Many top wizarding universities sent out admissions decisions in the past couple of weeks, disappointing the millions of young sorcerers who received the dreaded “thin owl.”
While a small fraction of the wizards and witches graduating from school were admitted into top programs such as the Salem Graduates’ Institute, the Merlin Magical University, and Harvard, the vast majority of the record number of applicants had to settle for less prestigious institutions of higher magical learning.
The news crushed the applicants, many of whom hoped to take advantage of the top universities’ programs in areas such as Defense, Magical Business, and Pre-Healing.
“My dream was to go to Stanford’s LeFay College of Sorcery, major in Charms and International Relations, and go work for the British Ministry of Magic,” said Tyler Reed, an eighth-year student at the Witch & Wizard’s School. “But now that I didn’t get into Stanford, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’ll have to go to the state school, and their Charms program isn’t very good at all.”
“When I went on my college tour at Merlin’s, I knew it was my dream school,” said Emma Babbit, an honor-parchment student at the Wizarding School of Louisville. “The classes, the campus, the levitating dorms, everything was perfect. But now they don’t want me, and I just cry all the time.”
The denials also produced a sense of indignation in many of the applicants, who had worked hard during their school careers, racking up dozens of resumé entrees, including club membership and community service, such as teaching transfiguration techniques to underprivileged magical children.
“I just don’t understand. I got good grades and I poured my heart out into Charms Club and Young Witches for Social Change, and put in dozens of hours for NHS,” Salem student Penny Liszt said, referring to the sporting and service organization Nimbus Honor Society. “And I went to the Salem Witches’ Institute, which is the best public wizarding school in the country — and I still didn’t get into Yale’s sorcery program.”
The universities stressed, however, the record number of highly-qualified applicants in the pool this year. “The O.W.L. scores we received this year were off the charts,” said Harvard School of Wizardry President Michael Waverly, “and we hardly saw a single Troll on a transcript. We have never seen so many 5’s on the A.P. Defense Against the Dark Arts exam. It is simply impossible to admit every single qualified applicant, and we know that those who we did not have room for will distinguish themselves at other institutions of higher learning.”
While many wizards and witches received the bad news through the arrival of the traditional “thin owl,” others received them through less conventional means, as part of many environmentally-conscious universities’ attempts to cut down on owl droppings. But, as the popular wizarding-university Internet forum Conjurer Confidential showed, many students felt the universities had missed the point.
“I got my letter through flying envelope,” one poster wrote. “So impersonal. I felt like they didn’t care about me at all.
“That’s nothing, man,” another poster replied. “I got my letter through the wireless. What is up with that?”
Despite the disappointment, these final-year students are making decisions on universities to which they have been accepted and are going on with their lives, preparing for N.E.W.T.’s and getting ready for the May Ball.
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