COLLEGE ADMISSIONS OFFICES CONSIDERING NEW APPROACH


 College admissions officers, deans, presidents, and other top brass from 50 or more high-profile institutions like Yale, Harvard, Michigan, and MIT have endorsed a report proposing new standards and criteria for admissions – simply put, the new approach would place less emphasis on standardized test scores, such as SAT and AP exams, and more emphasis on demonstration of community service and caring for others.

The report, springing from a project at Harvard's Graduate School of Education and announced at a press conference in New York by representatives from several major universities, makes recommendations and suggestions rooted in the belief that applicants to college have too much pressure placed on them by the current structure. Changes would aim to relieve stress.

At the moment, this announcement simply outlines a proposal. It is unclear how the recommendations will fare in the practical world of admissions, whether or not the majority of colleges, students, parents, teachers, and other participants in the process will get on board.

What is clear, however, is that good academic and extra-curricular credentials will not be going away as a prerequisite for admission to selective universities.

Concrete, meaningful changes in the admissions process will be easy to identify, should colleges shift gears on requirements to ease the stress for candidates.

Stay tuned.

For more information about the report, see the article in the Wall Street Journal here

For more information about the college admission process, see Dr. Droge's book, College Admission: A Simple, No-Nonsense Guide To Getting Into The College Of Your Choice here

JANUARY TO MAY - WHAT JUNIORS SHOULD BE DOING

So, it is the middle of your Junior year and you are getting a bit nervous about college admissions.  You have done practically nothing to date.  Many of your classmates seem to have their acts together, and you feel lost.  What do you do?

First, take a deep breath.  You have enough time to do all that is necessary.  Going into shock certainly isn't going to help. 

Next, review the list below, and schedule time to work on each item.  The best way to approach the college admission process is to see it as made up of individual parts.  The big picture may seem overwhelming, but when you look at each part, you can easily see how manageable it is.  Engage one part at a time, and remember that some parts need not be complete before you engage other parts. 

Also – and this is important – see the fun in some of this.  You really will enjoy reading about some colleges and imagining yourself there on campus.  That’s all a part of the process – researching colleges and determining which ones appeal to you. 

So, knowing that there is enough time to accomplish everything, that the process is really very manageable when broken down into individual parts, and that some of this may even be fun, begin with the list that follows:

1. Research colleges online, in school, and in the library, and build a list of those that appeal to you.  At this point, it doesn't really matter if it is a long list.  You will refine it eventually.
2. Register for the SAT or ACT and take it in the spring.  And if the colleges you are interested in require SAT Subject Tests for courses you are taking currently, register for those tests as well. TIP - take the Subject Tests scheduled at the end of the academic year and at the end of your courses - in May or June.  (Try not to wait until the fall to take these tests - you might forget the material.) (www.collegeboard.org or www.act.org )
3. Have regularly scheduled  conversations with your college counselor. 
4. Visit a few colleges on weekends or on break
5. Stay active at school – sports, clubs, other extra-curricular activities
6. Plan for summer activities or employment – intern, travel, job, enrichment course, etc.  This is your last summer before beginning the applications.  Give yourself something great to report to the colleges.
7. Obtain a Common Application and other specific applications of interest to survey exactly what will be required.  (www.commonapp.org )

Build a List of Colleges:  These are the colleges you may apply to eventually.  Begin to think about what you may enjoy learning about in college.  Also, think about your preferences in terms of geography, size, and type (e.g. public or private).  You are not locking yourself in here;  you are simply trying to figure out what kind of college will make you happy. 

Begin to research colleges to see which ones appeal to you.  Of each college, ask yourself if it offers what you are interested in?  Does it have the majors and programs that you want to take?  Will it prepare you for the next stage of your life after graduation – such as going to graduate school or getting a job?

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For a more complete look at the college admission process, with insights and strategies, see Dr. Droge's book, COLLEGE ADMISSION

Click here

COLLEGE ADMISSION GUIDE

College Admission : A Simple, No-Nonsense Guide by Dr. Droge

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