Pestering Your Way to an Admissions Decision

It's Tough Love Season* here Chez Ivey, and it's time for my annual public service announcement to applicants, wherein I say some version of "STOP ACTING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON."

I've written a whole blog post about how waiting is the hardest part, with a Tom Petty/Eddie Vedder video and everything! In that same spirt, I have a story to share.

I was talking to a law school admissions officer, among other things about applicants who feel compelled to check their online status every six minutes. That's not hyperbole. This person said to me, "You know, I wonder if they realize that we can see when they've checked their status ten times in the last hour."

Yes, that's right. They can see. Not that they routinely have time to check on you as you're checking on them every minute of the day, but if they bother to look, do you want to be that guy or gal who makes them say, "There's that nutty applicant again"?

There's nothing wrong with checking your status online, unless you are committing online trespass. A bunch of MBA applicants caused a scandal a while back when they hacked into a site to find out if they had been accepted, and both HBS and MIT gave them the boot — a cautionary tale. It goes without saying that you should not be hacking into any systems to learn your admissions status. That would be both unethical and stupid, and your digital fingerprints would likely be there for schools to see.

But even if you're not a common hacker, go easy on your mental health and on the school servers in checking your status. And do NOT bother admissions offices by calling them up to ask, "I just tried logging into your admitted students site to to see if I could get access, and I got through. Does that mean I'm accepted?" Even if they don't consider that unethical, at a minimum they're going to be very annoyed that you're wasting their time, and their response is likely to be, "Knock it off! If you weren't pestering us with silly phone calls, we might get around to making a decision on your file that much more quickly, because we have an actual job to do."

So... don't act like a crazy person, and don't be a pest. Waiting is hard, but to use a phrase my pal Steve Schwartz has used so effectively on his LSAT blog: "That's just the way it is, folks. Sorry."

Related tip: "Do not let discussion boards turn you into a crazy person."

* Kidding. We dispense tough love year-round.

Former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and a recovering lawyer, Anna Ivey founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process. You can find more admissions tips in The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions. Join the conversation here in the blog comments and on Twitter and Facebook, or email us a new question for the blog.