An Admission Director Muses on Making a Difference

An Admission Director Muses on Making a DifferenceAs everyone in the admission process begins to hunker down for a quiet period with passing of traditional application and financial aid deadline, parents wait and check with admission officers making sure application folders are complete and admission officers begin reading files and exercising their best judgement.

It’s just a tough time in the admission cycle. Still, quiet, busy, loaded with thinking.

Admission officers and schools want to do what’s best for every child. Parents want the best for that same child. Sometimes, the best answer is ‘yes.’ Sometimes, the best answer is ‘no.’

Andrew Weller at Ridley College (a coed boarding school in St. Catharines, Canada) has a nice story up on his Independent School Admission Musing Blog chronicling his personal delivery of a difference making decision:

“Over my career I have had the opportunity on occasion to tell a student of their admission in person or over the phone before they got our packet, but this may well be the first time I have hand-delivered it…

When he hit the key line in the letter that confirmed where he thought this letter was going, his eyes got huge and his smile even bigger and his head shot up like a jack-in-the-box as he looked at me. And then he looked right back down to finish reading the letter. When he was done, he looked up and he said nothing, the bright glare reflecting off his braces sending the message of his delight. I simply smiled back, shook his hand, said congratulations, and went on my way.”(AW)

I know that not every admission and financial conversation, and decision, will go the way everyone hopes over the coming months. But Weller presents readers with an opportunity to reflect and think about the lasting power of decision well taken.

As school people, a lot of us live with the desire to be able to be successful and reach, every student, every day. We can’t. It doesn’t work like that. Not every school fits every student and not every faculty member fits every student.

In the private school world, sometimes our inability to reach a student is purely monetary. That’s a blunt reality.

Implicit in Weller’s piece, though, is a reminder to keep an eye on the bigger picture. Our greatest responsibility lies in work with those students we have, those before us.

Additional resources:

Ridley College –

Boarding school in Canada


Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

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