Act One: The Old College Try
Act one, “The Old College Try.” So here at our radio show, we went looking for a college admissions officer who would tell us the most misguided things that people do when they’re applying to schools. And we found Rick Clark, who’s director of undergraduate admissions at the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech. And he said that he and his team are regularly getting emails and phone calls from parents who are pretending to be their own kids. And he sent me some of these emails with the names redacted.
You forwarded an email like this to us. This is from a mom’s email address, and then it’s signed from a son.
And it says, “I was impressed by GT’s beautiful campus and its close proximity to so many athletic teams and facilities in Atlanta. I look forward to speaking with someone from the business school. Thanks again for taking the time to meet with us on Saturday, and thanks for the awesome T-shirt.” Now, the word awesome, is that the most common word that parents use to imitate their kids?
I’d say “awesome” and “cool.” If they throw those in, I think they feel like they’re covering their bases on impersonating a high school student. But ironically, I really almost never, in fact, see that in an email from a high school student.
Ah. So Duplicitous parents, please take note. And then on the phone, when the parents call on the phone, do they use the word “awesome?”
The Test Prep Episode
Test prep expert Akil Bello quickly realized he was good at taking tests. But when it came to college, he says he did everything the wrong way. What’s his advice when it comes to admissions testing? And what one thing is more important than two extra hours of test prep for your child? Akil’s perspective and advice is why this is one of our favorite episodes from Season 1.
Rankings Are Arbitrary Misleading And Poisonous
Any admissions officer worth their position knows rankings like the US News & World Report Best Colleges list are capitalistic undertakings rooted in junk science.
Parents and students should self-sort and then contextualize: What are my strengths and interests? What environment would best suit me? What do I need most from a campus and from a classroom?
The four years of college are as important socially as they are educationally the right fit is far more important than getting into the highest-ranked school you can.
Identify the strengths of specific programs that interest you, the proximity to places you might want to spend time, the student bodys general personality, and professors work in your field of study.
Spend a month identifying what you want from a college and researching the schools in step with your ideals. Its a lot cheaper than falling victim to the grifters out there waiting to prey on your sense of insecurity.
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Do You Know How To Improve Your Profile For College Applications
See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now it only takes 3 minutes and it’s 100% free.
It was torture waiting until March 30, 2020. If youre familiar with the college admissions process, you know that March 30 is the last possible day to receive a regular admissions decision. And, of course, that was the day NYU chose to notify prospective students. At this point, I was driving my grandma crazy by pacing up and down our staircase, and by bouncing my leg up and down when she forced me to sit. At 7pm, I heard a ding. I rushed to my computer. It took me five tries to get into my computer, but there it was an email from NYU Admissions. This is that movie movement right? The make or break moment? Wrong. NYU Admissions was emailing me to give me a heads up that decisions would be released in 45 minutes. And so, the wait began anew.
Standardized Testing Is Just As Problematic As The Vague Concept Of Preparedness And As Contingent On Wealth
How should you define a prospective students value? Is there a magical chemistry between applicant and university? Should a student reflect a universitys ideals? Should admissions officers primarily value self-motivation, independent thinking, creativity? Demonstrated service to the community?
In theory, our office valued a mix of all the above. But in practice, standardized test scores, class rank, and private schooling ruled the day. Elite universities, no matter how high-minded, have corporate souls and bottom lines. Despite being nonprofits, elite universities are competing businesses in an ever-evolving marketplace. And more often than not, professed ideals will take a back seat to whatever drives the market. If your competitors boast an SAT median of 1450 and 60 percent of their incoming class ranks in the top 10 percent of their high schools, you need to at least match that.
Although standardized tests predict little aside from first-year college academic success and retention, some people still point to a correlation between SAT scores and future earnings. But using the SAT to predict income is a chicken-and-egg riddle because family income and education level so reliably predict SAT scores and class movement in America is so stagnant. None of my personal or professional experience has legitimized the notion that an applicant with a 1440 is going to be a better classroom student or more worthwhile citizen than an applicant with a 1250.
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The Job Isnt Easy And Admissions Officers Do A Lot Of Thankless Work
When I worked in admissions, there seemed a nobility to the work, helping curate the ranks of future difference-makers. Reading applications felt honorable.
But it quickly became clear that few people understood the process even those making the decisions. The goal was to evaluate each student in her individual context. If that sounds absurdly vague, I sympathize.
With thousands of applicants and a relatively small staff, its easy, over the course of consecutive 16-hour days, to lose your bearings.
It is also Sisyphean to mesh admissions idealistic language with a universitys practical goals of maintaining its tenuous spot in the rankings to contextualize the relative strengths of various high schools, student achievement, intellectual curiosity, leadership qualities, drive, and character while making sense of test scores that are within a 150-point range.
These relatively small staffs are traveling across the country for school visits, doing several information sessions for prospective students a week, reading thousands of applications , and then sitting through full-day committee sessions to debate specific cases. All while trying to maintain a personal life and some sanity.
To foist the task of remedying societal inequity on relatively underpaid, unappreciated admissions officers is mostly unfair.
While I dont envy people who work in elite admissions, I do feel great sympathy for them.
How I Got Into College: Misunderstood Masterpiece
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The College Material Episode
Isa Watson is an award-winning chemist, an accomplished pianist,and the founder of Squad. She skipped two grades and holds threedegrees, so why was she told she wasn’t college material? And howdid she respond when she was?
Plus, info on Squad’s 2020 Orientation for collegestudents.
Guest: Isa Watson ,…
About the Podcast
A show about the most important decision of your life, or so you’re told. Each guest talks about their journey to college, acceptance, rejection, the big moments, and little bits of luck that shaped them. Plus, advice from experts on how to navigate the college process.Don’t forget to subscribe!
Tips For Getting Into The College Of Your Choice
College admission officers carefully assess your high school grades, courses, test scores, essays, activities, recommendations, and interviews, if required. You will increase your chances of getting into the colleges of your choice by following these twelve tips:
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No 5 Ohio State: Win Out And Win The Big Ten And The Buckeyes Are In
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press
The path for OSU making its third straight playoff appearance this season is pretty cut and dried. The Buckeyes have a pair of games remaining on their schedule that would count as “signature wins” for the committee.
On Nov. 20, the Buckeyes will face No. 3 Michigan State at home. Defeating the No. 3 team in the country would be enough to knock the Spartans out of the Top Four, most likely. Ohio State then finishes its season per usual with The Game against No. 7 Michigan, and it’s on the road.
If Ohio State can beat both Michigan State and Michigan, that would clinch the Big Ten East and send the Buckeyes to the Big Ten Championship Game in December. As far as that game is concerned, the Big Ten West obviously doesn’t look as strong as it did when Iowa was ranked No. 2 in early October. But it looks like the Big Ten East winner will face a quality Minnesota team. If Ohio State can beat the Gophers by at least two scores, that will put an exclamation point on OSU’s case to make it in.
Ohio State lost to Oregon at home in Week 2, but that shouldn’t affect the Buckeyes’ playoff chances too much. The committee clearly thinks highly of Oregon, giving the Ducks the No. 4 spot despite them losing on the road to an unranked Stanford team in overtime on Oct. 2.
You’ve Been Admitted To College What’s Next
Spread the Knowledge. Share:
Your years of herculean efforts have finally paid off. You can say it, I got accepted! Congratulations! Here are the first things to do before starting your new college life.
After you’ve received your college acceptance letters, made your decision, posted your college acceptance reaction on social media, and celebrated with friends and family, there’s more work ahead. Heres a checklist of tasks to complete after youve been admitted to college.
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Wake Forest Is Undefeated But The Committee Appears To Be Ignoring It For Now
Matt Kelley/Associated Press
The most surprising thing about the committee’s initial rankings has to be how lowNo. 9undefeated Wake Forest is ranked, despite being 8-0. The Demon Deacons are fifth in the nation in scoring offense, as well, averaging 43.4 points per game. Wake is the clear favorite to win the ACC, and it looks like it’s on track to face No. 25 Pitt in the championship game in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The biggest games remaining for Wake include a road trip to UNC this weekendWake lost 59-53 in a thriller against UNC last season. The Deacs then have a home game against NC State on Nov. 13, followed by back-to-back road trips to Clemson and Boston College to finish out the regular season. Here’s what CFP chairman Gary Barta said about Wake Forest on Tuesday evening, as transcribed by Deacons Illustrated:
“It’s a really solid team, veteran…an impressive, powerful offense that are putting up points. Obviously last week against Duke. But 8-0they’re undefeated, so any time you go undefeated I don’t care what sport you’re in or what conference you’re in or what level you’re playing at, that’s hard.“
And then comes the detractor about Wake Forest, which sheds light on why four one-loss teams are ahead of the Deacons.
“They don’t have a signature win. They have some nice wins, but they don’t have a signature win.”
A Show About The Most Important Decision Of Your Life Or So You’re Told Each Guest Talks About Their Journey To College Acceptance Rejection The Big Moments And Little Bits Of Luck That Shaped Them Plus Advice From Experts On How To Navigate The College Process Don’t Forget To Subscribe
A show about the most important decision of your life, or so you’re told. Each guest talks about their journey to college, acceptance, rejection, the big moments, and little bits of luck that shaped them. Plus, advice from experts on how to navigate the college process. Don’t forget to subscribe!
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Deserves Got Nothing To Do With It
The truth is, at least half the incoming class at one elite college is utterly interchangeable with half the class at colleges ranked several slots above and below.
Its never really clear which candidates are more qualified. Even less clear is who deserves a spot in the class, and how anyone could comfortably determine such a thing. The bulk of those credentialed enough for serious consideration are in that position because of circumstance and wealth. As William Munny said to Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven, deserves got nothing to do with it.
I spoke to Doron Taussig, a visiting assistant professor of media and communication studies at Ursinus College, who is writing a book about perceptions of meritocracy. He said, Our cultural standards for what it means to earn or deserve something are extremely subjective and flexible, probably necessarily so. This means that when people tell stories about how they got to where they are and what merit had to do with it, most of us can conclude whatever we want.
As a society, weve created a system of credentials that keeps the wealthy in place. The wealthy define deserve to ensure their self-interest is disguised as the greater good. The wealthy teach the middle class the checklist for college admissions success and who to blame if things dont go their way, engendering a suspicion that their birthright is being curtailed by an undeserving other.
Secrets To Getting Into Your Dream College
Getting into your top choice isn’t impossible, but it will be challenging. To make the process easier, read these 12 tips to improve your odds of getting into your dream college or university.
Demonstrated interest. Schools want to improve their yield, which is the percentage of admitted students who enroll. One way they do this is by looking at demonstrated interest. Additional indications of interest, such as visiting the campus, going on a campus tour and scheduling an optional interview, increase the likelihood that a student will enroll if admitted.
Apply early. Even if you dont apply early action or early decision, submit your applications before deadlines. This helps you stand out from the crowd. Do not apply early decision, as it limits your options if the school’s financial aid offer is inadequate. When applying early decision, apply early to a match school, not a reach school, to increase your chances of getting in early.
Pick three dream schools. More than 94% of freshmen are enrolled at one of their top three choices. So, if you pick three dream schools instead of your one-and-only dream campus, you will be more likely to get into at least one.
Apply to your familys alma mater. If your parents or grandparents attended a school, the legacy advantage can be the equivalent of getting an additional 50 points on the SAT.
Save on application fees. The Cappex Application does not charge any application fees and is accepted by more than 125 colleges and universities.
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For No 7 Michigan A Lot Rides On What Ohio State Does
Michigan’s 37-33 road loss to Michigan State last Saturday hurts the Wolverines’ playoff chances, but they aren’t completely dead. With the loss, Michigan is currently third in the Big Ten East, behind MSU and Ohio State, respectively.
Essentially, Michigan’s playoff hopes depend on the Wolverines winning out. That means Michigan has to defeat Indiana at home on Nov. 6, and beat Penn State on the road the following week. UM then goes on the road to play Maryland on Nov. 20 before finishing the season against Ohio State at home. Michigan has lost the last eight games against the Buckeyes, but if the Wolverines upset OSU, there is a shot for UM.
That would also depend on what Michigan State does against its remaining Big Ten East opponents. Sparty still has to face Ohio State and Penn State the last two weeks of the season. If OSU defeats Michigan State but loses to Michigan, that opens the door for the Wolverines. Michigan State dropping a game to Penn State with a Michigan win over the Nittany Lions and Ohio State would make Michigan going to Indianapolis a sure bet. If Michigan makes it to the Big Ten Championship representing the Big Ten East, the Wolverines would likely need a big win in the championship game to convince the committee.
Michigan needs a lot of help to make it into the playoff come December, but it’s not impossible. If the Wolverines lose another game, that would effectively ruin their playoff chances.