Top admissions officials from some of the best colleges and universities around the U.S. offer insight and advice to common college admission questions.
Compiled by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.
As college tuition costs rise, as more applicants compete for limited enrollment slots, and as technology continues its push into college admissions, the process for college-bound high school students and your families in finding, choosing, and applying to the colleges of your choice become more important and more complex.
The 2nd Set of College Admissions Questions
After careful review of last year’s results and the new developments and trends in college addmissions, we formulated these questions for this study:
- What are the critical activities that a high-school junior should be doing during the year to best maximize his or her college planning? Read the responses.
- Some experts say the college application process really begins in the ninth grade with the student’s academic rigor and grades from that first year of high-school forward. How do you look at grades? Do you look at all four years equally, or are the final two years more important? Can an applicant make a case for admission with a mixed bag of grades in academically challenging courses? Read the responses.
- How important is an on-campus visit and interview for a prospective student? Do you even conduct interviews? Can a marginally acceptable student with great sales skills and a passion for your college make a positive impact with a personal interview? For an extremely shy applicant, can an interview actually hurt his or her admissions standing? Read the responses.
- What is so important about an applicant’s outside activities and this notion of being “well-rounded”? And why is leadership in one of these outside activities — sports, clubs, student government, etc. — so important to the college admissions process? How do you view these things? Read the responses.
- Academics (grades, rigor, class rank), standardized test scores, application essay(s), recommendations, and outside activities seem to be the main criteria schools use to rank and decide on acceptances. Can you give any more insight into how your school views these components — as well as discuss any other components you use to judge applications? And trends? Read the responses.
Finally, any other words of wisdom you can offer prospective students as they begin the college evaluation and application process would be greatly appreciated. Read the key tips.
The Current College Admission Officer Respodents
We solicited the opinions of top admissions officers from a wide spectrum of colleges and universities — both academically diverse (from liberal arts colleges to large state universities) as well as geographically diverse (from every corner of the U.S.). Each institution is highly regarded and ranked among the best in the United States.
Here are the wonderful admissions officials who responded to our study. Please feel free to follow the link to learn more about each person and his/her college/university. (Some of our participants were more forthcoming than others!)
- Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management, Bluffton University
- Eric Kaplan, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Lehigh Univeristy
- Terry E. Whittum, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Stetson University
- Joyce Lantz, Director of Admission, Valparaiso University
- Dr. Brian Sajko, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Eureka College
Go back to the main page: Answers to Common College Admissions Questions.
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