings from Admissionsland at Andover Newton.
    You mentioned us by name, so this blog came up on our "cyber alert."

    It's very cool that you are having to think about how Andover Newton might be different from the other schools you are applying to. Our *classes* will definitely be different, which is why we changed our application essays this year. We hope to encourage applicants to think about what it might mean to study here.

    Admissions decisions at Andover Newton are made by a faculty committee...which leaves Admissions *staff* free to provide advice on how to approach the essays. Please feel free to give anyone in our office a call if you'd like to clarify anything, or even if you'd just like a word or two to get you rolling.
    Our main office number is 617-964-1100 x272, or you can reach me at 617-964-1100 x313.
    I'd welcome your call!
    -Alison McCarty
    Director of Admissions & Recruitment
    Andover Newton Theological School
    amccarty @

  2. Hi Alison! What a surprise to have you alerted to the presence of my blog. It is funny because until recently I had been careful to use only initials of the schools. In any case, thank you for taking the time to write.

    I have been meaning to call the admissions department for a week or two now, so thank you for the prompting.

    Each of the schools to which I am applying is very different from the others, and I am thus applying to each one for very different reasons. None of my applications have looked alike, but once I had one written it was easier to do the second because some aspects of the first were a good launch pad for the second.

    In the case of Andover Newton, however, I am finding that in order to answer the questions in the allowable word count, I need to leave out certain aspects of my "story" as I wrote it previously. This has been difficult because I took so much time deciding what was important to say in telling my application "story." While I want very much to explore my fit with ANTS in my application, I am aware that there are some things that feel important for me to say more generally about my decision to pursue an M. Div, etc. It is hard to let go of those things now and decide to talk about something else entirely, but after trying to write the essays a number of times, I am realizing that is what I will need to do in order to adequately answer the ANTS questions. I may make use of the supplemental materials provision for this exact reason.

    Thank you again! I have been very thankful for all the friendly assistance I have received from ANTS throughout this process. And I am also thankful for the unique application questions as an opportunity for further coming to know myself.

  3. Hello there. It suddenly occurred to me to connect the dots between this blog and our email correspondence. Funny that your blog didn't pop up on my cyber alert again yet.

    We are close to the point when we'll be updating our applications for Fall 2011...we'll for sure clarify the word count for the essays. Thanks for flagging the issue for us.

    Having read your 2nd essay this morning I find I want to come meet your congregation!

    Peace, Alison

  4. :-) And, ah, the essay describes the first congregation I served, which is on the other coast...but if you are ever in Washington State, I recommend heading their way for a visit.

  5. Sigh. I would love to visit WA state. Not in the cards in the short term, however. Worcester I could handle!

    I just wanted to let you know that your application is complete and is heading to the Admissions Committee today. It typically takes us a few weeks to reach a decision but I'm asking for a rush to try to get you a decision by March 15.

    Thank you for applying!

  6. Alison, thank you so much for your message and your phone call. Bless you for being willing to ask for a rush on the processing of my application. I want you to know how much I appreciate that. I look forward to hearing from the school.