So May 1 has come and gone, and by now hopefully you have figured out where you are going next year! I thought you might be interested in hearing what decision day is like from our perspective.
The week before the deadline is a relatively quiet one, as most of our file reading and recruiting is finished, and admits have mostly finished their campus visits, questions, and research. We spent some of the week trying to predict how many responses we will receive, running reports, calling friends at other schools and comparing this year to previous years. If the data looks similar to last year, we worry about the similarity, and if it is different, we speculate about the difference (for example, our admit weekend was two weeks earlier last year and overlapped with Northwestern...did that affect anything?) The week is also spent readying our waitlist for any openings after the deadline. This is always exciting, because everyone on the committee has favorites they are pulling for, and it invariably leads to passionate and sometimes heated discussion.
Because of the uncertainty, excitement, and massive effort involved in recruiting, this time always reminds me of the time right after exams: you've tried your hardest, but you regret the things you could have done better; the blog posts you didn't write, the new programs you didn't publicize, or the admits that you wanted to talk to. There is never enough time to get everything done!
One unique aspect of our deadline is that we do not require a money deposit. This is a long tradition, as we are uncomfortable taking $500 from our cash-strapped admits to hold their spots in next year's class. Our response form has three options that students can select:
- Option 1 states that they will definitely attend, and can see no reasons that would prevent them from attending;
- Option 2 states that they will probably attend, but have conditions that may prevent them from attending (the condition is often a waitlist at another school, a family uncertainty, or a financial concern;) and
- Option 3 states that they will not attend the University of Chicago Law School next year and would like to be withdrawn from our process.
You will be happy to know that we also eagerly await every day's mail, as this time of year can bring up to 20 response forms a day. We also receive many forms by email and fax, so we are constantly checking for updates as the days go on. Amazingly, we never get any response from a small number of admits, I hope that those future lawyers learn the importance of deadlines and responsiveness before appearing in court!