This advice seems sounder than it actually is.
Core wrote:Anyone with approaching deadlines have any luck e-mailing the admissions office and requesting a decision by the end of the month/a specific date, or is that inappropriate?
I advise against doing this, particularly with a school like SLS.
Assume, for a moment, that you are in a group of borderline applicants that SLS is going to deal with at the very end of its cycle, in April. You write in now and ask for SLS to accelerate its decision for you. I think the best that can happen is that SLS politely writes back to tell you that they are still in the process of reviewing your application. The worst that can happen is that they actually do what you ask. You can guess what the decision is going to be.
I requested expedited consideration of my application (my s/o has to make a PhD enrollment decision by the 15th of April), and SLS was very solicitous. I was admitted about five business days after making the request.
I have no inside information about the SLS admissions office, so take my advice for what it's worth. But I stand by my initial assessment.
Look, if SLS is already inclined to admit you, and if they are planning to inform you within a week or two anyway, then I'm sure it won't hurt to ask for an expedited decision. But if you're in a borderline pile that they plan to get to in April, I doubt that asking for an expedited decision will work in your favor.
Like I said, I have no special insight into how the SLS admissions office thinks. We do, however, have some insight into how the YLS admissions office thinks (check out http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/default.aspx
). It sure seems like YLS would frown upon a request to expedite a decision. SLS might be different, but I wouldn't risk it.
Edit: Here is a quote from the Yale blog. Actually, they're less hostile than I thought. They won't expedite if you ask, but they will give you a rough sense of when you can expect to hear back:
If you are facing a looming financial aid or scholarship deadline (and schools ethically shouldn't be giving you these before April 1), you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, LSAC number, the scholarship, and the deadline, and we will make a note of it. While we cannot expedite a review of your application, we can make sure you receive a notification as fast as possible once a decision is made, or at least give you a time frame in which you can expect a decision, so that you can ask for an extension of the deadline, if possible. (Note that we do verify the scholarship/deadline, so please don't make something up). We will usually get back to you a couple of days before your deadline, so you don't need to keep emailing if you don't get an immediate response -- we're working on it.
Alright...I take back my initial advice. I still wouldn't ask SLS to expedite, but I am probably just being a little paranoid. Do what seems right to you.