Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Application Advice from Deans of Admission

Hurricane Sandy is an appropriate metaphor for life in college counseling offices all over the country.

Students are anxiously finishing final drafts of essays, shoring up teacher recommendations, and making sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed for college applications going out to early admission programs.

Colleges, consequently, all over the country are bracing for thousands of applications to crash their servers around 11:59 pm on November 1st.

In the next 24 hours in our office, we will see hundreds of applications go out to schools all over the country.

Between now and then we will be doing final reviews of applications.

Last week, consequently, deans of admission from Vanderbilt, Johns Hopkins, and Michigan were on the Today Show.

They had some great advice for students completing their applications to highly selective schools.

It's worth the six minutes to watch and absorb their advice.

Click here to view the interview.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Harvard, Fisher vs. UT-Austin, and Application Bootcamp II

It's a busy time around my office this time of year.

The first major application deadlines are imminent.

One highlight last week was Application Bootcamp II.

I invited seniors to join me at Cafe Evoke  to work on college applications.

Bring your lap top or iPad.

Order a coffee drink.

And let's work on applications!

We had almost 20 students show up.

It was such a fun three hours looking over student applications to colleges all over the United States.

There have been a number of great articles lately.

One article explored the nuanced reasons why schools like Harvard (34,302 applied/2,032 accepted = 6.29%) are virtually impossible to get accepted into today.  Click here to read this article.

Another article explored the tensions and complexities involved in affirmative action case of Fisher vs. UT-Austin that was argued in the US Supreme Court last week.

The article the The Chronicle of Higher Education is written by a colleague who provides a thoughtful response to this hot button issue in college admissions today about how much or how little race/ethnicity should play in admission decisions.  Click here to read this article.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are you a (potential) stalker parent? This post is for you then.

One of my favorite past times at conferences is to sit around and listen to college counselors engage in a cathartic exercise in which they tell stories about parents in the college admission process.

If you didn't know, there is kind of a burgeoning groundswell of unhealthily enmeshed parents with their kids.

That's my gentle euphemism for the crazy parent.

Carl Jung once wrote, "After 35, all problems are spiritual problems."

Perhaps then we should just call what the college process can become for some parents - a form of idolatry.

Idolatry in its essence is when we take a good thing (college) and turn it into the ultimate thing.

I'm fortunate that the parents I work with at Casady are far more humane and level-headed in this process than most parents from independent school cultures.

Bill Fitzsimmon, the dean of admission at Harvard, addressed his growing concern about the deleterious effects the college process can have on the adolescent brain because of "over-parenting" at NACAC in a breakout session.

Fitzsimmon offers some rather depressing anecdotes at first.

But then he offers some rather hopeful advice for how parents can navigate this process without bruising their child or ending up in jail.

Click here to read the article.