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What College Admissions Officers REALLY Want You to Know

Posted by on Monday, August 2, 2010 in Admissions Committee, Advice for Parents, Application Process, College Application Guides, College Confidential, Demonstrated Interest, Vanderbilt Blogs.

Standing in the reference aisle of Border’s yesterday I found myself both overwhelmed and amused with the plethora of admissions advice displayed on the shelves. One book, in particular, jumped out at me, the subtitle was “What College Admissions Officers Don’t Want You to Know”. As I flipped through the chapters I found absolutely nothing of a clandestine nature. In fact, I found information that I desperately want my families to be aware of because it makes my job easier. It’s not only possible, but it’s your right to know about score choice options associated with standardized testing, dos & don’t s of the essay and how admission committees function.

Before I started in this office I believed there was something secretive and glamorous about highly selective college admissions and many of the families I work with today similarly feel selective admissions is a mystery. I know now, though, that there is no secret formula or hidden agenda. The honest truth is that admission to a college like Vanderbilt requires a great deal of preparation and a little bit of dumb luck. I want to spend my time on the blog this year showing you a behind-the-scenes look at our admissions office. Consider these posts to be my response to that book at Border’s – “What College Admissions Officers REALLY Want You to Know”. You will absolutely be a better candidate if you understand how the admissions process works and, hopefully, you will be a bit saner knowing there’s no mystery to solve.

This blog post and others to come will help you and your families learn about admissions at Vanderbilt, remember every office has a unique process and there is no “one size fits all” advice.

Follow me this year and you’ll hear about the following topics:

• How we compile all that information you send us into one file
• The college essay – our pet peeves
• What our VU alumni are doing today
• Interviewing as a part of your application
• The difference between Early Decision I and Early Decision II
Nashville is one of the most awesome cities in the US
• How to appropriately involve your family in the application process
• Your rights as an applicant
• Extracurriculars, the well-rounded student versus the well-angled student
• Global experiences before/during/after college
• Applying for scholarships and need-based aid
• Your admissions counselor is a real person with a life outside of admissions (seriously)
• A TON OF INFORMATION – too much to type in this one post

I want to know what you want to know. Post on the blogs, ask questions, and email me. I can’t make this about you unless I know who you are.

PS: Road Shows are right around the corner!  Come meet us and learn more about Vanderbilt!

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  • Vandy

    August 2nd, 2010

    I suppose this means that the wait list has been closed? Were wait list applicants notified? The last post just said that the list had not officially shut down.

    Thanks for the great blog.

  • Kylie

    August 2nd, 2010

    The Class of 2014 is not officially closed, and the waitlist is still active as of today. We hope to get news to you shortly so keep an eye on our blog and your email account for updates!

  • 2015hopeful!

    August 9th, 2010

    I would like to hear a little more about the merit scholarships, in particular the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship. Any information would be appreciated!

    You all do a great job, keep it up!

  • Kylie

    August 10th, 2010

    A blog on merit scholarships will be posted on August 11th, check back at that time for more information. In the meantime, check out the official website for the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship Program . Thanks for the shout out!

  • Kylie

    August 11th, 2010

    2015hopeful – Here’s more information on merit scholarships! Questions? Let me know.