Sunday, October 16, 2011

Williams, Wesleyan & Amherst

5/3/07 information session Williams (MA), Wesleyan (CT) and Amherst (MA)

I appreciated this information session because the 3 reps spoke about the college planning process more than their 3 colleges. They offered terrific advice for applicants to highly-selective schools. FIT is the most important! How do you figure that out? VISIT! Their advice for touring campuses:
  1. overlook a bad tour, bad tour guide, or poor weather.
  2. take advantage of the 'group information session'
  3. is a class open to visitors?
  4. visit the admissions office
  5. ask about retention rates: what % of students return after freshman year?
  6. look at their websites to get a feel for the culture

Juniors should:
  1. take the SAT in spring of junior year
  2. examine the Common App to see what information is required
  3. figure out the testing requirements for their chosen colleges
  4. get to know your college adviser
  5. brainstorm essay topics
  6. select senior year courses that challenge you
  7. look at your high school's Profile to see how you match up, where you fall
  8. Consider 4 years of language and math
  9. 5x4 is the formula: 5 academic 'solids' each year for 4 years of high school (English math science language history)
  10. any unusual circumstances should be explained to the college by the student and college adviser
  11. consider taking a college course senior year if you have exhausted the high school's offerings
  12. create a dance resume, singing CD, sports reel if you have a special talent.

Advice about Interviews:
  1. are interviews recommended, required or encouraged?
  2. are interviews evaluative or informational? Evaluative interviews are written up and placed in your file, whereas informational interviews are more for the student's benefit to find out about the college.
  3. Wesleyan uses alumni, students and admissions reps to conduct interviews. It is more like a conversation than an inquisition. Make sure you can hold a conversation with an adult! Ask questions that could not be answered by looking at the website or catalog.

Advice to athletes:
  1. recruiting "form letters" are not serious. They are mailed to hundreds of students. The college is not aware of your grades or SAT scores,  so that college could be a triple reach for you!
  2. Phone calls from recruiters or coaches ARE SERIOUS and usually take place in the fall of senior year.

The reps spoke about liberal arts colleges in general. There are 400 in the U.S., and Williams, Wesleyan and Amherst are all Division 3 sports, need blind admissions, where 100% of financial need is met. They require both the FAFSA and CSS Profile - two forms to fill out online for financial aid consideration. Other points of interest:
  • 70-80% of their graduates go to grad school, sometimes a couple years after graduating.
  • students create their own clubs, solve problems on campus, continue long-standing traditions and start new ones. These are vibrant places for energetic students!

links verified 4/2013

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