Future Year Scholars is our deferred enrollment program for exceptional college students. Here’s how it works: Apply as a college senior or a fifth year master’s student. Start after two, three or four years of work experience. Did you know there is no application fee for Future Year Scholars applicants? True story. Catch up on all of our Future Year Scholars blog coverage

We recently sat down with Assistant Director of Admissions, Taylor Fisher, to talk more about how the admissions cycle is shaping up. Check out Taylor’s answers below!

And, if you’re interested in learning more about Future Year Scholars application process, we hope you will join Taylor Fisher and Katherine Alford on April 10 for an Application Hotline webinar

Where are you in the cycle? How are things going?

Our first Future Year Scholars Program (FYSP) deadline of this cycle (1 March) has passed, but there are still great opportunities to apply (May 1 and August 1). This is the first year we’ve offered a March deadline, and we were thrilled to see there were applicants who were ready to move forward with FYSP. Our team has started to review applications, and we will be extending interview invitations throughout the coming weeks!

If a candidate missed the 1 March deadline, are there still opportunities to apply?

Absolutely! There are still two more opportunities in our current cycle for current college seniors (and 5th year master’s students) to apply: 1 May and 1 August. Any candidates who have already started an FYSP application are automatically moved to our next round.

Would you recommend the May 1 or August 1 deadline? Is there an advantage to applying earlier?

We always recommend a candidate apply when they feel their application is strongest. As it relates to FYSP, there is absolutely no strategic advantage to applying earlier versus later. We currently do not have a cap for the number of students we can admit into the program or in a given round. However, candidates who apply in the March or May rounds will receive a decision sooner, so there is some benefit, at least from a planning standpoint, to applying in our earlier rounds. But our general advice is to apply when you’re ready.

What makes a competitive Future Year Scholars Program applicant?

Our review process is holistic in nature, and we look at a lot of different things when evaluating an applicant. When I think about what makes for a compelling application, a number of attributes come to mind –  strong academic credentials, a solid test score, well-written essays, supportive recommendations from people who know you well, a great interview, etc.

That said, I think students who really stand out in the FYSP review process are those who have demonstrated strong leadership potential and have been meaningfully involved with communities on their campuses. In many ways, Darden is a leadership school, and, with FYSP, we’re looking for aspiring future leaders who want to make an impact.

What are good next steps from here? What advice do you have for someone who is just learning about FYSP?

I encourage candidates to get to know us and our community. For those in the Charlottesville area or passing through, I hope you will schedule a class visit to get a sense for what our classroom experience is like and to meet current students.

In addition, take advantage of our Contact a Student Ambassador and Contact an Alumni Ambassador webpages to connect with members of our community. As always, candidates who are interested in learning about about FYSP and our admissions process can schedule a conversation with a member of the Admissions Committee. This is a great first place to start for those just learning about the program!