We know how important it is for everyone to learn about the campus culture. This applies to foreign students interested in studying in the US. By emailing with a current student, you can learn about life on campus for an international student. Think about how great that would be - knowing before you even step on campus. Check out http://www.collegesolved.com/students
If your son or daughter is lucky, he or she has been accepted to multiple colleges and universities. Having spent several weeks celebrating these successes, it is now time to make the final decision. May 1 is National College Decision Day, so called because the vast majority of U.S….
handwritten note from the admissions officer who reviewed my application. stanford is too cute.
This is torture!! I like so may different schools for different reasons…. :p
And can tell me what is the best guess for out of state admission? I’ve gotten everything from 15% to 37% and it’s really frustrating me. I know out of state is significantly lower than in state but if anyone can give me some exact figures that would be great. I want to know exactly how unrealistic this is for me.
Heath Einstein, Associate Director of College Counseling at The Hockaday School
Mr. Einstein! Mr. Einstein! Tufts has already admitted thirty-three students!â shouted a nervous ED applicant.
No, that’s not right. They havenât released their decisions yet,â responded a confident and seasoned counselor.
True enough, Tufts has not yet notified early decision applicants of their decisions. But my anxious senior was, nonetheless, moved to near-panic status after reading this from the Tufts admission blog: The first 33 members of the Class of 2016 have been selected.
There is power in the words we choose to use. Never mind that this was the first sentence of a very long blog entry, this student, like hundreds of others I would guess, will be slicing and dicing those twelve words from now through AP Calculus at the end of her day, carefully analyzing if she is one of the lucky thirty-three.
Students know that their applications can be reviewed at anytime during this six-week march from November 1 through mid-December. However, the specificity of identifying an exact moment when decisions are made only serves to heighten the anxiety a student already feels, like a defensive end slapping his counterpart on the offensive line on the shoulder following arthroscopic surgery.
I am all for transparency. But how much information is too much?
Heath Einstein, Associate Director of College Counseling at The Hockaday School
Earlier this week the National Basketball Association’s player’s union rejected the NBA’s latest proposal in the ongoing negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. Opting not to acquiesce to Commissioner David Stern’s ultimatum, the union plans to decertify—in a legal maneuver that ultimately worked in the recent National Football League labor dispute—and file anti-trust lawsuits in federal court. The NBA lockout has already become more protracted than the NFL confrontation and this week players missed their first paycheck of the season, harshly reminding them of what this work stoppage is about. The average player missed out on their first installment of $220,000, according to CNBC. That’s right—the average player earns that figure on a monthly basis. Kobe Bryant, star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, lost $1.1 million.
According to an October 26th College Board report, the cost of attending college continues to far outstrip inflation, continuing a decades-long trend. Private non-profit colleges increased tuition and fees by 4.5%. Perhaps even more alarming, public colleges increased tuition and fees by 8.3% for in-state students and 5.7% for out-of-state students. Federal financial aid dollars no longer cover the bulk of expenses and students are left to fend for themselves, seeking riskier private loans to make ends meet. Over the thirty-year period 1978-2008, the increasing cost of college was roughly three times the cost of living inflation. To put this in perspective, consider how much time our nation has debated overhauling our unwieldy health care system. President Obama and Congressional leaders negotiated ad nauseam in order to arrive at so-called “Obamacare,” a controversial program that is currently winding through the courts. And the rate at which college costs outpace inflation dwarfs the rate at which medical costs relate to inflation.
NBA players and owners bicker over how to equitably distribute billions of dollars; at the same time, the bubble created by the way in which we finance education is bursting, causing a bottoming out which will further widen the gap between those who can and those who cannot afford college. An increasing percentage of our population is comprised of non-traditional students: lower income, first generation, minority, etc. These young men and women, most of whom strive for greatness, are being priced out from meaningfully contributing to society. The fabric of our culture is slowly fraying at the seams and the basketball overlords are quibbling over pennies on the dollar. Something is wrong with this picture.
Last night I had the good pleasure of attending a reception for Fred Lawrence, the recently inaugurated president of Brandeis University. President Lawrence shared his thoughts about the value of the Brandeis education, the perfect blend between the close connections found at liberal arts colleges and the pre-professional experiences offered at research universities. When asked what makes his college special, President Lawrence described Brandeis as a school whose essence cannot be captured in enrollment numbers or pictures in brochures. Rather, Brandeis is a sense of spirit, energy, and camaraderie. It is a mission-driven institution concerned for the welfare of all. In a most eloquent expression, “Brandeis is about the music, not the lyrics.”
Against a backdrop of highly-paid athletes confronting billionaire owners, college costs continuing to spiral out of control, and factions of society starting to question the value of higher education, students are wise to pay little heed to the lyrics that drive up those costs, and focus squarely on the music which provides value for that investment. Scores of colleges provide ample opportunity to listen to the soothing sounds of their music at affordable prices. The life of a college can be found in those cascading harmonic notes.
College essays embrace an unusual genre, the personal essay. High school students are well-versed in research papers, comparative essays and persuasive arguments. Yet, very few have experience with composing the personal essay. The college personal essay is a precarious beast that should simultaneously relate personal growth while demonstrating that you are an enhancement to the school’s intellectual and social community. In addition, the personal essay must exemplify your abilities to write effectively and succinctly. As many students are in the throes of addressing the personal essay, I would like to offer a two strategies essential in crafting an essay that will garnish the positive attention of admission officers.
Write Idea. Focus on your scholarly research and how this will enhance the university’s academic community. Writing about hiking the Appalachian Trail or obsessively reading To Kill A Mocking Bird will not distinguish you from other candidates with equal class rank, grades and test scores. Instead of recounting your admiration of Atticus Finch or the red pine of the Carolinas, enhance your essay with the research you’ve completed on forest preservation for ecological and cultural conservation or the means with which Harper Lee challenges notions of race and gender and its specific correlation with your own understanding of humanity. Making your scholarly endeavors personal will pique curiosity and demonstrate your potential to contribute to an academic community.
Write Hook. Since first impressions count and are indelible, the first sentence of your personal essay is critical. With admission officers reading thousands upon thousands of essays and spending fewer than seven minutes per application, you need to make your first sentence memorable. Avoid all the sanctimonious and cliche statements about the accolades of helping the poor children of Africa, idolizing the glories of the ivory tower, recounting the challenges of barely making the basketball team or staying awake all night contemplating your admission essay. Focus instead on a unique and personal attribute that will grab your reader’s attention and induce a closer examination of your essay. The following examples from student writings are great hooks:
Every morning at 5:30 a.m. my covers rustle and I feel the cold nose of the most dependent responsibility of my life: my aging dog, Jackson.
When my school cafeteria banned tater tots, I was compelled to enter the political spotlight.
Although I have no cape and look ill-fitted for skin-tight armor, I am my favorite super hero.
My nagging stepmother has been the sole impetus I have developed the extraordinary ability to avoid shrill sounds and render myself invisible.
The personal essay offers students an opportunity to present their original and scholarly voice to colleges. A unique essay with a strong scholarly commitment that reveals a personal journey will easily delight and impress admissions officers. As applicant pools grow with talented students with equal grades, scores and rank, the essay could be the sole element that distinguishes you from your fellow applicants.