This third interactive week- long series will enlighten parents and high school seniors through the complexities of the college admissions procedure. Learn how schools make admission decisions, why standardized tests are so important, how to create an appealing application, how to craft an impressive essay, how much to give and how much time to prepare. Plus discover how schools get money…and when you get it! (You’ll also learn about how important it is for you to prepare early, for the college admissions process as well as other life experiences that will prepare you for success in college and life.)
In this second installment of “HOW COLLEGES MAKE ADMISSIONS”, we will delve into the first step in a comprehensive holistic admission process: the college search. We will examine what makes a good college search, why high test scores are not necessarily indicative of a good college choice, how schools use SAT and ACT tests to narrow down the pool of candidates for admission, and how parents can make their student’s SAT and ACT scores the starting point for a holistic admissions process that takes all of these factors into consideration. You will learn how holistic admissions can help you gain entrance to the best colleges and universities in the country. And you will hear from one of America’s preeminent college admission experts, Dr. Thomas Finkel, a former university dean.
In this second installment, we will take a brief look at the “big picture” strategy of holistic admissions. You will hear from Dr. Anil Khare, who gives his personal opinion on the value of holistic admissions. And you will discover the top four advantages of holistic admissions, which I believe are very important – and how you can get started right away to become fully integrated in this winning strategy. (It is important to remember that holistic admissions is not about race or gender; if you want to go to a top school for your child, then it is about every aspect… skin color, socioeconomic status, academic performance, etc.)
As one of America’s preeminent college experts, I have some important information to share about holistic admissions: the best colleges in the country are those that “fit” the students who apply. That’s right – that’s the key words. The process of finding the top colleges in the country is much more complex than simply looking at standardized test scores and picking a name. No, the “name game” does not even come into play here – the “chemistry of applicants” determines who gets in. You might be saying, “But Finkel says that top colleges use standardized testing scores to ‘patten’ the applicants, so doesn’t that mean they aren’t using the process in the proper way?”
Absolutely not! While it may be true that holistic admissions may involve taking a holistic approach across the board, that is not the only factor that has a profound impact on who gets in. And the holistic approach may not even be a factor at all for some students. In fact, some of America’s top colleges are actually doing something completely different – they are implementing what is known as “holistic recruitment.”
When a college uses the term “holistic” with the phrase “holistic recruitment” in its headline, it is because the school is going with a more inclusive vision. Here’s how holistic admissions works: the top college applicants are contacted by the college’s Office of Admission and Recruitment, and they are sent an online form. On the form, they have to include information about themselves and write in their goals, interests and prior accomplishments. After submitting the form, they will be contacted by representatives from the office that will individually contact each of the top college applicants to discuss an offer. If the applicant is interested in the college’s campus, he or she can visit the campus and tour the classrooms, lecture halls and student centers.
At the end of the visit, the representatives from the holistic admissions office will speak with each student and explain the application process and their goals. They also will meet with each of the students and conduct group discussions with them. At the end of this visit, it is obvious that holistic recruitment significantly reduces the number of applications that are submitted – and this number is much smaller than the hundreds of applications that are received during the normal admissions process. This means that holistic admissions will increase the acceptance rates at the very least – if not drastically.
Although holistic admissions sounds like a complicated process that can be overwhelming for some students, it is actually a simple process that provides great benefits. For one thing, it allows the college to take a holistic approach to the entire application process and recruiters realize this. In addition, it allows the school to evaluate each candidate much more effectively so that they know which candidates are the most qualified for admission. Finally, it increases the acceptance rates at the very least – and because the numbers are so low, this is usually a good thing because colleges want to see that their numbers are as high as they can get them.
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