Posts Tagged 'Application'

Application for 2015 to be released soon

The new 2015 application will be released soon. Be on the lookout for it!

The new 2015 application will be released soon. Be on the lookout for it!

We’ve been working diligently on the new application for autumn 2015. I’m happy to announce that it will be posted online here on Monday, July 14, 2014. Although most of the application will be very similar to the application we used for 2014, there will be a few changes to the new application.

Please come back to this blog throughout the next several months on announcements and tips/strategies on applying for the Fisher SMF program for autumn 2015.

The 2014 Fisher (Ohio State) SMF application is available now

Announcement – the 2014 application is now available!

The Fisher SMF application for the 2014-2015 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, all else being equal.

We process applications and make financial aid decisions on a rolling admissions basis, meaning that we review and evaluate applications as they are submitted to our program rather than waiting until the deadline(s) to begin the review process. Please use these recommended deadlines as guidelines for completing your application. Typically, within three to four weeks of submitting a complete application, you will hear from the Admissions Committee regarding the outcome of its review.

Deadlines for Autumn 2014 are listed below:

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

November 8

December 13 

May 23* – Final deadline
*Complete applications received after this date will be reviewed on space available basis.


November 8

December 13

February 21 – Final deadline

Over the next few months, please check back on this blog – perhaps bookmark it or add it to your RSS feed. I will post information that may help you as you prepare to submit your application. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact us (contact information is posted here).

Enjoy the rest of your summer in the meantime!

There are a few more weeks of summer left this year. Enjoy them!

Reminder – next application deadline is January 14

The next SMF application deadline is this Friday, January 14th!

Two Announcements

FIRST:  For those of you having difficulty with the application today, ApplyYourself (our application vendor) has issued the following statement:

Emergency System Maintenance  We are currently experiencing an issue with a product vendor that is impacting performance for the AY system. To resolve the issue, we will be performing maintenance this evening at 10pm ET. The maintenance will take about 10 minutes and will cause a service disruption for several minutes to campus users and applicants/recommendation providers. It will also impact student-facing pages for Connect/Retain and the ftp process. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve the situation.

Fisher SMF apologizes for any inconvenience.

SECOND:  A note to international students.  SMF has decided not to require translation of transcripts for this application season.  However, translations from institutions such as WES and ECE may be required beginning next year.

As always, thank you for your interest!

A Reference on References

Question: "Would the President of my University work as a reference?" Answer: "Absolutely!"

The Fisher Specialized Master in Business-Finance program requires you submit at least three references for your complete application application. There is some good advice out there on what is an effective reference as part of a graduate business program application. Here’s our take:

Who should write your reference letters?

1) The admissions committee wants to see references from people who know you well and can comment and provide evidence to support their opinions about you on your potential for success in a rigorous graduate business program.

2) Because most students applying to this program are undergraduate seniors at time of application, references from academic sources (professors, specifically) carry the most weight. References from non academic sources (e.g. internship supervisors, etc.) are good – but we would not classify them as “primary” references. Because the application requires three references, we expect to see at least three academic references.

3) Personal references do not carry much, if any weight, in an admission decision. If you want to be viewed as a serious applicant, references from family friends and/or roommates are not a good idea. (And, yes, we have seen references from family friends and roommates before!)

4) Teaching assistants do not carry much weight in the admissions process. Reason – they have not been in academia for a long time and their frames of reference are relatively small and narrow. Academic instructors who teach as their full time “jobs” (e.g. tenured professors, etc.) who have been doing this for some time will be your most effective academic references.

5) Academic advisers are a mixed bag … sometimes they’re effective, sometimes they’re not effective. Remember that an ineffective reference is one that that simply summarizes information from your resume and/or your essays. Academic advisers are sometime prone to doing this “summary” type of reference. If your academic adviser is also someone you have had as an instructor in one or more of your classes, s/he is more likely to be a relatively more effective reference.

Strong references should be able to discuss:

  • The validity of your claims of academic excellence, professional success and personal values
  • Your specific qualifications, including the depth of your academic and professional experiences
  • Your unique traits that are not covered anywhere else in the application

In summary, a strong letter of reference stands on its own. If it provides new information on you that is not found elsewhere in your application, this is a sign of a good reference. If it simply summarizes information found elsewhere in your application, this is a sign of a weak reference.

How many references should you get?

The SMF program application requires three references to be submitted as part of a complete application. (Only complete applications are reviewed for admission decisions.) Sometimes, an applicant will ask us, “I can get four or five very good references. How do I choose the ‘best’ three to submit?” Our response always is “If you can get four or five very good references, then get all four or five. As long as the four or five fit the criteria of being a *strong* reference, then get all four or five.” You will never be penalized for submitting “too many” strong references!

How should you approach your (potential) references?

How you approach your references sends a clear signal to your potential references as to how serious of a candidate you really are. Additionally, by doing some additional prep work up front, you will be doing a favor to your references by giving them clear direction on how they should approach your recommendations.

  • Never simply give the reference form to your references. You should always make an appointment to meet with each of your potential references. Be prepared to discuss with each of them the following information:
  • Briefly summarize the reasons why you are applying to this program
  • Let him/her know why you believe s/he would be a good reference for your application for admission.
  • Be prepared to discuss any issues or concerns your potential reference may have with respect to your candidacy for this program

If you get the sense that your potential reference may be giving you a lukewarm or perfunctory letter of recommendation, you should politely withdraw your request. It is better to spend time to get strong letters of reference than simply ask the first three people that come to mind. In the long run, your application will be stronger for your extra effort.

Although an applicant’s application will not be accepted or denied based on a single letter of reference, your references taken together are a very critical part of your application. Good references make your application stronger – weak/lukewarm references weaken your application.

I hope this helps give you some additional guidance on who and how you should approach for your references to the program. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Sorry, don’t panic and please be patient!

We have recently been inundated with e-mails from students who are concerned that their materials have not reached our office. Please do NOT panic and be patient.

Our admissions processing unit has received lots of mail from prospective students and are in the process of entering it into the system. It may take a few days (sometimes even as many as 10 days) for your application to be considered complete.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we cannot answer e-mails regarding your application status. You can check your status online through our online application. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Please, keep calm and carry on!

The Minimum

“I have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA; I don’t think I’ll apply…”

Recently, I have had the opportunity to speak to a lot of our interested prospects. It’s one of the greatest attributes of my job. However, I have been hearing a message which pains me; students are afraid to apply because they “just” meet the minimum GPA.

I would like to remind everyone that the undergraduate GPA is only part of the pie we call the application. Why is your GPA where it is right now?

Scenario A: Miss Caroline A went into her freshman year, played around too much and found college to be too overwhelming.  She  failed a few class and then dropped out. Miss A started working and realized that she really needed to finish her education. When Miss A re-entered school, she earned A’s in the majority of her classes and brought her GPA up significantly to a 3.1.

Scenario B: Miss Caroline B was an honor student her first and second years. When she got into her major, she decided that she was too smart to go to class and fell from a 3.6 to a 3.1.

In both cases, the Carolines yielded the same result, but which do you think is more likely to get into a program? Trends play an important role in how we evaluate candidates. Yes, you may have messed up sometime during undergrad, but how have you overcome those mistakes?

There are other ways to supplement a not-so-stellar GPA. First, you should really consider maximizing efforts on the GMAT. Just remember, the GMAT is also only one slice of the pie. Second, you should really tell us your story through your essays. Are you a Caroline A or Caroline B? (Caroline C-Z stories are also encouraged to be told!) Third, you should really take time to TALK to your references and get quality recommendations.  (If you are curious as to how important this really is, there will be an entire blog post just on references).

The recipe is simple: make up for what you lack by putting extra effort in what you can control.

Good luck, folks!


Applications are rolling in!

As the first deadline (November 19th) approaches, please be patient with our office as we are getting a significant amount of questions and requests.
A couple notes regarding  the application:

  • 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.
  • You can check your application status online by logging into your account. Please do not contact the office to confirm receipt of materials.
  • 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 delay can be anywhere from one to ten business days, depending on the time of year. Around application deadlines, expect the delay to be closer to be between five and ten business days.
  • 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.
  • Please do not send hard copies of items that are already included in the online application.

Best of luck, everyone!