New insider scoop on admissions


I’m currently attending the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admissions Counseling regional conference. The event brings together high school guidance professionals and college admissions officers from DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, and I’ve attended the event most of the past eighteen years. It’s a great place to hear what’s being discussed, and as I hear about it I’ll share with the blog.

Yesterday at the kickoff discussion the colleges all agonized over what the heck the students are doing. After we made you all sweat waiting to see if we admitted you, this is the week you get to pay us all back as we wait to see who selects our schools. Almost everyone I talked to is up in students committing, which leads many to believe that students are committing to multiple schools and waiting to get more information (maybe to find out about waitlists, or to keep checking out their options). This drives the colleges CRAZY and they’re always looking for ways to turn this into an ethical issue (who DARE they commit to more than one school!). As much as it tortures us, I think it’s really up to the student and parents, although I worry that those who can’t afford to lose their deposit don’t have the luxury of waiting to decide.

A counselor piped up about how many of her students are heading to second choice colleges with a plan to transfer, and that steamed up some of the schools she listed as second choices. As I’ve mentioned before, the data from the department of education indicates that, including students moving from community college, 60% of undergraduates will transfer before receiving a baccalaureate degree, so I don’t see the big deal. I do, however, think it’s worth thinking about your attitude going into your starting institution. Remember that lots of data on student performance indicates that your enthusiasm for your school is as predictive as grades about how well you’ll do there – so it might be worth getting more excited about your second choice rather than still focusing on getting in somewhere else in the future. What could it hurt? It’s not like you can’t still change your mind.

I’m headed out to present about score optional admissions, and later about immigration in the admissions process, so more to come! Be seeing you.

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