There are a lot of things I don’t know. I don’t know where you are in the application process. I don’t know how many applications you’ve submitted. I don’t know what decision the UML admissions committee will make about your application.
One thing I do know: What happens to your application after you click “submit.”
While I have ~absolutely zero power~ when it comes making admissions decisions, I hope that giving you a look behind the curtain at the admissions process will make waiting for a decision a little more bearable.
I spent some time with our admissions counselors to learn exactly what happens from the time you click submit to the time you receive a decision. Here are some of the most important steps:
1. Your application is received by the UML Operations Team
Before our admissions counselors look at your application, we have a separate team that does a quick-look at your application to make sure it is complete. This is to double check that we have all the documents that will support your application (your transcripts, letters of recommendations, SAT/ACT scores, etc.).
2. Your application is assigned to an admissions counselor
Some background: Admissions counselors do more than just read applications. They are also responsible for visiting high schools throughout the year to inform students about UML, the college application process and to meet potential students who are interested in applying here. Each counselor is assigned a specific high school or location that they are responsible for. For example, Counselor A might work with schools close to campus in the Merrimack Valley while Counselor B might work with all the high schools in New York.
When it comes time to assign applications to admissions counselors, we try our best to match up the admissions counselor with the school or location they worked with throughout the year.
This is a good thing for you because it means that the person reviewing your application knows a lot about your school and the area you come from. Even better? If you talked to our admissions counselors when they visited your high school, they will be able to put a face to your name as they review your application (just reach out and let them know you submitted your application).
3. Your application is reviewed based on your first-choice major
The first time an admissions counselor reviews your application, they make a decision based on your first-choice major. Applications are reviewed following admissions standards set up by the Massachusetts Board of Education and the university. If there is something in your application that hints that your first-choice might not be a good fit, they will review your application a second time based on your second-choice major.
They do this because they want to set you up for success. If your first-choice major is a heavy-math-STEM major and you’ve received low grades in your high school math classes, you will struggle in that major and we may consider you for your second-choice major instead. We know an acceptance into your second-choice major might be disappointing news at first, but we really want you to succeed here and graduate.
Some applications may require an additional review. For example, if an applicant mentioned in their essay that something happened beyond their control that may have affected their grades. If this is the case, that application will be brought to committee review.
Here, admissions counselors will meet to review the application and make a decision as a group.
I sat in on a committee review, and I’m going to sound sentimental, but it was one of the most thoughtful and kind things I’ve ever seen. For real. I don’t know what I expected, but the amount of thought and consideration and human-ness that our admissions counselors put into each applicant that was brought up during committee review was incredible.
We only know what you tell us (grades, test scores, essay, etc). If there is an event or issue in your life that could explain a dip in your grades or test scores, don’t be afraid to let us know. Telling us can only help—we won’t hold it against you.
4. Counselors make a decision
Not much more to say than that.
Check this out: I’m in a glass case of emotion
5. All applicants are emailed a decision
Because technology is a thing, you will receive an email with a decision before you get something in your mailbox at home. It takes time to mail physical letters, which leads us to…
6. A decision and information on the next steps is mailed to accepted students’ home address
It takes us about a day and a half to print acceptance letters and about two weeks for them to reach mailboxes.
7. Enrollment deposit is due May 1 to officially join the incoming class
To secure a place in the incoming class and to take advantage of guaranteed on-campus housing, accepted students will need to submit their enrollment deposit by May 1.
8. Accepted students celebrate on social with #UML_IN
The life-cycle of an application is complete, and it is time to celebrate! Use these social graphics to tell the world you are #UML_IN.
There you have it. I hope this helps you as you wait for our admissions counselors to send you a decision and that you know that there’s person who wants you to succeed behind whatever decision is made. Good luck, and no matter where you end up, you will do great things!