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The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Simmons student denied from the final year of her 3+1 Master’s in Social Work program

“My entire plan was nonexistent, especially because from [the qualifications listed on] my acceptance letter to undergrad, I had met all the criteria and GPAs,” said Wright.
Eri O’Brien

Makayla Wright entered Simmons in the fall of 2021 as a member of the 3+1 Masters in Social Work program. This winter, despite her 3.94 GPA and participation in multiple campus jobs and activities, Wright was denied from the year-long graduate school portion of the program.

When Wright applied to her Master’s program, she says she was told that she would receive an answer within a week of her interview. As her peers’ acceptances rolled in and as twenty days had passed since her interview, Wright says she started to feel that something was wrong.

Wright told the Voice that she visited the Office of Graduate Admissions on multiple occasions to find that no one was there. After another visit on February 15, Wright was able to get in touch with an employee of the office, who told her that her application was still under review.

The next day, while at home preparing for a surgery, Wright received an email from the office. 

“Before I even opened it, I knew. I had a gut feeling and I knew,” said Wright. 

Instead of being admitted to the one-year accelerated program she had been working towards for her three years at Simmons, Wright was placed in the normal program, which is two years in length.

Wright says her professors, advisor, internship site supervisor, parents, and other trusted counselors told her “there was no need to apply to other schools.” She is the only student in her cohort not accepted into the one-year Master’s program. 

Since her decision letter was sent much later than she had been told to expect, she had “less than 48 hours to scramble” to apply to other schools’ accelerated programs in an attempt to stay on track to graduate with a Master’s in May 2025.

“My entire plan was nonexistent, especially because from [the qualifications listed on] my acceptance letter to undergrad, I had met all the criteria and GPAs,” said Wright.

Wright also pointed to her campus and community participation as a merit on her application. Wright was an Orientation Leader, helped plan Shark Week, and was an e-board member and dancer for the Simmons University Dance Company throughout her time at Simmons. 

Wright told the Voice that her family has been discussing the situation with their attorneys. 

Carlos Frontado, the Director of Graduate Admission for the School of Social Work, gave a written statement to the Voice. 

“For Advanced Standing, it is [the admission committee] responsibility to ensure that students are ready to enter the clinical setting where they will interact with real patients who are often in crisis,” said Frontado in his statement. “If after review of the applicants materials, the committee deems they are not ready to immediately enter the advanced year clinical placement they may be offered admission on a different pathway, including the 2-year program that will provide more time for growth.” 

Wright said that Frontado informed her via email that she had the option to appeal her admissions decision. 

“It’s pretty obvious that Simmons doesn’t value me as a student. I don’t think my hard work that I have put in and I will put in will be recognized,” said Wright. “It just sucks that a school I genuinely loved doesn’t respect me as a student.” 

Following her decision letter, Wright and her family reached out to the Office of Graduate Admissions and President Lynn Perry Wooten.

Wooten called her and her family multiple times after this email, and told Wright to appeal her admission decision, according to Wright and a source within the president’s office.

Wright says neither Wooten nor the Office of Graduate Admissions would give her a reason as to why she was denied from the one-year program. 

Wright says she is currently unsure whether she will appeal her decision. She says that she feels undervalued by the school, and is not yet sure if she sees a future here. 

“All we’ve been asking for is an answer of why. To me, it just doesn’t make sense,” said Wright. “I just don’t want this to happen to any other student.”

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About the Contributors
Olivia Ray
Olivia Ray, Editor-in-Chief
Olivia Ray (2024, she/her) is a Journalism major with minors in Political Science, History, and Integrated Media and has been writing for the Voice since her freshman year. She is also a member of the Honors program and Simmons University Dance Company. She is passionate about cycling, good coffee, affordable housing, and all things student-driven media.
Eri O’Brien
Eri O’Brien, Visuals Editor
Eri O’Brien (2024, she/her) is majoring in Studio Art and Communications on the Integrated Media track. She loves taking photos, writing, and going on walks with her dog Jeffrey.

Comments (7)

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  • J

    JenniferApr 28, 2024 at 8:03 pm

    The least the Simmons school could do is give her and answer as to why they made that decision. It seems like they don’t really have a reason and just did because they could. I hope you gets an answer to at least ease your mind even if you go to another school. I wish you lots of luck in your next chapter.

  • K

    KamsApr 28, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Insist on a reason why you were denied. The excuse they don’t feel you’re ready is BS. Your track record proves your ore then ready. When do colleges pick in choose if you are ready for graduate school or are they trying to milk your family for money, could this be considered discrimination or your family didn’t make a sizable donation? If you’ve been showing you are academically prepared with you GPA, what the what.

  • M

    MarieApr 28, 2024 at 9:27 am

    Wow, unbelievable! Make sure you get an answer to your question. Seek a good lawyer

  • G

    GSAApr 28, 2024 at 7:47 am

    Someone at the school made a mistake and their ego is now getting in the way of doing the right thing.

  • M

    Marie-Louise BuckApr 28, 2024 at 12:46 am

    Since when did it become the responsibility of a school to “value” a student. You’re there to learn not get “stroked” The school obviously thinks your not ready to dive into the “hard” work of social work.

  • M

    Marjorie SimmonsApr 27, 2024 at 10:55 pm

    Appeal decision

  • I

    I'ma ni ChantelApr 27, 2024 at 9:55 pm

    Dear wright, same thing happened to me at the unvi of Minnesota. They want you to be very passive and not strong. You accomplished what many of them could not do. They probably didn’t do as much as you did, and still maintained a good grade point average. That’s called jealousy and resentment. You probably got to know too many also and spreader yourself to thin, by trusting. You have to always remember, a lot of people or jealous and don’t. won’t to see you succeed . The dean is going to back the teachers, no matter what. Even if he know that it’s a lie. Somebody within that bunch didn’t want you to have that degree. Because you’re not a passive person, and can’t be controlled You are probably strong willed., and won’t bend. And they feel that you will be the same way on the job. And if push comes to shove, will not go alone with the program to save your job,