Inside an admissions office

  Andrew Belasco   May 23, 2013   Navigating the Admissions Process   0 Comment

This insightful article on the inner-workings of the Lehigh University admissions committee this past application season is well worth the few minutes it takes to read. This piece hammers home the message that when it comes to admittance at a highly selective college like Lehigh, every minute detail of your application becomes magnified.

The following are our most important takeaways from this article:

1) Don’t let your grades drop senior year. Highly-selective colleges may reject an otherwise strong applicant on this basis alone.

2) Geography matters. Schools love to land students from as many different states/countries as possible. If you are open to attending school far from home, you might become a valuable asset to a school looking to broaden the geographic diversity of its incoming student body.

3) If at all possible, visit your top-choice colleges in order to clearly communicate interest. If you can’t visit in person, demonstrate your interest through email and phone contact. If a selective college sees evidence that their school is just a backup plan and you have no real intention to enroll, a rejection notice may soon follow.

4) Taking advantage of rigorous course offerings is a must. If Candidate A’s high school offers more Advanced Placement courses than Candidate B, then selective colleges will expect Candidate A to take full advantage of the opportunity, but may be more forgiving of Candidate B.

5) In the larger sense, this article is a valuable remember of the all-important fact that the fate of your application is being decided by real people who will be sitting around a table, chugging diet sodas and wading through stacks upon stacks of prospective applicants’ files for months on end.  Don’t neglect the portions of your application (i.e. your essay) that allow you to make a human connection that will help you stand out from the crowd.

This insightful article on the inner-workings of the Lehigh University admissions committee this past application season is well worth the few minutes it takes to read. This piece hammers home the message that when it comes to admittance at a highly selective college like Lehigh, every minute detail of your application becomes magnified.

The following are our most important takeaways from this article:

1) Don’t let your grades drop senior year. Highly-selective colleges may reject an otherwise strong applicant on this basis alone.

2) Geography matters. Schools love to land students from as many different states/countries as possible. If you are open to attending school far from home, you might become a valuable asset to a school looking to broaden the geographic diversity of its incoming student body.

3) If at all possible, visit your top-choice colleges in order to clearly communicate interest. If you can’t visit in person, demonstrate your interest through email and phone contact. If a selective college sees evidence that their school is just a backup plan and you have no real intention to enroll, a rejection notice may soon follow.

4) Taking advantage of rigorous course offerings is a must. If Candidate A’s high school offers more Advanced Placement courses than Candidate B, then selective colleges will expect Candidate A to take full advantage of the opportunity, but may be more forgiving of Candidate B.

5) In the larger sense, this article is a valuable remember of the all-important fact that the fate of your application is being decided by real people who will be sitting around a table, chugging diet sodas and wading through stacks upon stacks of prospective applicants’ files for months on end.  Don’t neglect the portions of your application (i.e. your essay) that allow you to make a human connection that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Andrew Belasco
A licensed counselor and published researcher, Andrew’s experience in the field of college admissions and transition spans more than one decade. He has previously served as a high school counselor, consultant and author for Kaplan Test Prep, and advisor to U.S. Congress, reporting on issues related to college admissions and financial aid.

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