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SMF Information Sessions Just Added!

One of the best ways to learn about a program  is to attend an information session.  As many of our students in the current SMF class are NOT from Ohio State, we are hosting webinars (instead of on-campus information sessions) to allow prospective students to engage with us during their graduate school selection process.

The advantages of a webinar for all of you include being able to learn more about Ohio State without leaving your house, no costly travel expenses, and the ability to ask questions in an anonymous fashion.

SMF information sessions are LIVE (not recorded) which means you will get to interact with admissions directly.

When are these information sessions?

  • Tuesday, October 25th at 7 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday, December 6th at 6 p.m. EST
To register, please click here or visit our site at fisher.osu.edu/smf.  See you all really soon!

Getting into this finance program is not just about the numbers

 

Ohio State Numbers Garden located near Central Classrooms

Recently, SMF has experienced a flood of e-mails.  We are very appreciative of the interest!  It seems to me, there are two things of which most of you are concerned.

First, you are all very apprehensive about your GMAT scores.

Many of you write to us and ask about whether or not your test score is competitive for the program.  As we mention in our FAQs, Fisher recommends that students score at least a 600 to be considered minimally competitive.  What does this mean?  I can tell you what this doesn’t mean…it doesn’t mean that if you score below a 600, you will not get accepted.  It is a general guideline that we suggest, not a hard cut-off point.

Additionally, many of you have noticed that our average GMAT score is a 667.  Again, this does not mean that just because you are below the average, that you will not get into the program.  I blame elementary school teachers for this issue.  In elementary school world, average is a baseline minimum.  If you were below average, you were considered to be “bad.”  I often pity students who fear they have no chance of getting into a school because they are below the “average.”

Remember, what “average” means in the real world.  If you dust off your fifth grade math book, you will see that an average is (X1+X2+…+Xn)/n.  Unless every student in the current SMF class scored exactly 667 (which I assure you they did not as it is impossible to receive that score and there was a RANGE of scores in the class), then you have to assume that some students scored above and others scored below the average.  So yes, students who score below the average did receive admission!  Instead of focusing on the average, look at the range of scores.  At Fisher, we tell students the average score and we ALSO send them the middle 80% range.  For the 2012 SMF class profile, the average was a 667 and the middle 80% of the class scored between a 570 and a 730.

On the other hand, please don’t assume that just because you are above the class average that you will be guaranteed acceptance.  Many students write to us and tell us they have scores well over 700 and they sound pretty confident that they will enter the class.  Test scores aren’t everything.  In this finance program, it’s not all about numbers.

Second, most of you are fixated on the letters, ‘G-P-A’.

What’s the minimum GPA required for the program?  If I have a 3.5, I can get into the SMF, right?

The above questions are just examples of what we receive in our inbox.  Basically, you want to know if you are competitive for the program.  The SMF program recommends that students have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered minimally competitive.  Sound familiar?  The 3.0 minimum is a policy set by The Ohio State University’s Graduate School.  You’re below the 3.0 minimum?  In rare cases, if the program is interested in a candidate, the program can petition the Graduate School to admit the student.  You as the prospect CANNOT request this petition, but later on I will tell you how you can improve your chances of getting a petition request.  (NOTE:  This is not a guarantee!)

Your GPA is above 3.0, but below the average GPA (currently 3.45)…look at the paragraph about the average GMAT.  Same rules will apply.

One thing about GPA that is worth mentioning is that (at least at Fisher) admissions committees tend to look at trends.  What does this mean?  For more detailed information, please refer to a blog post written about a year ago called, “The Minimum.”  Basically, admissions committees tend to look at your academic career overall.  Someone with a 3.1 who started out poorly, but ended up getting really good grades at the end will favor over someone with the same GPA who started out performing fantastically, but decided not to do well at the end of his/her academic career.  Yes, each case is different, but you can explain yourself!

This last point, explaining your situation, brings us to the ending message: the GMAT, your GPA, etc are not the ONLY thing that matter in Fisher’s graduate student selection!

Don’t get the wrong idea, grades and test scores are important, but the point is that there are other factors that play into your application review.  We understand that you are not a number (even if we are a large school and this is a finance program); we look at your application as a WHOLE!

You ask, “What can I do to stand out?”  Honestly, think less quantitatively (yes, it’s difficult because you’re interested in finance) and more qualitatively.  Your grades are not going to change drastically at this point.  You may choose to re-take the GMAT; this is a personal decision and the admissions committee won’t make that determination for you.   You can control your essays; use the essay as a tool to really show case WHO YOU ARE!  Use Essay #1 on the application to explain your GPA, or to tell us what you’ve done in your life so far.  Here is a chance for you to tell us that you are not just a 650 GMAT, but a great person who will do well in finance and the SMF.

The important take-away is that we cannot truly evaluate you by looking just at your GMAT scores and/or GPA.  There is a lot more to an SMF student than just numbers.  The only way SMF admissions can tell you whether or not you can join the program is for you to submit a COMPLETE application.  Why are you still waiting?  Apply today!

 

 


Fisher SMF applications for autumn 2012 are now available

The Fisher SMF application for the 2012-2013 academic year is now live and available online.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply early – your chances of earning admission and merit-based financial aid are best at the beginning of the application cycle.

Deadlines for Autumn 2012 are listed below:

DOMESTIC APPLICANTS (U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents)

November 14 – early decision deadline. Complete applications submitted by this date will have an admission decision (admit, deny, wait-list) by December 31.

December 28 – Fellowship/priority funding deadline

June 5* – Final deadline
*Complete applications received after this date may be reviewed on space available basis.

***

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

November 14 – early decision deadline

December 28 – Fellowship/priority funding deadline

February 15 – Final deadline

***

Over the next few months, please check back on this blog. I will post information that may help you as you prepare to submit your application. Enjoy the rest of your summer in the meantime!

Enjoy summer while it lasts!


Still want to be a Buckeye?

Good news!  The Admissions Committee will continue to accept qualified applicants for Fall ’11.  Why?  First, we realize that our start date is later, so why should we follow the deadlines of the other schools?  Second, SMF wants the best possible class and that could include you.  It may be the case that you just recently took the GMAT or perhaps you had the realization that graduate school if you; whatever your reasoning is, you may have an opportunity to join the scarlet and gray!

As always, the earlier you apply, the better!

GO BUCKS!


Spring break 2011 :: and why this affects our response time

Hold tight, we'll be with you shortly!

All Fisher graduate students are on their well deserved spring breaks this week. Everyone will be back on campus by next Monday (March 28). Why is this of concern to anyone who might be reading this blog post? If you have contacted the Fisher SMF Admissions Office via its email account (fisher_smf@fisher.osu.edu), it is likely you have interacted with both full time and part time (e.g. students) admissions personnel. When students are not on campus, it decreases our staffing that handles these general inquiries by at least 80%.

The fisher_smf@fisher.osu.edu email account will be monitored during spring break – but it will likely not be checked as often as it normally is since the number of people to assist with the account is significantly reduced during spring break. We will be back to “normal” staffing levels next week. Until then, we thank you for your patience!

P.S. If you have anything that is urgent, you can always contact the Fisher Graduate Programs Office directly at +1-614-292-8511


Hurry!

Just a friendly reminder that SMF applications are due in about a week!


What’s the status of my application?

Our office receives at least one dozen inquiries every day from applicants, asking us for the status on their applications.

It will take a few days to match surface mail items with your online application

Here are some reminders and things to keep in mind:

  • Items that are sent to us via surface mail (e.g. transcripts, etc.) are noted as received on the day we receive them and will be considered “on time” if this date meets our application deadline (please do not worry if you are a day or two late – we review applications on a rolling basis anyway and will certainly still review yours).
  • There is and will be a delay between the time that we receive materials and those materials being recorded as “received” on your status page. The length of the delay will depend on the time of year – around the holidays and the deadlines, please expect a longer processing delay.
  • If you submit materials to us (e.g. transcripts, TOEFL scores, etc.) prior to submitting your application, we are unable to confirm receipt of those materials.
  • Once you submit your application, you may check your application status in your Apply Yourself account to determine which materials we have received.  Again, please note that your account will not be updated the minute you submit your application, but after we have had a chance to search for documents we have received that match the name on the application submitted.

‘Submit’ vs. ‘Complete’

We're working on your file!

As we approach our final deadline (remember, it’s March 11), please note that there is a difference between SUBMITTED applications and COMPLETED applications.  When you ‘submit’ an application, it may not necessarily be ‘complete.’  If you ‘complete’ an application, you clearly had to have submitted it first.

When it comes to the deadlines listed on the website, those deadlines are set for those applications that are COMPLETED.  Therefore, if you just SUBMITTED your online application by the deadline, it may not necessarily make the round.  However, please DO NOT PANIC if you do not complete your application by the deadline.  We are reviewing COMPLETED files on a continuous basis.

Additionally, we are receiving numerous e-mails about application statuses not reflecting reality.  Please remember that due the large volume of applications,  it may take several weeks for our processing department to mark your file complete.  Again, DO NOT PANIC!  Last, you are always welcome to turn your supplemental materials (transcripts, test scores, etc) prior tp SUBMITTING your online application.  Please allow a few days to a few weeks for those items to show up with your application to be considered complete.

Thanks, everyone!

-Caroline


My professor is out, can I replace my reference?

We have received a few inquiries from applicants who have submitted their applications and one or more of their listed references have not completed the online recommendation form.  We generally get a question like this:  “I listed a professor/former supervisor as a reference in my application and it appears his/her reference is the only one missing. I am unable to get in touch with him/her, as s/he no longer works at my company (or is at the university) and I am afraid s/he may have forgotten about my reference for my application. Can I select another person in his/her place in order to complete my application?”

You have two options.

Option 1 – replacing reference with an electronic reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an electronic reference, send an email to grad_app_help@fisher.osu.edu. Include your full name and email address – specifically, the name and email address you used when you submitted your application. Also include your applicant ID number if available. In your email, include the follwing information:

  • First Name of your recommender
  • Last Name of your recommender
  • Email address for your recommender
  • Relationship to your recommender (e.g. supervisor, professor, etc.)
  • Your recommender’s job title
  • Your recommender’s place of employment (e.g. company, university name, etc.)
  • The number of years and months your recommender has known you

Option 2 – replacing reference with a paper reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an paper reference, you do not need to change anything on your submitted application. Simply download and print the paper reference form, complete/sign/date page 1 of the form and provide both page 1 and 2 to your reference with a stamped, addressed envelope. (For the mailing address, it is critical you use the following address: SMF ADMISSIONS; 100 Gerlach Hall; 2108 Neil Ave; Columbus OH 43210-1144.)

If this situation applies to you, I hope this information helps! Let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help!


Ohio State campus offices closed on Monday, January 17

Quick note to remind everyone that all Ohio State campus offices (including the Fisher Graduate Programs Office) will be closed on Monday, January 17, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All offices will reopen at 8:00AM EST on Tuesday, January 18.


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