College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

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9780307590329: College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

College Admission is the ultimate user's manual and go-to guide for any student or family approaching the college application process. 
 
Featuring the wise counsel of more than 50 deans of admission, no other guide has such thorough, expert, compassionate, and professional advice.
 
Let’s be honest: applying to college can be stressful for students and parents. But here’s the good news: you can get in. Robin Mamlet has been dean of admission at three of America's most selective colleges, and journalist and parent Christine VanDeVelde has been through the process first hand. With this book, you will feel like you have both a dean of admission and a parent who has been there at your side.
 
Inside this book, you'll find clear, comprehensive, and expert answers to all your questions along the way to an acceptance letter: 

   · The role of extracurricular activities
   · What it means to find a college that's the "right fit"
   · What's more important: high grades or tough courses
   · What role does testing play
   · The best candidates for early admission
   · When help from parents is too much help
   · Advice for athletes, artists, international students, and those with learning differences
   · How wait lists work
   · Applying for financial aid

This will be your definitive resource during the sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school.

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About the Author:

 ROBIN MAMLET is the former dean of admission at Stanford, Swarthmore, and Sarah Lawrence, where she made over 100,000 admission decisions. Today, she helps colleges and universities find and select their deans of admission, leading the Enrollment Search Practice for Witt/Kieffer.

Journalist CHRISTINE VANDEVELDE's work has appeared in the San Francisco ChronicleParentingSelf, and USA Today.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments xii
Foreword xvi
 
PART I  THE BIG PICTURE
1. DON’T SKIP THIS CHAPTER! 3
Getting into college is not as hard as it looks— the real challenges and opportunities
2. IS THERE A “SECRET” TO ADMISSION? 12
There is no “secret,” but it’s not random ■ Understanding what colleges
want ■ The perfect candidate may be imperfect— but authentic
 
PART II GETTING ORGANIZED
3. THE 9TH AND 10TH GRADES: BEFORE YOU BEGIN . . . 19
When and how to start ■ Dialing down the anxiety
4. COLLEGE COUNSELORS AND ADVISORS 27
The high school counselor, a powerful advocate for the student ■
Private counselors— the benefits and drawbacks ■ How colleges interact
with counselors ■ Overpackaged applicants
 
PART III BECOMING COLLEGE- BOUND
5. THE ACADEMIC RECORD 51
The cornerstone of the application ■ Defining a challenging curriculum ■
How to select courses ■ Course work options: electives, honors courses,
international baccalaureate programs, and advanced placement classes ■
How many APs? ■ Grades and the GPA ■ Class ranking ■ Grade
inflation ■ How colleges evaluate your grades and courses ■ Achieving
balance between high grades, demanding courses, and personal time
6. EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 66
The myths about extracurricular activities ■ Beyond the classroom: sports,
community service, summer programs, school clubs and activities, jobs and work
experience, international programs ■ Activity lists and resumes ■ What colleges
are really looking for ■ Depth versus breadth, passion, leadership, and hooks ■
The strategy that works: pursuing genuine interests ■ Well rounded or specialist
■ How students can figure out who they are and what really interests them
7. TAKING THE TESTS 82
Standardized testing: the PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, ACT, and SAT subject tests ■
The National Merit Scholarship Program ■ What the tests evaluate ■ When to
test ■ Making a testing plan ■ Optimal preparation ■ Coaching: does it work?
■ Test- taking techniques ■ Testing reasonably: how many times to take the test
■ Test- optional schools ■ Scores ■ How colleges view standardized tests ■
The controversy surrounding standardized testing
 
PART IV  WHERE TO APPLY
8. CREATING AN INITIAL LIST OF COLLEGES 109
The four- step strategy for creating your initial list ■ Evaluating the student and
the schools ■ Researching the schools ■ Information sources and selection
criteria ■ Covering all the bases with “statistical reach,” “ possible,” “probable,”
and “solid” schools ■ Rankings— the controversy, the benefits, the pitfalls ■
Selectivity— where a student fits into a school competitively ■ How to think
about cost ■ Reference guide overview ■ How to get started and when to stop
adding to your list
9. COLLEGE VISITS 137
When to visit ■ Tours, group information sessions, overnight stays, meetings with
faculty or coaches, and classroom visits ■ Setting up appointments ■ Campus visit
etiquette ■ Getting off the beaten path on campus ■ Questions to ask tour guides
and admission officers ■ The proper role for parents
10. TURNING YOUR INITIAL LIST INTO YOUR APPLICATION LIST:
THE EIGHT TO TEN COLLEGES WHERE YOU WILL APPLY 155
Identifying patterns that show where a student will thrive ■ Balancing what
students want with where they fit ■ Assessing a student’s chances of admission ■
The “right” number of schools to apply to ■ Balancing the list ■ Demonstrated
interest ■ Don’t get hung up on the “name game” ■ The right school isn’t always
obvious
 
PART V APPLYING
11. COLLEGE INTERVIEWS 171
Informational versus evaluative interviews ■ Admission offi ce interviews ■
Alumni interviews ■ Scheduling ■ What happens step by step ■ What not to
wear ■ Critical preparation ■ Questions to ask ■ Admission offi ce etiquette
12. RECOMMENDATIONS 189
The role recommendations play in admission ■ FERPA— waiving privacy
rights ■ Whom to ask ■ How to ask ■ Supplemental recommendations ■
Follow- up
13. ESSAYS 202
What colleges look for ■ Self- reflection is critical ■ Basic writing advice ■
The long essay or personal statement ■ The sh*#@ty fi rst draft and the nine drafts
that follow ■ Short essays ■ Dos and don’ts ■ Plagiarism ■ How much help is
too much ■ How the essay shows a student is a good match for a school
14. THE APPLICATION FORM 223
The infrastructure of the admission fi le ■ The Common Application ■ Mistakes
to avoid ■ Information integrity ■ Criminal convictions and disciplinary actions
■ Last- minute must- dos ■ Submission of supplemental materials ■ What your
signature means ■ Deadlines
 
PART VI TIMING
15. DECISION PLANS 243
When to apply ■ Regular decision ■ Rolling admission ■ Early action ■
Restricted early admission ■ Early decision I and II ■ Who should apply early
■ Who should not apply early ■ Early programs and financial aid ■ The colleges’
philosophy and strategy behind early programs ■ What it means to sign on the
dotted line ■ Options for students deferred or denied under early plans
 
PART VII PAYING
16. FINANCIAL AID 265
Does my family qualify for aid? ■ Financial aid calculators and getting
an early estimate of what you will pay ■ Need- based aid ■ FAFSA ■
CSS Profile ■ Merit- based aid and scholarships ■ How to find merit aid ■
Scholarship search services ■ Scams ■ Deadlines ■ The financial aid package:
grants, loans, work- study ■ Evaluating your financial aid awards ■ Financial
planning ■ How to ask for more aid ■ Glossary of terms
 
PART VIII DECIDING
17. NOTIFICATION AND MAKING THE DECISION 301
You’re in ■ How to decide: return visits, problem solving, and other decisionmaking
tools ■ Waitlist strategies ■ Denials ■ A gap year ■ Dealing with
disappointment ■ Senioritis: don’t succumb ■ Sharing the news ■ A final
checklist ■ The last steps: the reply, the deposit, the thank- yous
 
PART IX SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
18. STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL TALENTS 319
Athletes: Division I, II, and III programs ■ Timing ■ Creating the list of schools
■ Scholarships ■ National Letters of Intent ■ Artists: Deciding between an arts
program and an arts school ■ Submission of supplementary materials ■
Artistic review
19. STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES 335
Students with learning differences or physical or emotional challenges ■
Home- schooled students: Providing a narrative for the transcript ■ Testing
■ Demonstrating academic readiness ■ Accommodations ■ Disclosure ■
Documentation ■ Making the right match ■ Undocumented students: The
challenges: researching your possibilities, completing the application, financial
aid, where to go for help ■ Legacies and major donors: Special consideration ■
Etiquette for those with family ties ■ Influence and its implications
20. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 347
Navigating the American college system ■ Testing ■ Credential evaluation ■
Financial aid ■ Advice for foreign nationals applying from U.S. high schools and
U.S. citizens applying from abroad
21. TRANSFERS 357
Making the case for making a change: testing, essays, interviews, and letters of
recommendation ■ Eligibility, articulation agreements, and transfer of credits
 
PART X APPENDICES
I TIMELINE: THE PATH TO COLLEGE 369
II A RECOMMENDED COURSE OF STUDY 374
III WORKSHEETS 376
IV RESOURCES 380
V SAT/ACT CONCORDANCE TABLES 385
Notes 387
Index 000
 
CHAPTER 15
 
Pay Attention When Early Plans Are Discussed
You may hear early action and early decision lumped together and discussed under the single heading of “early programs.” This is appropriate at times. For example, depending on the colleges on your list, your consideration of whether to apply early may encompass early action and an early decision option. But EA and ED are very different plans, with distinct rules, requirements, deadlines, and notification dates. Each has advantages or disadvantages depending on the applicant. In addition, the schools to which you are applying may offer both EA and ED plans. And deadlines and notification dates can be different from school to school, with some schools offering both EA and ED or even multiple rounds of
EA or ED. Pay close attention to the designation of the plan being discussed and the specific details of the decision plans at each college on your list as you consider where, when, and if you will apply under an early plan.
 
Restrictive Early Action
This option is offered by only a handful of colleges, but if a school you are interested in happens to be one of them, then you need to understand it.
Restrictive early action is a nonbinding plan where students apply to a first- choice school early and receive an early decision. Students have until May 1 to respond to an offer of admission. You may apply to other colleges under regular or nonbinding rolling admission plans, but may not apply to any other school under early action, early decision, or REA. Students should check the website of any college where they are applying REA to understand if there are further restrictions. There are three outcomes under restrictive early action: acceptance, denial, and deferral. If accepted, the student has until May 1 to respond. If deferred, the student’s application is moved to the regular decision pool for later
consideration. If you are deferred, you should follow the advice on page 250 for students who are deferred under early decision plans. If you are denied under REA, you cannot reapply for consideration under RD.
 
You Don’t Have to Jump on the Early Bandwagon
“I want to apply early— I just don’t know where.” If that’s how you’re thinking about this, think again. Students report a lot of pressure to apply early. It comes from peers, parents, newspaper headlines— and sometimes it comes from oneself. In October of senior year, it may seem like everyone is jumping on the early bandwagon. But there is nothing wrong with sitting out this round and opting for more time and the greater choice it allows. There are distinct advantages to waiting and applying regular decision. Before you jump on the early bandwagon, seriously consider whether it’s right for you. We’ve provided a list of questions to help you figure that out on page 250.
 
Does Applying Early Improve My Chances?
Whether applying early improves your chances is the wrong question. The better question is: “For the colleges on my list, am I a suitable candidate for an early program and do I want to take advantage of that option?” After all, it’s not really an advantage to be accepted early at a school if you haven’t decided you really want to go there. That said, we know you would like us to try to answer this question. Unfortunately, the answer is that it’s situational and complicated— and involves a lot of inside baseball about the college admission office. Here it is:
Whether or not there is an advantage to applying early will vary from school to school and from applicant to applicant at each school. At schools that want to fill their classes with students who have made a commitment to the college through
early decision or made it clear that they are sincerely interested by submitting their application through early action, there may be an advantage. But at other schools, applying early will make no difference. You just apply earlier and find out earlier. For some schools, the early plan may be the most competitive part of the admission cycle; at others, it could be the least competitive. For example, when the admit rate for early applications is higher than the admit rate under regular decision, you can’t necessarily conclude that there is an advantage. It may be that the candidates were stronger statistically, or that they just happened to meet other institutional priorities of the college. Students who apply early are often statistically among the strongest students a college will admit— these students are not relying on first- semester senior- year grades and November scores to boost their candidacy. Also, special- circumstance groups— such as athletes or
legacies— may be steered toward the early pool, which can skew the statistics in a way that is difficult to sort out without a lot of inside information. One thing is for sure: applying early is no solution for weak grades or other problems a student may have. As Wesleyan dean of admission Nancy Meislahn has said, “Applying early does not have a Rumpelstiltskin effect: you can’t spin C’s into A’s.” As you can see, for every generalization about applying early creating an advantage, there are many exceptions. Because of this, it’s important that students and families not use an early plan merely to game the system. Applying early as a strategy works only if you know it’s your first- choice school and if you definitely want to go there— and then it’s not a strategy but a natural
outgrowth of your interest.
 
KNOW THE JARGON . . .
Admit Rate
The admit rate is the percentage of applicants admitted by a college among those who applied. The admit rate is calculated by dividing the number of students admitted to a college by the number of students who applied to that college.
 
ADVANTAGES Rolling Admission, Early Action, and Restrictive
Early Action Plans Have These Advantages in Common:
· An early answer without a required commitment to enroll.
· Unrestricted choice.
· Time. You have until May 1 so are able to consider all your options as decisions come in from other schools to which you have applied.
· An acceptance takes some of the pressure off and a denial allows you to move on and concentrate on the other schools on your list, any one of which you should be happy to attend.
· Students and their families have the opportunity to consider and compare financial aid awards from multiple schools and weigh that information into their choice.
 
Students: Do the Right Thing
You have applied under early action, rolling admission, or restrictive early action and you’re in. Congratulations. We now encourage you to do the right thing. If you know you will not enroll at some of the other colleges on your list, don’t apply to them. Go back through that original list and cross off those schools. Or if you’ve already sent in your applications, let those colleges know your plans. Don’t collect trophies in the form of admission letters from colleges you will never  attend.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Some colleges very much want to make their case to you even if you have been admitted to another college under rolling admission, early action, or restrictive early action. If there are schools on your list you can still imagine you might attend, feel welcome to keep your options ali...

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. College Admission is the ultimate user s manual and go-to guide for any student or family approaching the college application process. Featuring the wise counsel of more than 50 deans of admission, no other guide has such thorough, expert, compassionate, and professional advice. Let s be honest: applying to college can be stressful for students and parents. But here s the good news: you can get in. Robin Mamlet has been dean of admission at three of America s most selective colleges, and journalist and parent Christine VanDeVelde has been through the process first hand. With this book, you will feel like you have both a dean of admission and a parent who has been there at your side. Inside this book, you ll find clear, comprehensive, and expert answers to all your questions along the way to an acceptance letter: - The role of extracurricular activities - What it means to find a college that s the right fit - What s more important: high grades or tough courses - What role does testing play - The best candidates for early admission - When help from parents is too much help - Advice for athletes, artists, international students, and those with learning differences - How wait lists work - Applying for financial aid This will be your definitive resource during the sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780307590329

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2011. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. College Admission is the ultimate user s manual and go-to guide for any student or family approaching the college application process. Featuring the wise counsel of more than 50 deans of admission, no other guide has such thorough, expert, compassionate, and professional advice. Let s be honest: applying to college can be stressful for students and parents. But here s the good news: you can get in. Robin Mamlet has been dean of admission at three of America s most selective colleges, and journalist and parent Christine VanDeVelde has been through the process first hand. With this book, you will feel like you have both a dean of admission and a parent who has been there at your side. Inside this book, you ll find clear, comprehensive, and expert answers to all your questions along the way to an acceptance letter: - The role of extracurricular activities - What it means to find a college that s the right fit - What s more important: high grades or tough courses - What role does testing play - The best candidates for early admission - When help from parents is too much help - Advice for athletes, artists, international students, and those with learning differences - How wait lists work - Applying for financial aid This will be your definitive resource during the sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780307590329

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