Tag Archives: admissions

A really clever exchange between an MIT Director of Admissions and a prospective student has recently been making the rounds on Facebook. Surprisingly, the correspondence is over 20 years old, but still highly amusing and relevant, especially for teens and parents stressing out over the college admissions process:   MIT’s Initial Letter April 18, 1994 Mr. John T. Mongan 123 Main Street Smalltown, California 94123-4567 Dear John: You’ve got the grades. You’ve certainly got the PSAT scores. And now you’ve got a letter from MIT. Maybe you’re surprised. Most students would be. But you’re not most students. And that’s exactly why I urge you to consider carefully one of the most selective universities in America. The level of potential reflected in your performance is a powerful indicator that you might well be an excellent candidate for MIT. It certainly got my attention! Engineering’s not for you? No problem. It may…

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What’s going down for the college-bound? Early admission students in the graduating high school class of 2015 have already received good (or momentarily bad) news, while everyone else plays the waiting game. Current juniors are beginning to turn attention en masse to this whole college admissions process… ********* Hoping to leverage affluence into admittance? An anonymous source, sharing his or her Confessions Of A College Admissions Officer, advises going big or going home: Money won’t guarantee you a spot unless you’ve donated tens of millions of dollars. Tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands won’t do it. You pretty much need to have your name on a building. A few weeks ago, a parent tried to offer us a cash bribe. The father of an applicant came into the admissions office and dropped off an envelope with $1,000 in it. He’d previously made an appointment, so we had his name…

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Our friends at NextStepU know an awful lot about the college admissions process and wanted to share advice on how to handle the inevitable stress every applicant (and her family) must deal with:   There are few things that are more stressful than planning for college. You not only have to plan where you’re going, but also what you’re going to study and how you’re going to pay for it — the stress can really add up! That’s why it’s important to be able to learn to manage your stress, whether it be during the college planning process or during any stressful time in your life. Here are three ways you can help cut back on your stress:   1. Prioritize, plan and organize While your busy schedule can sometimes be subject to last-minute changes, try your best to manage your workload with a set plan of attack. Break bigger projects…

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What’s going down for the college-bound? Students in the graduating high school class of 2015 are in a collective frenzy of application preparation. If you’ve written your essay, you should make sure you’ve followed all of our 7 Steps to an Amazing College Essay. If you haven’t written that all-important essay yet, get to it!! ********* If the college application process is making your family insane, you may enjoy this New York Times writer’s call to Throw Out the College Application System: We send students to spend half a day at a testing center to take the SAT. We ought to invest equal time in sending them to assessment centers to gauge their values and their social, emotional and creative capabilities. You may also consider these 10 Ways For Parents To Stay Sane During The College Application Season. ********* In September, the Hechinger Report asserted that the real cost of…

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College admissions, or at least the earliest stages of the process, comes down to numbers. Any applicant is best served by providing an admissions office the grades and test scores required for more focused scrutiny. In other words, if your numbers don’t meet the predetermined value set by a college, there’s a very good chance those admissions personnel will never take the time to discover what a special snowflake you are! Of course, even this simple step becomes complicated by the variety of sources from which your numbers are drawn. Your school, obviously, reports your grades, classes, and, where applicable, state tests like Regents in an official transcript. SAT and ACT scores must arrive in official score reports from the College Board and ACT, Inc. respectively. But what about AP classes? AP classes can complicate the admissions process. These courses represent the standard for academic rigor, which means that students…

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What’s going down for the college-bound? If you’re in the high school class of 2015, you’ve ideally written most or all of you your college application essay. If not, what are you waiting for?!   When the lede of a provocative New Republic article asserts, “The Ivy League is broken and only standardized tests can fix it,” I can’t help but read on… As for Deresiewicz’s pronouncement that “SAT is supposed to measure aptitude, but what it actually measures is parental income, which it tracks quite closely,” this is bad social science. SAT correlates with parental income (more relevantly, socioeconomic status or SES), but that doesn’t mean it measures it; the correlation could simply mean that smarter parents have smarter kids who get higher SAT scores, and that smarter parents have more intellectually demanding and thus higher-paying jobs. Fortunately, SAT doesn’t track SES all that closely (only about 0.25 on a…

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