Happy New Year everyone! The posting below gives some good advice on how the admission process works at typical U.S. universities. It is from Chapter 2 – You’ve Got to Understand How It Works to Win, in the book, The International Family Guide to US University Admissions, by Jennifer Ann Aquino. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, United Kingdom . www.wiley.com. © 2017 Jennifer Ann Aquino. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
UP NEXT: An Experiment into the Public Face of Education Scholarship
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The Enlightened Insider: Trends and Realities (in admission to US universities)
This chapter should not be done in a day, or a week, or a month. It will take several months to complete if you’re going to complete it thoroughly. It is OK if you are starting this chapter late in the game, but you will have a more intense time commitment to every Milestone before moving on to Chapter 3.
Milestones cannot be skipped. You’ve committed to doing this process correctly in order to guarantee your success with it.
First, you need to understand how the process works and how your application will be evaluated. As with any process in life, if you don’t understand how it works or how you will be assessed, you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. I can’t tell you how many students fail to take this into consideration with US University Admissions.
There are two components to any US application – and yours will have both of these:
1. The holistic and full application itself (i.e., The Common Application or other application portal, essays, recommendations, etc.); and
2. The self-evaluation of the candidate – that’s you – to figure out what type of university and which specific universities will be a fit for you and why, and then to be able to make your List.
The Enlightened Insider: Trends and Realities
There are always changing trends and realties in this field that should be accounted for by any enlightened applicant. Here are a few and we’ll continue to discuss more as we move through the process.
- The “Early” game: Played by universities who are keen to employ enrollment management tactics such as filling half the class with their ED (early decision) applicant pool.
- Filter-reading: This is happening at more selective institutions that receive tens of thousands of applications and manage them by doing a quick filer read of most to gauge if they are worth reading thoroughly.
- Fit is more important than ever. And it’s up to the applicant to articulate and demonstrate this.
- Essays are golden: More and more important, these are what will showcase your individuality…and fit.
- Yield game: There are new “programs” popping up at several universities to manipulate these numbers of yield by accepting students into special programs whose yield numbers do not need to be registered or recorded and thus are not taken into account when final yield numbers are published. It’s a dirty game and many are playing it.
- Look beyond the name brand. You don’t have a choice nowadays. With acceptance rates at an all-time low, you have to be wise and enlightened to look elsewhere, and usually elsewhere is both a better fit and a more successful choice.
- Colleges are looking more and more for diversity. And diversity comes in many forms.
- “We had 30K applications but could only read 20K,” said by one famous Admissions dean at one of the country’s most selective institutions a couple of years ago.
- Pressure for Admissions officers to read and decide on applicants, making deadlines. Your Admissions officer had a terrible week, has 50 more applications to read in one day and yours is next to last…
- “We had to send two Admissions officers out to get pizza … but we continued voting without their presence.” The reality. And maybe your application was the one that came up … for better or for worse.
Some Unhelpful Myths:
- The more colleges you apply to, the better your chances! No. Create a well-rounded list.
- Only test scores matter.
- Only one candidate from each high school will be admitted.
- You can pay your way in.