College Admissions

What The People Who Read Your College Application Really Think

Mouni Feddag for NPR

Mouni Feddag for NPR

Authored by Kirk Carapezza

 

Time to get together the transcripts and the test scores and put the final touches on those personal essays. It's college application season, again.

To a lot of students, the process seems wrapped in a shroud of mystery. What exactly happens when you send your application out into the unknown only to ... wait?

Well, here's a glimpse behind the curtain at one school.

Inside a tiny conference room at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., the admissions committee is preparing to review 23 applications. The committee members will spend about two minutes on each before deciding whether to accept or deny admission or place the application on hold.

To speed things along, the committee members use a lot of jargon, like "L-B-B" for late blooming boy, and "R-J" for rejection.

If it sounds like they are cutting corners, know that before the committee meets around the table, each application gets a close look from two of the members.

Then it's condensed into a single one-page profile. The one for this student says he comes off just a bit arrogant in his essay and interview:

"Academically he has everything. I wonder if a counselor call might be enlightening?" asks one member of the committee.

"It sounds like maybe he could work on it and be cognizant of it. I mean, he's strong academically," says another.

A third member chimes in, chuckling, "I think his classmates could bring him down to reality. (Read More...)

Gap Year May Have Benefits Long After College

Authored by KJ DELL’ANTONIA

Not every child who gets into college is ready to go. For some, taking a “gap year” — deferring admission for a year after high school graduation — may prove invaluable, helping a child thrive in college and after graduation as well. That’s among the messages in Jeffrey J. Selingo’s newest book, “There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of Tomorrow. 

Many colleges now endorse the gap year, including Harvard, which “encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work or spend time in another meaningful way.” Students who take time off tend to do better academically and are more likely to be satisfied with their choices after graduation, and we’ve written about how students who take time off may be able to make better choices about things like alcohol and sex and have a better understanding of what they want from college. As Lisa Damour, who writes a column on adolescents for Well Family, puts it, “teenage years are like dog years: a year of maturation at age 18 is worth at least seven in later life.” Read More... 

Guidelines for Making the Final College Choice

SKYNESHER VIA GETTY IMAGES

SKYNESHER VIA GETTY IMAGES

Authored by Jeannie Borin

The waiting is almost over as admission notices get sent out now and within the next few weeks.

Making an informed and correct college choice is crucial.

There are a variety of ways that each person goes about making their final college choice. Factors in selecting a college may vary from person to person. However, there are some common questions that should be taken into consideration.

Here are guidelines for making the final college choice:

1. Eliminate colleges that you would not consider attending. This may reduce your acceptance list and make the final college choice a bit easier.

2. Proceed with caution if you have not visited the college. Read More...