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College Applications, Essays, and the Holistic Review Process

A 20 Minute Presentation on the practice and purpose of college applications and essays.

Sarah Goldman

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of College Applications, Essays, and the Holistic Review Process

Liberal Arts Colleges and the Holistic Review Process The Common Application
Easy way for students to apply to multiple colleges without having to fill out the same information again and again
Always send your best work
Please don't apply to all nearly 500 member schools! Q. Common App vs. School App; Which is better?


A completed application of a qualified candidate is all we see! Complete Application Files Include
Essay or Personal Statement
Supplement or Short Answer
School Report
Test Scores
Teacher LOR
Counselor LOR
Special Circumstances Application
Don't be modest
List all activities
List any and all awards
Have it proofread! Essay or Personal Statement
Often the most stressful part for you
Often our favorite part!
This is how we get to know you; evaluate your writing ability Hey Sarah, what should I write my essay about?
Good topics are wide ranging, but always personal OR personally meaningful
Gives us a chance to get to know you in a different, more creative way
Do you like me? Check 'Yes' or 'No'
Please, don't overshare! Supplement (Common App), Short Answer
Some schools have them, some don't
Often, schools just want to know why you are applying
Make it easy on us - why DO you want to be here?
Your application file is NOT complete until this is filled out
Please follow the character limits!

Optional - Fine Arts, Athletics Transcript
A very important part of the whole
We evaluate the classes you've chosen to take AND the grades you've received
Colleges calculate GPAs differently
Transitions to high school can be rough
Are there things you want to explain on your transcript? We're listening! Test Scores
This is one way we evaluate you in comparison to our entire applicant pool

Is the college test score optional?

Does the college super score?
It is always to your benefit to take the test more than once
We will always give you the highest composite
Send in ALL your scores! School Report or School Profile
Your high school counselor will fill this out (if you ask them to!)
This is how we evaluate how you took advantage of the opportunities at YOUR high school
The application file is not complete until this is submitted Special Circumstances
Student was Expelled
Student has LD or OHI
If you do not feel comfortable writing something down, tell us to contact you! Letters of Recommendation
Covered by someone else! Special Circumstances
Grade troubles
Behavioral challenges
Learning difference
Health issues
It's ALWAYS better to have a conversation than to omit the information. Don't be afraid of your admissions counselor! Letters of Recommendation
This is how we evaluate you in comparison to your peers
It's never too soon to inform recommenders that you will ask them for a letter
Make it easy on them - remind them of why you're great!
Most schools require one from school counselor, one from core teacher
Possibly additional letters for arts or athletics
Any more than three can make us wonder... Remember:
People (not computers) review your application
No individual piece of an application will get you accepted, nor will a single piece result in a denial
Honesty is always better than omission
You don't have to submit your entire application at the same time - it's fine if pieces arrive at different times
If you are applying to schools that are the right fit for you, you will have more acceptance letters than you know what do with! Application Methods
Individual School Application
Common Application Questions to ask yourself before applying
Why are you applying to this school?
If you don't know the answer to that question, you might want to reconsider
Are you admissible to this school?
Do your research!
IPEDS - Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
Contact your admissions counselor
Would you enroll if accepted? The Holistic Review Process

adjective /hōˈlistik/ 

Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole

A consideration of the whole person What is a Liberal Arts Education?
Socratic Method
Smaller Class Sizes
Well Rounded Subject Matter
Experiential Learning
How to Work With Others
How to Lead
How to Think vs What to Think Study will likely include:
Science, Mathematics, History, Arts, Literature, Language, Politics, Psychology, Sociology

Does your doctor practice pure science? Why is a liberal arts education so important today? Whoa, now I really want to attend a liberal arts college, how do I get in? Sarah Goldman, Assistant Director of Admission Cornell College Any Questions?
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