We wanted to write a little bit more about the U of Chicago admissions essays for the 2013-2014 college admissions cycle. We’ve already shared with you their first three creative college essay prompts but let’s share with you their other three gems. As you may know, the University of Chicago defies the status quo of the college admissions community by requiring students to write essays that really can usually only work for the University of Chicago. So they’re invariably going to have fewer applicants. Thus, their admission rate won’t be as competitive as it could be if they dropped this requirement and their “US News & World Report” rankings suffer accordingly. But by their actions, the University of Chicago proudly doesn’t seem to care much about this. They just want students who really want to go to the University of Chicago. For this, The Ivy Coach salutes the University of Chicago for boldly doing what so few schools dare to do.
Anyhow — back to the college essay prompts. The fourth essay prompt reads, “The mantis shrimp can perceive both polarized light and multispectral images; they have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom. Human eyes have color receptors for three colors (red, green, and blue); the mantis shrimp has receptors for sixteen types of color, enabling them to see a spectrum far beyond the capacity of the human brain. Seriously, how cool is the mantis shrimp. What might they be able to see that we cannot? What are we missing? Inspired by Tess Moran, Class of 2016.” Now that’s a cool question! Can you think what you would write about in your response?
The fifth essay prompt reads, “How are apples and oranges supposed to be compared? Possible answers involve, but are not limited to, statistics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, and philosophy. Inspired by Florence Chan, Class of 2015.” Funny, huh? These are questions that require you to actually think about what to write in response! And the final essay prompt reads, “In the spirit of adventurous inquiry, pose a question of your own. If your prompt is original and thoughtful, then you should have little trouble writing a great essay. Draw on your best qualities as a writer, thinker, visionary, social critic, sage, citizen of the world, or future citizen of the University of Chicago; take a little risk, and have fun.” So this one is more open-ended and it allows you to shape the essay you really want to write about.
Go University of Chicago for continuing with your awesome college essay questions!Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Chicago Admissions Essays, Essay Questions for University of Chicago, U of Chicago Admissions Essays, U of Chicago College Admissions Essays, University of Chicago Admissions Essays
Curious to know how many students were placed on the waitlist at a particular highly selective university? We’ve got the data, with a hat tip to “The New York Times’” “The Choice” blog, to answer your questions. At Yale University, 1,001 students were placed on the waitlist. At the University of Pennsylvania, 2,800 students were placed on the list. Stanford University put 814 applicants on the waitlist, while Princeton put 1,395 students on the list. And how about Middlebury College? They put 1,641 applicants in limbo. Johns Hopkins? 2,069.
Emory University put 4,113 students on the waiting list. That’s a lot of students in limbo! Dartmouth College put approximately 1,000 students in between acceptance and denial. The California Institute of Technology put 550 applicants on the waitlist, while Bates put 8 students on the list. That’s right. Only 8. You’d have to like your chances a whole lot better at Bates than at Emory, simply based on the statistics, right? Barnard College has 1,207 students in limbo this year, while Babson College has 1,436 students on the waitlist.
Now does that mean that all of these universities intend to admit students off of their waitlists? You’d think so. Or at least you’d think they’d say as much for PR spin. But not all of these universities said they plan to admit students off of their waitlists. Caltech apparently has no intention of going to its waitlist. That’s a little weird to put people in limbo with no intention of going to their waitlist? We at The Ivy Coach do not approve. Peal the bandaid off if you have no intention of admitting a student, Caltech! It’s just not right. Middlebury is also in this boat as they have no intention of going to their waitlist either. Come on, Middlebury — show that you have some heart.
Anyhow, have a question on college waitlists or what to do in the hope of getting out of limbo? Let us know your questions by posting below!Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Placed on the Waitlist, Waitlisted College Applicants, Waitlisted Ivy League Applicants, Waitlisted Students, Waitlisting Students
There’s a post on “TIME” by Dan Edmonds entitled “College Admissions: The Myth of Higher Selectivity” in which he dispels a myth we’ve been dispelling for years with respect to higher selectivity in college admissions. So what’s the myth? The myth is that just because admission rates are dropping at various highly selective schools, that doesn’t mean they’re getting more difficult to get into. Edmonds also astutely points out that the admission rates at various highly selective colleges actually went up this year (i.e., rose from an admission rate of 10% to 12%). Just because admission rates drop, that doesn’t mean it’s harder to get into the school this year as compared to last year. What if the school did a way better job of encouraging applicants (even unqualified applicants) to apply just to boost their stats? A ‘C” student with 2,000 SATs applying to Harvard doesn’t make it more difficult for the A student with 2,360 SATs to get in. But Harvard denying that ‘C’ student helps the university’s admissions stats.
Writes Edmonds on “TIME,” “What many parents and students don’t realize is that increasing numbers of applications isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s harder to get into a selective school; rather, it’s a sign of changes in behavior among high school seniors. More and more people who aren’t necessarily qualified are applying to top schools, inflating the application numbers while not seriously impacting admissions. In fact, it has arguably become easier to get into a selective school, though it may be harder to get into a particular selective school.”
Well said. Nothing frustrates us more than when parents and students complain that it’s getting harder and harder to get into a highly selective college. Oh please. It was equally as hard for the student who applied in 2000 as for the student who is applying this year. There’s an old saying: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Don’t let the statistics fool you too.
While you’re here, check out our compiled Ivy League Statistics.Categories: Uncategorized Tags: College Admissions Higher Selectivity, Getting into highly selective colleges, Higher Selectivity in College Admission, Higher Selectivity in College Admissions, Highly Selective College Admissions
There’s a post by Keith Chapman on “Dartmouth Now” about the college admissions reading season. In the post, Chapman writes about how now is the busiest time of year for admissions officers at Dartmouth College — and at universities across the nation. With the second highest number of applications to the College on the Hill in the university’s history, admissions officers don’t exactly have a lot of free time at the moment. According to Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid Maria Laskaris, as quoted in “Dartmouth Now,” ““Critical to our ability to make a series of very nuanced decisions is bringing multiple perspectives to bear on each application submitted to Dartmouth,” says Laskaris. “Our goal is to assemble a team of readers who bring both relevant experience in higher education or secondary school, and a diverse set of life experiences.”
The article also discusses how during this busy reading season, Dartmouth enlists the help of additional readers. From former admissions officers at Dartmouth and other highly selective universities to high school educators, the school has a 14-member reader corps in place to alleviate some of the pressure on the admissions staff (and to get other perspectives). According to Cameron Pinckney, as quoted in “Dartmouth Now,” “I think every application gets looked over at least three to four times, on the low end…What impresses me endlessly is the attention and care we put into every application.”
In just a few short weeks, those admissions decisions for Regular Decision applicants will go out from Dartmouth as well as from schools across the country. Dartmouth will admit around 10% of its applicant pool, to form a class of about 1,120 students. In the meantime, if you applied to college and are waiting on pins and needles, find a distraction because there’s nothing to do at this point in the process.Categories: Uncategorized Tags: College Admission Season, College Admissions Reading Season, College Admissions Season, Ivy League Admissions Season, University Admissions Season
Parents need to know when they’re overstepping their bounds in the college admissions process. We recently read a piece that described a scenario in which a parent dropped off an envelope with $1,000 in it at a college admissions office. Presumably most of our readers are smarter than this parent. What was he thinking dropping off a measly $1,000? We’re kidding. Bribing college admissions officers is a horrific idea that will lead your child to get denied…not admitted. But, seriously, $1,000? Did he really think someone was going to risk losing their job for two round-trip tickets between California and New York? Oy vey.
Since our readers are smart enough never to do what that crazy father did (the envelope was sent right back to him because they had the family’s address on file), we’re not going to bother giving the advice that you should never bribe admissions officers. But some parents due commit less egregious errors in the college admissions process. Sometimes, we hear of parents contacting college admissions officers and asking them questions. Parents should not be doing this. Students should instead be the ones asking the questions and developing the relationship with the admissions officer. In the vast majority of cases, a college admissions officer isn’t going to admit a student because they think the kid’s parent asks pointed questions. That’s just ridiculous.
Parents asking these questions shows that the student isn’t that interested and doesn’t take the initiative. That’s not what you want to demonstrate to a college admissions officer. Quite the opposite. So, parents, if you really want to help your child get admitted to the college of his or her dreams, know when not to interfere as such interference can severely hurt your child’s chances.Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Parental Involvement in College Admissions, Parents and College Admissions Process, Parents and Ivy League Admissions, Parents and University Admission, Parents in College Admissions Process
There’s an article in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” about Ivy League diversity — specifically within administrations. With Jim Yong Kim leaving his post as president of Dartmouth College to assume the presidency of the World Bank and with the resignation of Ruth Simmons at the helm of Brown University, the Ivy League lost diversity in the top posts. The newly minted president of Dartmouth College, an alumnus of the College on the Hill is a male Caucasian, Philip J. Hanlon. And the new president of Brown University, its 19th president in the university’s history, is a female Caucasian, Christina Paxson.
According to “The Daily Pennsylvanian” article on Ivy League diversity, “In virtually all cases, senior administrations at Ivy institutions are less diverse than individual school’ faculties – which are, in turn, less diverse than student bodies. Penn is no exception. In response to an ongoing dialogue on campus about the lack of diversity in the University’s senior administration – which was prompted by a Jan. 30 Daily Pennsylvanian guest column written by six Africana Studies senior faculty members – the DP found that Penn has the third least diverse administration in the Ivy League, in front of only Brown and Yale Universities.”
So Brown and Yale have the least diverse senior administrations in the Ivy League. And how did “The DP” arrive at this conclusion? They counted the number of black/African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latino senior admins at each Ivy relative to the number of Caucasian administrators at the schools. They first tried to get the figures by reaching out to the Ivies but only Cornell provided them with stats.Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Diverse Ivy League, Ivy League and Diversity, Ivy League College Diversity, Ivy League Diversity, Ivy League University Diversity
It seems The Common Application may have taken our suggestion. Against what was previously planned, The Common Application has opted not to remove the essay prompt that asks students to write — more or less –about a topic of their choice in their personal statement. On the new Common Application, the first essay prompt will now be: “Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.” That question is about as “topic of your choice” as you can get.
The other possible questions to choose from on the 2013-2014 Common Application essay prompts ask applicants to recount a time when they experienced failure and how it impacted them, discuss a time when they challenged a belief and why, describe a place that makes them perfectly happy, and discuss an event or accomplishment that marked their transition into adulthood. Having a maximum of 650 words is also good should a student need more room to accomplish what they’re trying to say (though 500 is perfectly fine, too).
You can have your voice heard in the world of college admissions. If you think something should or shouldn’t change, speak out about it and sure enough the organization may in fact listen to you. The proposed changes by The Common App were not in the best interest of college applicants and, for the most part, they’ve listened and made changes accordingly.
Have a question on The Common App? Post it below! We look forward to hearing from you.Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Common App Personal Statement, Common Application Main Essay, The Common App Essay, The Common App Personal Statement, The Common Application Essay