Class of ’06 will learn admissions fate online

Admissions decisions will be available online for applicants to the Class of 2006, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Richard Shaw confirmed Wednesday.

Yale would be the first school in the Ivy League and one of the first in the world to post this information on the Internet, YaleStation.org founder Alexander Clark ’04 said. Clark has joined Undergraduate Admissions Office Web Designer Nathan Gault in building the system, which Gault said still is in early stages of development.

“I want to do this, more than anything else, for efficiency,” Shaw said.

Shaw said the postal system can be “highly ineffective,” and that in the past some students have received their admissions packets — which contain information about the Bulldog Days pre-freshman program — weeks after they are mailed, making it impossible for students to attend the recruitment event.

But Shaw said the new system, which would supplement and not replace regular notification letters, would solve this problem, giving students access to admission decisions as soon as they are mailed.

Admitted students would have more time to make plans about attending Bulldog Days, and Shaw said they would even be able to register for the program on the new Web site.

The convenience of the Web system will not make notifications any less accurate, Clark said.

He said decisions posted online would be pulled from the same database the admissions office uses to mail letters and field phone calls.

“We believe that it’s appropriate, with appropriate security, to give [students] that information via the World Wide Web,” Shaw said.

Gault said the Admissions Office is extremely sensitive to security concerns and that the Web site will not be launched until the system is “rock solid.”

Clark said he hopes the Web site will provide more than just accurate and speedy notification.

While Clark said rejected, deferred and wait-listed applicants will probably be consoled by a letter explaining the admissions process, he said the Web site will likely be a “personalized, dynamic experience” for successful applicants.

It may feature Flash animation — possibly with fireworks and sound — welcoming students to Yale, Clark said.

Students might then see a Web page with links to Yale departments and organizations, and the personalized links would match interests indicated by each student in their application, Clark said.

He said the site might also provide contact information for current Yale students with similar interests and backgrounds.

“We are going to guide them to the Web, and the Web is going to give them all sorts of resources,” Shaw said. “The more information we can provide, the better the decision-making process.”

Shaw did not confirm any specific plans for the project, but he said it is only one segment of a whole new Web site that is “really quite spectacular.”

Clark, who comes from Jackson, Miss., and had to wait more than a week for his own letter of acceptance from the College, said he has a good reason for working on the admissions project.

“[I want] to combat the anger, pain and suffering I had to go through,” Clark said.

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