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Admissions feedback

Beginning in the fall of 2013, we decided to stop giving applicants feedback about our admissions decisions. We realize this will likely frustrate some people, so we want to explain why we've made this decision.

The short version is: We gave feedback in the past, it took a lot of time, and we don't think it was very effective for us or for applicants.

Here's the longer answer.

For many batches, we've given people the most helpful and honest feedback we could. We didn't always get back to everyone (and sometimes it took us way too long to respond) but on the whole, we shared candid feedback with the majority of applicants who asked for it.

This process was time-consuming and dreadful in the literal sense of the word. We spent hours trying to figure out how to give helpful and honest advice, and we spent even more time feeling guilty about not getting back to people or not getting back to people fast enough.

The results were not encouraging overall. People would reply and try to contest our decisions, get frustrated that our responses weren't specific enough, or otherwise indicate that our feedback wasn't very productive.

This is understandable, especially for folks who don't get in to the Recurse Center. Most people are justifiably disappointed when this happens, and it's not fun hearing feedback from someone who's spent at most 20 or 30 minutes with you. Giving and receiving feedback is hard, and it's doubly so when both parties don't have a strong existing relationship with each other.

Please also keep in mind that like any admissions process, ours is far from perfect, and we know we make mistakes. We have to make decisions on a relatively small amount of information, and even if we do a good job 90% of the time (which is probably way too generous to us), we're still going to get it wrong dozens of times a batch.

The Recurse Center is just one of many great opportunities in the world. If you weren't admitted this time, we're sorry we weren't a fit right now, but we wish you the best of luck on whatever path you choose to pursue to continue your programming journey.