Episode 8: Listener Questions

Joni and David answer seven admissions-related questions from listeners.

  1. How many get off the hold list, and when?
  2. How can applicants demonstrate unique life experiences?
  3. How is community college credit viewed?
  4. How are post-baccs viewed?
  5. What is a good Pritzker “fit,” anyway?
  6. How are LOIs viewed?
  7. How long does the decision take post-interview?

If you have questions for us, please send them to pritzkerquestions@gmail.com.

Episode 8 Transcript

BF: Hello folks! This is Episode 8 of the Pritzker Podcast. Welcome once again. I am here with Mary Bister again. Hey Mary.

MB: Hi Ben.

BF: How are you?

MB: I’m good. How are you?

BF: Finals are over. Are you so happy?

MB: I am sooo very happy.

BF: Awesome! Mary is coming to us from her home state of Wisconsin. We are also joined again by Joni Huff and David Owen, who are the two Directors of Admissions at the Pritzker School of Medicine here. Hey Joni, hey David.

JH: Hey Ben, Mary.

DO: Hello!

BF: How’s it going guys?

DO: Good.

JH: All is well.

BF: Good, busy. Thanks again for joining us.

JH: Not a problem at all. We enjoy it.

DO: Yup.

§ “How many get off the hold list, and when?”

BF: Okay. So, for this Episode 8 we’ll be talking about listener questions, specifically. We’ll be discussing questions that have been submitted by pre-med students and applicants to the Pritzker School of Medicine, so let’s get started. We’ve got about eight or so questions to go over, and Mary and I will just switch off reading questions to Joni and David. So, the first one for Joni is from a person on studentdoctor.net named Phoenix, and she asks, “I remember reading that there are about 250 applicants on pre-interview hold from year to year, and that about 10% of these may receive interview invites,” and Joni can you confirm that?

JH: I think that’s a pretty good approximation. We don’t have a set number that we intentionally put on hold every year so it can fluctuate a little bit, but 250 is a pretty good round number, and those that they may receive interview invites, again, that can be an approximation that can be anywhere from about 15 to 30. So, I think it’s a pretty good round number and we seem to be, at least for those that we currently have on pre-interview hold right now, that 250 approximation is about where we are so I think that’s a good accurate representation right now.

BF: Okay. And my understanding is just that that number doesn’t depend on a quota or anything. It just depends on how many people are selecting other schools or withdrawing their applications and so forth. Is that correct?

JH: Right. So, what we will do, the students who have been told that they’re on hold are also notified that we will re-review their application in January. And so, at that time, we have a better sense of how many interview slots we still have available. As you mentioned, there maybe people starting to withdraw from Pritzker who are already scheduled to interview in January but who may have gotten accepted at a school that is a top choice for them and so they’re starting to withdraw their interview confirmations at other medical schools, so we’ll have a better sense of how many places we still have available that we can give out to those who are still on hold. I do think it’s really important, because spirits can change as you keep going through this process–maybe somebody was really excited about Pritzker back in August; now they’re on hold and they don’t really care a lot about Pritzker. They’ve been going to other schools. I think those that are on hold that are still really interested in Pritzker–it would be a great idea to just send us a quick email and say, “I realized I’m on hold but I’m still really interested in Pritzker and would love the opportunity to interview.” That can help us in understanding that if we make them an interview offer, they’re likely to come and interview and that Pritzker is still a top choice for them. So, it doesn’t have to be anything long and elaborate but just a quick email that let’s us know that they’re still interested even though they maybe already interviewing at other schools, that’s something that’s really helpful to us and that can just get sent to the general of Pritzker Admissions email address.

BF: Okay. And then the final part of that question was that apparently there have been some sort of anecdotal rumors flying around the boards about people coming off the hold list early and getting invited for interviews; is that something that’s possible or are all held applicants reviewed in January en masse?

JH: I would say that most of the applicants that are put on hold are reviewed all together in January. There have been a couple of exceptions to that–and honestly what typically happens with that is if for example there was a person who was on hold and I happen to visit their campus on one of my recruiting trips. The applicant came up to me, said they were on hold, we had a really long conversation, and I thought it would be a great person for Pritzker so I sent their application back to the committee early to try to see if the committee would want to bring them in to interview. But I would say the number of times that that’s happened this year is about a total of three. So it’s certainly is not a phenomenal trend that’s been going on.

§ “How can applicants demonstrate unique life experiences?”

MB: This next question is for David. This was a question submitted by email and it’s got the person’s real name so I’m not going to say it, but the question is, “What do admissions people think about students who have work and family and other school commitments while they’re applying to medical school and are trying to balance out all that stuff together? What can these applicants do to make their life experiences stand out as part of their application? Should it be discussed in the personal statement…where should that information be put?”

DO: That’s a really good question because there’s all sorts of additional complications that someone who is balancing all these things presents. So when we’re looking at a person’s readiness for medical school, we’re looking at all the aspects of that readiness. They’re interpersonal skills, their career decision, how well it’s evidenced, how well it’s explored. We’re looking at their academic readiness as well and to do this we read the whole application. The whole application gives a sense of what that person brings to the classroom, the road that that person’s traveled to get to med school. So about half of our students have taken time between college and medical school–a year or longer between college and medical school–and they’ve done all sorts of things like Teach for America or Peace Corps or other social service organizations, or consulting firms, or banking, or research, or–whole vast things and along with that we might have families that they’re starting. And for some, they’ve come to medicine really late in their life and they’ve worked at a career for a long time. They have a family going and, like our questioner, are trying to balance family with school with work to get themselves ready for medical school. So, we understand the complexities that this presents of balancing family, work, and school and we look for individuals who’ve demonstrated some success in doing that just like we look for that kind of balance in the lives of students coming out of college and that they’ve got some success balancing different aspects of their life.

And success has got a context and we try to get at that context in each application and that’s why we read the entire application, the primary application, the secondary application, the letters of evaluation to get the sense of that context. And so how do we do this–or maybe better still, how can the applicant help us understand that context? And I think that kind of gets to the second part of the question is what can the applicant do? Boy, you’ve got to tell us, and you got to tell us in your personal statement, in your text box of your activities, in the secondary applications. Tell us about the skills that developed and the challenges that you managed…give us understanding of that context. Now, the personal statement still needs to provide evidence for a well-thought-through decision and a well-evidenced career decision, but even that’s in the context of somebody’s life. So use all these opportunities to give us an understanding of what you’ve been balancing, or what the applicant’s been balancing so that we can make a clearer decision about the person’s readiness.

MB: Okay. So, just to sort of put that in a nutshell, you can use the personal statement to provide your decision to go to med school in context of the balance that you’ve worked out between your work and your family and school.

DO: That’s right. And talk about the skills you developed in doing so.

MB: Okay.

DO: The organizational skills, the time management skills, the leadership skills that you developed in doing so.

MB: Great. I think that’s really helpful.

§ “How is community college credit viewed?”

BF: David, this next one also concerns a non-traditional path and this was submitted by email as well, and the question concerns taking pre-req courses at a community college. How are those viewed by you guys? And what can students do who might have taken community college courses do to show you guys that they’ve been able to handle a rigorous science curriculum?

DO: I think the question just by itself is stating where the crux of the problem is and that is the perception that community college coursework is less rigorous than coursework done at a four-year school. And in fact, that’s usually the situation but not always. But we understand work at a four-year school more thoroughly than we do that out of a community college. We’ve seen a lot more students coming out of four-years schools than we have out of community colleges so we understand that work better and so we’re able to evaluate the rigor of that work better. And so if someone has done pre-req coursework at a community college then take some upper-level coursework at their four-year school while they’re working toward their degree–in a sense validate the rigor of the work they did in community college by taking that advanced coursework while at the four-year school. And it gives us confidence that A is really meaningful that they got in the community college and it wasn’t just a blow off course.

§ “How are post-baccs viewed?”

MB: Many non-traditional students have to overcome a GPA that might not have been all that good during a first go-round at college or something that they done many years ago and many non-traditional students do post-baccalaureate programs in order to deal with this. So how does Pritzker look at people who have done post-baccs to compensate for a low undergrad GPA, in terms both of a student coming directly out of undergrad to a post-bacc, or a student who’s returning after a period of absence from school?

DO: Well, I think we’re still looking at the same sort of qualities. We’re looking to see if the persons learn how to be successful in academic coursework while balancing other aspects of their life–folding in family, folding in the array of jobs or extracurricular activities that help build the kind of interpersonal skills that will allow them to be an effective caregiver in somebody else’s life. And so we want to see that success in the post-baccalaureate work and the more time that exists between a weak undergraduate record and the post-baccalaureate work, the clearer it is to us that the person has figured out how to be successful, and the less descriptive work the person has to do in their personal statement or activities to tell us how they’ve learned how to be successful and the more opportunity they have to show the persistence, the diligence, the creativity, the analytic skills outside of academics in their job or in their extracurricular activities and allow those to speak for them too and not just the grades that they’re getting in the post-bacc work. So it’s not just the courses that we look at, it’s the whole picture to get a sense of a person’s academic readiness, but the post-bacc work is really important because we need to understand about a person having that kind of academic background that will allow them to succeed and they’ve got the tools to succeed. I think part of the question was how much time and that’s going to depend for each individual. And they ought to talk to one of the pre-med advisors, if there’s one at their school, to get a sense of are they’re ready at this point or not. Does that answer the question?

MB: I think it does. I mean, I think it’s clear that yes you can compensate for a low undergraduate GPA by diligence and demonstrating excellence in a post-bacc or something further down the line.

DO: Absolutely! And I think that’s why you see such a range in average GPAs at our school and many others because there are people who had weak undergraduate backgrounds that they responded to in a post-bacc program.

JH: And I would say, just if I can add one quick thing, in talking about the time, I think the question was asking about the time between undergraduate and post-bacc work but I think it’s also important to note the time difference between when you’re post-bacc work was completed and when you are then applying to medical school. If we have someone who was last in an academic environment seven or eight years ago, it will be much more difficult for the committee to be able to predict the way that they will perform academically in medical school than for example someone who maybe had eight years in between undergrad and post-bacc but their post-bacc work was done within the last two years. So I think that’s something that is important to note is that we’re not as concerned about the time between undergrad and post-bacc as we are the time between your last academic experience and coming to medical school.

§ “What is a good Pritzker ‘fit’, anyway?”

BF: This one is for Joni. It’s also a question that was submitted by email. Joni, Pritzker talks a lot about the Pritzker “fit” so this person is wondering what exactly is a good “fit” for Pritzker?

JH: Oh, that’s a great question and it is something we talk about quite a bit and actually for those who have applied or who are planning to, they will have the (we think) joy of responding about the way–

BF: Joy. Of course.

JH: Yeah exactly. No, I have heard that this question is one of the most taxing to try to complete, but that people get a lot out of it. So for future applicants keep that in mind. But we do ask in our secondary application for applicants to tell us why they think they’re a good fit for Pritzker and we ask them to do so by responding to our mission statement. And I think our mission statement really does guide the way that we approach medical education for our current students and it is I think very telling to applicants that if you believe in our mission statement, that is the kind of educational experience that you’ll get here. So, if when you read that statement, you feel like it resonates with you and it’s something that you are passionate about as well, then I think that’s a pretty good predictor that Pritzker would be a place that you want to explore.

A little bit more specifically, I think it’s definitely important for us to understand that you have a strong academic foundation coming into Pritzker and also, not only that you’re grades are strong, but that you show an academic curiosity. So for example, someone who gets a 4.0 who’s never challenged themselves really, just kind of took all of the basic courses, took three or four classes a quarter or a semester. That person we may not view as academically strong as someone who maybe has a 3.7 but who’s pushed in taking graduate-level courses or balanced an overload of classes one or two semesters, or who has been working 20 hours a week at a work-study job while balancing a full course load. That’s going to be something that we look at is showing that someone has an intellectual curiosity and they’re not just trying to kind of get through college, but to really enjoy it and really explore the things that they find interesting.

Given our patient population and given the community that we are located in, it is very important to us to see that our applicants have a demonstrated commitment to being of service. And whether that service is to their classmates, whether that service is to local elementary school children in the area through tutoring or things like that, whether that service is to a disadvantaged or underserved community, we look to see that people have a very strong desire to help others. I think it’s something that people take as an assumption, like if I say I want to be a doctor, “Don’t you know that I want to serve people…that’s why I want to be a doctor,” and saying it and being able to demonstrate it through experiences are two different things and so we look to see not only is somebody kind of talking the talk but are they walking the walk. So if they’re saying, “I want to be a doctor to be of service to others, I have a strong interest in working with diverse populations I have strong interest in working in underserved communities,” we need to see that explored and demonstrated in an application.

I think it’s also really important because of the opportunities that exist here and because of our relatively small class size, it’s really important that we bring leaders into this campus. People who will continue to maintain the free clinics that our students run, and who will continue to manage tutoring and mentoring programs. People who will be able to rally their classmates around–sitting in the admissions office right now is a giant box that’s wrapped for toys to give to one of the local community children–and so I think that’s something that we look for. We look to see do you have demonstrated leadership? And that leadership can come through–maybe you’re a resident assistant at your college. Maybe you have a part-time job but you’ve risen to a level that you train new hires, or you’re responsible for managing a restaurant that you work in. It can be being a role model. Maybe you’re a big brother or a big sister and you’re demonstrating leadership that way. Maybe you work with an organization on your campus and you help to manage a clothing drive or some kind of charity dinner, something like that. We really look to see that you have demonstrated leadership so that when you come to this campus, we have a belief that you will be able to continue to stay involved and demonstrate that leadership and will therefore be of service to your classmates and to our community.

I think because we’re a medical school that is on the university campus, we talk about interdisciplinary work quite a bit. And I think it’s certainly is kind of one of the hallmarks of this institution, that many of our students come from interdisciplinary backgrounds. Maybe somebody was a biology major but was really interested in how population growth changes the health of an area, or how a disease is spread from a regional perspective. That calls in some interdisciplinary areas of interest, which I think is really interesting for us and it kind of goes back to that intellectual curiosity, but also ties in the fact as a medial school on a university campus, we love people who we think will take advantage of that opportunity, and who will stretch out beyond the medical school a little bit and maybe they’ll go see a guest lecturer in the English Department because that’s something that’s of interest. Maybe they’ll get involved in a project that has to do with anthropology or sociology. We just really like to see that people have the belief that interdisciplinary interests are important and that medicine certainly does not exist in kind of a vacuum. It’s not simply a science–the health care of every patient is influenced by perhaps their own culture, the sociology of their family structure, their economic standing, maybe the politics in the area that they exist in. And so we like to see people who understand that broad interdisciplinary focus and how that might apply to their life as a physician.

And I think–the last thing I’ll say and then you guys can tell me if you have questions–I think it’s important to really push beyond what is already known and that’s something that I think is really encourage at Pritzker. Our faculty is phenomenal. Our physicians are phenomenal but it’s important that each generation coming through this medical school is curious and wants to know that much more, that you’re not just content to just listen to a lecture and go merrily about your day but you want to say, “Okay, well, maybe that professor was just saying something that I found interesting and I want to go dig into that a little bit more.” And in some ways, that I think is demonstrated by what is kind of more typically called a research project, but whether that work is involved in a basic science area, in a clinical area, in a community-based project or opportunity, I think we value all of those things very strongly here. We just want to see that you have a curiosity to go beyond what’s already known and then also that you have the motivation to actually do it, so not just sit down and think, “I wonder what it is about this,” and then you just sit with that thought. We like to see that that when you have an interest or curiosity, that you’re able to actively explore that. We’re not as focused on did somebody get three publications through research at the undergraduate level, and if somebody did not get published while they were an undergraduate, their work is somehow less meaningful. What we’re looking at is how involved were they in the project? How can they talk about it? Do they seem to really understand the project or were they kind of just going through the motions? And so I think being able to really engage in something and take it on as your own through what’s commonly known as research but I think we define much more broadly than that, is something that’s important for us to see as well. So those are my initial thoughts I guess but–

MB: Holy cats! I think that everything you said is actually absolutely true. I sort of didn’t buy into the whole fit thing a lot before I got here and then I saw that as different as all of my classmates are from each other that there does seem to be a common thread that runs through all of us. And I think you’re right on target when you say it’s the intellectual curiosity.

BF: I think to add to that, just to look at the sort of “fit” from a different angle, you guys really make an effort to, again, put together a very cohesive class and a class that will get along with each other, not just get along with sort of the academic community but, again, with their own classmates. I talked to some of my friends who are now on the admissions committee, and they said they’ve rejected tons of people with just really stellar stats–MCAT scores over 35, really high GPAs–and I think that’s just a testament to the fact that we aren’t necessarily a numbers school but we really try to find out what your personality is like and what your character is like when you’re here for the interview day and when you submit these secondary answers. And so I think that really just underscores the importance of bringing your personality out and really just relaxing during the interview day and showing us what kind of a person you are rather than what kind of a student you are, exclusively. I think it’s important to show your whole character broadly rather than just your numbers or your activities or something like that. And I think that really assists everybody on the Admissions Committee in determining who is going to get along the best and who is going to sort of interact the best with each other.

JH: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point Ben, and I think a lot of people do try to make it more about numbers than about anything else, and I understand that because your GPA and your MCAT are so concrete that it’s something that is very easy to define and I think in that way it can be very easy to kind of rest upon those numbers and say, “We’ll if those two things are strong, I should be fine.”

BF: Right. And by definition, it is a comparative measure.

JH: Exactly.

BF: But it’s not always comparative necessarily.

JH: Exactly. Yeah.

DO: Just one other thought that along with figuring out how to–that service is an important part of your life–but figuring out how to learn from the people you’re serving, how to more effectively serve them from each time to time that you’re interacting whether as a tutor, or whether it’s working in a hospital, increasingly responsive to people who are different from you, whether by age or by religion or by race or culture, paying close attention to how they respond to you as a person and being able to adjust and adapt to that.

JH: Yeah, I think that’s a great point David. I mean it’s not just–we hear people all the time who will say, “Well I have 250 hours of service at such-and-such an institution,” and like the point you’re saying Ben, when they come here to interview they’re not able to really say what they gained from it. So yeah David, I think that’s a really good point that you need to kind of engage in your experiences and learn from them, not just do the time.

BF: Joni, just as a follow up to that. A lot of rumors have been sort of thrown around or public worries I guess, and part of the question for the “fit” question on the secondary is to include examples of service community, clinical, educational, and research experiences, and people have been wondering if it’s really necessary to include all of those things? Should it be a sort of laundry list of things that they’ve done, or just sort of more elegantly include tidbits from each of those areas?

JH: I would say it’s much more the latter, and I think it’s important for applicants to know that when we review your application, we’re reading your AMCAS application. We’re reading your secondary. We’re reading everything that you sent to us all at one time. So I think a lot of times students struggle with how much do they know about me when they’re reading this essay, and they’re kind of trying to give us a summary and then get to the point. I think you can assume that we already have the summary. So if you’re referring to a community service project that you’ve already listed on your AMCAS, you can just kind of reference it and then go more in-depth with it. I think that’s much more helpful to us, again going back to the point that David made in seeing how you engage in your experiences. I would rather somebody talk about one experience in greater depth than tell me that they’ve participated in four different things.

BF: Right.

DO: Yeah, I agree.

BF: Cool.

MB: Good to know.

BF: I think we beat that one.

MB: With a stick.

BF: Beat it dead. Died a long time ago.

JH: I have a vision of a smashed tomato in my head actually.

§ “How are LOIs viewed?”

MB: Okay, the next question is another one from SDN and this is for Joni. “What is the value of letters of intent or letters of interest at Pritzker?” And clearly the person who asked this question knows what the difference is between those but I was wondering if you could also give our listeners an idea of what the difference is between a letter of intent and a letter of interest and how Pritzker views those.

JH: Sure. Well, I think the key difference in the way that we interpret it is a letter of intent means that somebody is basically saying to us, “If you accept me I will enroll in Pritzker.” It’s their intent to matriculate, whereas a letter of interest might say, “Here are all the reasons why I think Pritzker would be a great place for me to attend medical school.” But there isn’t then that that additional promise of saying, “I will definitely attend if I’m given an offer.” So that’s the way that we kind of define the difference between those two. I think it can be a little bit tough and I hate to say that every letter is somewhat individual but to some extent it is. We get a lot of letters from people who say both interest and intent. “Pritzker is one of my top choices, I love it, etc. etc.,” or “If you accept me, I will definitely enroll.” And as the process continues, we wind to be accepting a person and they don’t enroll. So because of that we don’t take a letter of intent as necessarily a kind of written contract, and I think even when I was a pre-med advisor a lot of students would say it to me after the fact that they sent letters of intent to six different places. And so because of that I think we don’t necessarily look at them as hard-and-fast rules but it does say something to us that you’re interested enough at Pritzker that you want to write a separate acknowledgment to say why you are so interested. And that can help the committee to understand that as much as you are worried about which medical schools are going to accept me, we also have kind of the opposite end of the equation which is we can accept all these people but we don’t for sure who’s going to come until they actually tell us that they will. So that kind of letter of interest or letter of intent can be helpful in us figuring that there is maybe a greater probability that someone will accept an offer from us if we’ve received that kind of letter.

I do think that the letters that have the most meaning are often the ones that come after interview. We often will see on applications or before someone has even been offered an interview: “Here are all the reasons why Pritzker is my number one choice.” And again we don’t know how many other schools that letter is going to, but also too, if you haven’t ever been on the campus, if you haven’t interacted with our students, if you haven’t engaged with our faculty it doesn’t carry a lot of weight to it. We understand that it’s kind of a preliminary interest maybe based on listening to the podcasts or seeing our website or maybe you have a friend that is going to Pritzker right now. So I think the letters that tend to have more meaning are the ones that come after an interview day, especially when someone can say, “I’ve been at six different medical schools now on their interview days and Pritzker really stands out to me for these reasons.” I think those letters tend to carry more weight because we just view them as a more formed decision after having experienced a variety of medical schools. And it is certainly the case we’ve had people who are currently at Pritzker who told us that they weren’t so sure about Pritzker, they almost used us as kind of a practice interview in their application process and as soon as they got here, they fell in love with the place and, oh my gosh, had to attend. And I think the opposite can also happen that someone might view Pritzker as absolutely their number one choice before they get here, and then maybe as they explore other medical schools, they find that a different place is a better fit. So I think those letters that come following an interview experience, and especially a multitude of interview experiences at other medical schools, tend to have a little bit more meat to them and seem to be a little bit more informed than a letter that might come with the original application.

DO: And especially as they’ve mentioned specific things they learned during the interview day, or things they’ve learned while they’ve been interviewed at a variety of places.

MB: Okay.

DO: Again, concrete evidence.

MB: Sure. Now, I don’t want to leave people with the impression that this is an absolute thing that they must do for every school that they’re interested in. I mean, is it required that you write a letter of interest?

JH: No, not at all. Not at all.

MB: Okay.

JH: And I think what a lot of people do which I think is a good theory–obviously I think it’s nice if you do come to a school to interview to write some kind of thank you note, even if it’s just a quick email–that’s fine. Whether it’s email or an actual written note, and a lot of times people are able to put that kind of information and a thank you note as well. And with a thank you, to me it’s just polite, but that’s kind of the way I was raised. I still have to send thank you notes to my aunt and uncle in California when they send me a card. So I think I’m a little perhaps overzealous on the thank you but I think it’s certainly is not at all a requirement that you need to send a letter of interest or a letter of intent to every medical school that you’re applying to.

BF: What proportion of students here at least would you say send either or both of these types of letters?

JH: Ooh, that’s a good question Ben. I would say post-interview pre-decision (about admission), I would say maybe 10% to 15% will. I would say post-interview after receiving a decision that someone is continued in our process, I would say the percentage probably goes a little bit closer to 60% to 70%. I don’t know–David do you think–that’s just a guess on my part. Do you think that sounds kind of accurate?

DO: Yeah. That’s reasonably accurate and I think there’s maybe a slightly higher percentage of individuals post-interviews send a thank you note.

JH: Right.

DO: Maybe 20, 25% will send a thank you note of one sort or another.

§ “How long does the decision take post-interview?”

BF: Last one again is for Joni. This one was also submitted by a studentdoctor.net user, and a lot of talk has been going on about sometimes it takes seven weeks to get a decision out to people, sometimes for some people it takes four, sometimes it takes six and a half. But you guys always quote sort of a gold standard of four to six weeks, I think post-interview–right?–to make a decision.

JH: Right, that is what we say.

BF: And is that–should students hold you guys to that or does it change from year to year? Does it change from week to week even with varying responsibilities that you guys have? Is there a new number that you’d like to update people with?

JH: Well, I think at this time of year, David and I for the last couple weeks of interview have told the applicants that it’s going to be closer to six weeks because the Admissions Committee breaks for the holidays. So at this time of year, it can take a little bit longer to hear a decision than at other points in the year and I think the other thing that goes into it more so than holiday schedules can be if an interviewer doesn’t send their report back in a fairly rapid period of time. And so we ask all of our interviewers to give their reports back within two days of conducting the interview, then that helps us to have the applicant complete and in line for committee much faster. We do stay on interviewers and so if someone has taken two weeks to send their report back, believe me they’ve gotten many calls from this office to get that report in sooner. So I would never assume that a delay in getting your application evaluated is a negative thing. It’s nothing personal, it’s often just logistical. So if somebody doesn’t hear for six weeks compared to somebody who heard at four weeks, it doesn’t mean we like that person more. It just means that all their material came through a little bit quicker and maybe they were early in the season and so there was no line to get in front of the admissions committee. So we try to be as accurate as we can but we also are perfectly fine if a student has kind of gotten past six weeks and is starting to get anxious, they can always email David or I and we can try to give them a prediction of when we think they’re going to be hearing their decision because at that point we should know what the line is looking like before the Admissions Committee and we can give them a pretty reasonable guess of when they might hear.

BF: Cool. So people who have waited for 43 days shouldn’t necessarily go start applying to grad schools. Is that what you’re saying?

JH: Exactly!


BF: Thanks very much Joni and David for joining us and–

DO: You’re welcome!

BF: –giving us all this advice. I think it would be very helpful. So this was Episode 8 of the Pritzker Podcast. I am Ben and Mary is here as well and we’d like to once again encourage you to email us questions or comments to pritzkerquestions@gmail.com if you have anything to suggest or ask on the show and as always feel free as well to comment on iTunes…we’d love to get your feedback about how we’re doing with the show. And take care, until next time.

MB: Okay. Bye-bye.

DO: Thanks Ben and Mary. Bye-bye.

JH: Bye guys.

MB: Bye.