Wake Forest University

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Rethinking Admissions

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Posts Tagged ‘college application’

Identifying Diversity in College Admissions

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

elmhurst-college_200x200As college admissions offices nationwide continue the commitment toward creating more diverse communities, conventional concepts of diversity are being challenged to include a broader, more inclusive spectrum of students. While many college applications implicitly allow for prospective students to distinguish themselves in a numbers of manners, Elmhurst College has gone a step further, asking its applicants directly: “Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?”

With this question, optional as are several others, Elmhurst became the first college in the country to inquire about prospective students’ sexual orientation and gender identity. Met with cheers as well as some controversy, the college is glad to have made this decision because it was ultimately the right thing to do. Unaware of the national headlines it would make, Elmhurst College has brought attention to its unwavering acceptance of students from all backgrounds and has required many to reexamine our definition of diversity.

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

acceptance letterCollege acceptance letters are on their way to mailboxes across the United States, but instead of the traditional snail mail correspondence, you may be receiving an email, a link to an Internet video or maybe even a fancy certificate that you can frame and put up on your wall.  U.S. News & World Report recently provided a round up of the novel approaches universities are taking to notifying students that they have been accepted. Among the most unusual? Elon University emails students a link to a video entitled “Congratulations. You’ve been accepted to Elon!” complete with a cheering crowd and picturesque scenes from the North Carolina campus.  St. Bonaventure University mails out a college T-shirt with its acceptance letter, while MIT includes a poster and confetti in its package to applicants accepted under early decision.

Email also continues to be a popular way of notifying students about admissions decisions, but many schools are grappling with whether to follow up their, “no” with snail mail correspondence. While some students have complained that they do not need to hear the bad news twice, others have lamented the fact that a lack of a formal letter only makes them feel more rejected. “They say they won’t be sending you an actual letter because that would only make it worse. Ha ha like I didn’t cry enough,” said one student who was denied admission to Stanford.

Given that their news can elicit either cheers or tears, some universities are timing their emails to ensure they don’t disrupt the school day.  For example, Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., now posts its admissions decisions on Fridays at 8 p.m. so that “people have time before they see their friends,” admissions dean Monica Inzer told the magazine. But regardless of what time of day they email their news, universities are making doubly sure that they have their facts straight. George Washington University recently sent acceptance emails to 200 applicants who actually were rejected. What to do at that point? Follow up with another email admitting that they had made a mistake.

College Admissions: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Your essays are written, your recommendation letters are mailed, and your college applications are submitted. Now what? Well, college admissions counselors suggest there are some things you can be doing while you’re waiting for the fat envelope. U.S. News & World Report talked to a few of them, and here’s what they suggest:

  •  Follow up with your high school: You requested your transcripts, but were they actually sent? This is a busy time of year for high school counseling offices, and it’s important to check so you don’t accidently fall through the cracks.
  • Market yourself to colleges: Now is the time to visit to the school of your choice and see if you can get an interview with someone from the admissions office. But once you’re there, be considerate of people’s time.
  • Consider your options: If you really like a school, but are undecided about your major, consider choosing a program with lower enrollments.
  • Think about finances: Now is the time to complete those lengthy financial aid forms, and talk to your parents about your options. Don’t wait until you’re accepted to apply for financial aid.

Those are some do’s, and you can find more tips here.  What about the don’ts? Greg Roberts, dean of admissions at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, says that’s pretty simple. Don’t “send mountains of unessential supplemental information, or e-mail or continually contact the admission representative during the time when they are reading applications 60 hours per week.”