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Postcards from the College

January 22, 2013 by

Admit It!  April seems like an eternity from now.  You worked so hard, day-in and day-out, for months on end to get your application ready.  You clicked submit, and now you wait.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  Well beginning this week, SOME of our applicants (and we cannot emphasize some enough) will get a small token of our appreciation.

What do we mean by that?  Well, we send out postcards to applicants whose application we very much enjoyed.  The postcards look like this on the front.  (Isn’t the William & Mary cypher elegant as all get-out?)

Front of postcard

Front of postcard

And on the back is a cleverly-worded message (or at least we think it’s clever) about the good news still to come.  It’s our version of what many admission offices call a likely letter.  While no decision is final until you get the formal letter (in the proverbial thick envelope) in April, we would not send a postcard to anyone who we did not believe deserving of that thick envelope (that would just be cruel).  It’s also our way of saying thank you: thank you for applying, thank you for being such a stellar student, thank you for making our job so enjoyable, thank you for being interested in William & Mary.

So let’s go back to that bolded and all-caps word SOME.  These postcards will be sent to only a small portion of those students who will eventually be admitted (likely less than a quarter of our admitted student cohort).  That translates to only about 10% of our total applicants.  Whether or not you get a postcard is primarily determined by luck.  Did your application get completed early in our review process?  Was it selected to be read early on in our review process (application files are selected to be reviewed totally at random)?  Did it progress through our first, second and third reads rapidly?  The answers to all of these questions again are based totally on luck of the draw.  If you do not receive a postcard, DO NOT PANIC.  It does not foreshadow any particular admission outcome.

We will continue sending these postcards for the next several weeks as we continue to review applications.  As we near our Committee process, we will stop sending postcards and prepare to send actual admission decisions.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission


  • Anxious in NJ says:

    Hi, I keep hearing news of the “likely postcards”. Just wondering if they are still being sent out, or if everyone who is getting one has already received one? Thanks for keeping the blog updated. It really helps!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Anxious in NJ, we are sending out our last batch in the coming days. We will soon begin our committee deliberations. Remember, there are still plenty of students who will be offered admission who do not receive a postcard and we are still working to complete several hundred applications.

  • Dottie says:

    I have a question about potential James Monroe Scholars. Will they receive one of these postcards? When do you notify students who will be a James Monroe Scholar?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Dottie, Monroe Scholars can certainly receive the postcard if they’re reviewed early enough. But non-Monroe Scholars can receive it also.

    We generally notify Monroe Scholars by letter in early-to-mid-March.

  • Margaret says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful postcard! Just yesterday I found out I have a kidney stone; painful, painful, painful! But getting that amazing cypher postcard with the heartwarming message made the day all worth it. Thanks for providing the silver lining for my cloudy day!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Margaret, so glad we could brighten an otherwise cloudy day. We hope you feel better soon!

  • Caroline says:

    I just got my postcard yesterday! It was definitely a welcomed surprise. Since I applied to all of my schools regular decision, I was starting to feel left out as most of my classmates already know where they will be next year. This definitely brightened my day and makes the wait until April much less stressful!
    Also, I love that a handwritten note is included at the bottom. That is just another reason to love William & Mary and another reason I’m completely convinced this is the right place for me!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Caroline, great job. Glad you received our little note. And don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are tons of students waiting for April 1! It will be hear before you know it.

  • Chen Hao says:

    Dear admission officer, I just want to ask did you send any postcard to international students?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Chen Hao, we addressed this in our February 10th comment above. We do send postcards to international students if they’re located in places where mail can arrive quickly but we do not send postcards to overseas location where mail can take weeks and weeks to arrive.

  • Chen Hao says:

    Thanks for the quick reply!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Chen Hao, of course!

  • Jenna says:

    I just got my William and Mary postcard, and I am SO excited. William and Mary is definitely at the top of my list. I literally ran into my house screaming and slipped on the floor. (So worth the fall!) Thank you so much for making my weekend! :)

  • Admit It! says:

    @Jenna, maybe our postcards should come with a caution label? Just kidding. Glad you are excited to have received the postcard. We advise a slower gate however when you get more from us in April!