Friday, September 28, 2012

USA Today: College Application Advice from Deans of Admission

One of my favorite colleagues in the business is College of William & Mary's dean of admission, Henry Broaddus.

We had Mr. Broaddus on campus to speak to students and parents at the outset of the college process a few years ago.

Our community still sings his praises.

Mr. Broaddus's spaghetti analogy is worth the price of admission alone. 

Anyway, in a recent USA Today article, Mr. Broaddus recently joined a handful of dean's of admission to distill some excellent things for students to keep in mind during the application process.

Here is what Mr. Broaddus had to say:

Essays and samples: Any topic can work, but the goal should be to treat that topic in a manner that reveals distinctive style and personal character. Admission officers are far more interested in essays that show personal voice than they are in reading something that’s persuasive.
Keep in mind that 500 words is a very short form. Especially in subsequent drafts, it’s often helpful to narrow the essay’s focus.

Deadlines and requirements: In college admissions and in life, there are only a handful of things completely within one’s control through careful planning. Meeting deadlines is one of those things.

Letters of recommendation: Choose recommenders who know you well and thank them effusively. Teachers who take the time to tell us the stories of their students are the unsung heroes of this process.

Other: Unfortunately, standardized tests present a dangerous illusion of empirical precision that’s at odds with the way we make admission decisions. Test scores matter to us as a limited measure of academic preparedness, but for the hardest choices between similarly qualified candidates, standardized tests play no greater role than the more qualitative information in the application.

To read the rest of this USA Today article click here.