Welcome To Dean Flagel’s Blog

For many of you this is the first time stopping by the blog, so first off, welcome!  Read some of the past posts, comment on topics you want to know more about, or discuss your opinions on the topic in this post.  As far as introductions, I am Andrew Flagel and am the current Dean of Admissions and Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Development at George Mason University located just outside Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia and I’ve been in the college admissions and higher ed world for closing in on 20 years now (read my profile for boring biographical info). 

The point of this little project is to reach out to students and parents (prospective and otherwise) and offer my views on what’s going on in the world of college admissions today both at Mason and around the country.  The comments section is wide open for feedback and I try to do a good job of responding as timely as possible, though we’ll see if this theory works come late-fall when we’re buried in thousands of applications.  For now, take a look at today’s post and if you feel like it post some feedback. 

 Thanks for reading, and I look forward to interacting with everyone.


15 Responses

  1. Hey, i was wondering how accurate my guidance counselor is. He said that with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 1080 on the SAT’s that my chances are likely to get into George Mason. Is this true? Also, if I wanted to major in business, and I have taken numerous business classes in high school, will this help my chances? Thanks for your time and help.

    Luke Thomas

  2. Hello Dean,

    This new blog section for the online GMU site is an AWESOME idea. The blogs so far have been interesting and very enlightening. As i searched the GMU website, I discovered that the early decision deadline is October 15, 2007. Is this a binding agreement? Thanks in advance for your help!

  3. Hi, I was curious to find out if I had a shot at all in getting into George Mason. I love everything about this school because of how highly regarded your business school is and all the internship opportunities. Also it is close to home and my brother has said that hes really benefitted from going to Mason. My only concern is my SAT score, which was below average and to be honest below but i’m used to getting. On average I have a 3.4 GPA and during my junior year I got a 3.8 GPA but for my SAT score I got a 1480 out of 2400. I’m taking the SAT again in October and have been taking a class to try and help me, but I really want to go to Mason. Do you think I have a chance?

  4. Thank you for the oppurtunity. I wanted to know what is the average cumulative GPA and SAT score to get into George Mason. Also, i want to major in Criminal Justice. Can you send me some infomation on classes and the requirements for this? Thank you for your time and help.

    Jessica Thrift

  5. Luke –
    Questions on specific numbers are always hard to answer, and schools will usually hem and haw, but here are some basics:
    Schools generally look at a lot of stuff in evaluating your grades – courses you took, quality of your school etc – that’s why it’s so hard to just give a number. I can tell you that only about 2 percent of our students last year had GPA’s in that range or lower, and about the same number of SAT in that range, so the combination will make it very challenging.

  6. Cheleah –
    Just to clarify, the early application deadline is November 1. It is not a binding agreement.

    a little clarification:
    Early Action – no obligation – you apply early, you get an earlier response.
    Single choice early action – bizarre practice by some institutions to try to get you to admit they are where you want to go most, without having to formerly commit
    Early Decision – a “binding” decision (as in restrictive, not as it they will actually use ropes or anything). Bascially by appying “ED” you are committing to attend that institution. There are a few loopholes, but schools get all cranky if you break that commitment (some high schools won’t even send out any other transcripts once you have been admitted through an ED process).

  7. Kate –
    Like I told Luke, there is so much more that goes into an admission evaluation that it’s hard to make a specific prediction. I can tell you that your GPA is below our average, but not out of the middle 80 percent of our class (think of a bell curve, if that helps). Your scores would be towards the lower 2 percent. I should not, once again, however that I really any failure to use the standardized test scores in the ways they are intended. Scores are only a complement to your academic record and should never be viewed as the primary admission decision. That’s the main reason we went ahead and launched the largest score optional admission program in the U.S.
    Finally, your junior grades are great news – it is far better in admission than to go up than down – keep up the great work.

  8. Jessica –
    See above for some comments on the GPA and SAT stuff. In general our entering students had in the B+/A- range or higher.

    Our program is called Aministration of Justice and was designed with not only traditional law enforcement but also the FBI, CIA, etc. in mind. The FBI is moving a huge portion of their operations to a new facility adjoining our research campus in Prince William county (about 10 miles west of our residential campus). As a result, many of the ADJ classes will be out there to take advantage of that connection. You can get details on the program at http://chss.gmu.edu/academics/adj/major.php

  9. I love this blog, great insight! I was hoping to get your opinion. I have failed to do join any school related extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, ect.). I have dedicated most of my time to my job. I work about 20 hours a week as a pharmacy technician. Also my reading and math SATs combine to a 1310, but my writing score is much lower, a 510.From an admissions standpoint, has this significantly helped or hurt me?

  10. Working is a perfectly reasonable extra-curricular activity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with explaining that your job is where you’ve invested your time, and you might add something about what you’ve learned from that. I would think this would be more helpful if somehow related to your current career choice (“I’ve developed a passion for making people sign forms before giving them what they need, so I’ve decided to go into accounting or law” = ok, maybe medicine or pharmacy would be the more obvious choices).
    Of course, always bear in mind…your grades are still way more important than your extra curriculars, clubs, sports, or work. Also more important than your scores (which are fine for most competitive institutions).

  11. Only vegetables are happy.–William Faulkner, U.S. novelist, (1897-1962)

  12. Is there any way to get around the out-of-state tuition barrier?

  13. “Barrier” is a relative term – Mason’s out-of-state tuition, for instance, is lower than any nationally competitive institution in the D.C. area, and less than half the cost of the private institutions in the region. Universities offer financial aid and scholarships as well.

    Every state has different policies on how they determine residency. Virginia’s policy is among the most complex and rigorous, but also offers chances for students to become residents – so students whose families move to Virginia, or who are independent, have an opportunity to be classified as in-state residents, even if they didn’t start out that way. This by no means implies that its easy to be classified in-state – only that it’s possible.

    Mason (and I assume most if not all univesities) have the policies online, but they are REALLY LONG and tortuous to read. Most are found on web pages for offices of the registrar.

  14. Although it’s not really a way to “get around” out-of-state tuition, many public schools will waive the fees if your test scores and grades are significantly above their average.

    Here’s a good example from my hometown:


    Good luck!

  15. I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work

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