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January, 2009

Being a "reading person"

Jan. 29, 2009—Now that Early Decision 2 is almost done, we’re settling in for the bulk of our “reading season.”  This is when we spend every waking moment either, a) reading applications, or b) feeling guilty for not reading applications at that moment.  My job turns into a 7-day-a-week undertaking that includes many long evenings, less time...

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Stupid Things Admissions People Say

Jan. 27, 2009—From time to time I'm asked to serve as a panelist for high schools hosting "junior nights." These are opportunities for students and their parents to come out and hear from college "experts." They're usually fun affairs for us, as we get to put down your employer's banner for a little bit, field questions and get a pulse for what's on people's minds. Not too long ago, I sat on one in Chicago and something happened there that has had me thinking for about a while now about the state of the whole admissions field and where our profession has gone wrong.

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Super Mega Hella-Blizzard 2009

Jan. 20, 2009—A blizzard of another kind is winding down at 2305 West End Ave at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. During the height of the days surrounding our January 3rd application deadline, our operations staff was handling an avalanche of mail. On January 5th we received 30 bins of mail. That following week, each day brought an additional 10 bins of materials to our office.

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Admitted at ED?: advice for approaching the rest of your senior year

Jan. 16, 2009—All admitted students to Vanderbilt will be asked to submit a final transcript once it comes available and it never fails that we see a very small handful of students who packed up the intellectual circus a little early that last semester. At that point our office has a decision to make, and it is a no-one-size-fits-all determination. My general advice is succinct, if not completely predictable, don't risk it.

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Of Prom Dates and "Demonstrated" Interest

Jan. 14, 2009—Don’t judge me but I love Family Guy. I’m not like overly zealous Simpsons-guy or anything like that, I mean I don’t own any of the DVD’s (although I do have all seasons of Entourage and Arrested Development). Peter Griffin has a short stint on the local news doing stand-in op-ed pieces called “What Really Grinds My Gears” which involved nonsensical rants about lindsay Lohan and Starwars. Demonstrated interest, in its current incantation in college admissons, is one of mine.

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"That's Vanderbilt football"

Jan. 8, 2009—Greetings from Nashville, home of the 2008 Music City Bowl Champions, Vanderbilt University! I know that December 31st was a busy day for bowl games, but hopefully you got a chance to watch the Commodores take on the Boston College Golden Eagles. The sports media has done a good job of putting this game into...

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