I often say that my high school was the sort of place that did a very good job of educating students but a very poor job of supporting young adults. In between learning about the three-field system of agriculture and the fundamental theorem of calculus we were subconsciously taught that our entire future rested on our college decisions, resulting in a junior year fraught with stress and a senior year where every student knew every other student’s grades, testing, college list, and results. If I could go back to myself in high school and say one thing, it would be this: you are more than your college decisions.
This past year nearly 80% of our applicants were what we deem academically qualified to be successful at Tufts. Over 50% were on or above our average admitted student profile. This is all to say, we, as well as most highly selective schools, live in a world where we have a wealth of strong applicants who we would be thrilled to admit to the class but a scarcity of spots that limit the number of acceptance packets we can send.
While I’m glad more students are connecting with Tufts in their college search process, the continuing trend of a rising applicant pool and therefore slimming acceptance rate makes Decision Day a bittersweet experience for us in Admissions. On the one hand, I want to celebrate with those who receive good news; we are so excited to have you join us at Tufts and cannot wait to have you all come together as the Class of 2020 on Matriculation Day. But each year I can’t help but think of all of those students who are disappointed by the decision they receive.
I wanted to take this time before you receive your decision to thank you. Thank you for letting us into your lives and for sharing your world view. Thank you for inspiring us with your stories, emboldening us with your courage, and humbling us with your successes.
The truth is the vast majority of our applicants will not be accepted to Tufts, including some of my favorite applicants - those for whom I fought tooth and nail. This is true of every member of the admissions team. Receiving bad news does not mean we did not like you; it does not mean you did not do enough; it does not mean that you are not smart enough; it does not mean you will not be successful.
Please know we did not make our choices lightly. Nor do we doubt your ability or character. It was simply a matter of space.
There is no admissions committee in the world that can take away your intelligence, your grace, your expertise, or your humor. Regardless of the decision you receive tomorrow, congratulations and we wish you the absolute best as your college process comes to a close.