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Update on Spring 2020 College Tours

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Despite living in COVID-19 times it's still Junior Spring, and it’s time to “tour!”

Now is a great time to visit college campuses, even if you are doing so from the comfort of your living room chair. Most colleges are closed and we are sheltering in place, but there is much you can research through the many virtual resources colleges are offering prospective students.  If you cannot travel to colleges this spring, the colleges want to come to you!

Here are some tips to help guide you as you explore:

Step 1: On the college’s website, click on Undergraduate Admissions and/or Visit Us. 

Step 2: Sign up for a virtual information session. An information session webinar is an excellent way to learn more about a college’s academic programs, active student life, and how to navigate the admission and financial aid process. 

These virtual information sessions are typically led by a member of the Admissions Department together with a current student, followed by Q&A via live chat. 

Step 3: Take a virtual tour. Each college will offer different types of tours. Many will ask for your contact information (fill that out). Some (like UMASS), offer custom tours based on student interests. Through virtual tours, you can get a closer look at different parts of the campus using interactive maps and other tools. Signing up for virtual tours may help you to demonstrate early interest with that school!

Step 4: Explore the Academics pages. If you have a particular major or subject area you are interested in, spend time looking at courses you would be taking. Basic course information is often available via the online catalog, usually by major. 

You can read short descriptions of current classes or learn about frequently-offered elective classes for each major. This can help you decide if this program is the right fit for you AND HELP INFORM ANY REQUIRED SHORT ESSAYS ON WHY YOU WANT TO ATTEND THAT COLLEGE.
 
Step 5: Explore site sections such as:  Student Life. Look at Housing and Residential Life, Dining Options, Athletics/Intramurals, Clubs and Organizations, Student Government, Diversity Groups -- the more you find that interests you can help you decide if you want to include this college on your list.
 
Step 6: Investigate Support Services to learn about the services and resources available to help students succeed. Academic support can include tutoring, writing assistance and study skills courses. Other support may include assistance with the financial aid process, counseling and career-planning services. 

Step 7:  Look at what the college requires and what is important in the application process. Then look at Naviance scattergrams to determine whether or not the school falls in as a Realistic, Reach or Likely school.
 
Want to REALLY know what goes on with the student body? 

● Dig into social media accounts that aren't formal feeds from the Admissions Office.  Look for posts by student groups, academic departments, athletic teams, etc. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is a great way to find out about the true, organic culture of the school.

●  A college's newspaper can reveal current issues and introduce you to a campus's activities. What types of stories do current students report on? What local events get coverage? College papers can also give you a feel for the level of student thinking and writing on campus. 

● If you want to talk to someone who really knows a college, use online resources to look up the contact information for alumni and current students. You can send emails requesting an interview or just ask questions. Some colleges even have live chat rooms in which prospective students can mingle with current students. 


Keeping track of your virtual tours 


You might want to create a Google doc for each college you tour to capture the important information you have spent time researching.  Keep these organized so that you can easily access your notes when it comes time to applying to that college.  Taking good notes now-- and thinking about how you would specifically engage at that school -- will serve you well as you consider your favorite go-to colleges!

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

21 Questions You Should Be Asking College Admissions Reps

Saturday, April 18, 2020

While high school buildings are shuttered, college campuses are closed to visitors, and many of us are home sheltering in place, the online world is buzzing. Virtual college fairs - webinars - FaceBook Live events -- there are copious opportunities for curious juniors -- and even seniors -- to continue a fruitful college search.

Connecting with college representatives and current students in person is preferable making socially-distant connections, but face it: A junior has to do what a junior has to do. Fortunately, there are loads of colleges out there kicking off ways to connect with prospects.  There is endless information available to curious parents and students involved in the college search process!

Learning starts with asking good questions, but what sorts of questions are useful for getting more out of online college presentations?  And after all, aren't college websites full of information? 

Here are 21 questions that students might find useful for kicking off a conversation -- or maybe these raise still additional questions that you had not yet thought of.  Some of these might be best posed to the Admission Office, while others, such as "What do students say they would like to change at the school?" or "What is the straight story about substance use at this school?" would be best put in front of a peer student.

Here is an extensive list to check out -- along with a live link to a handy worksheet that features more Great Questions to Explore With College Admissions Representatives

Turn to these 21 questions during your college search process:

  1. What is the process for financial aid application?
  2. What do students say they would like to change at the school?
  3. Am I guaranteed freshman housing? After freshman year, where do students live?
  4. Describe the opportunities for students to sample different academic areas.
  5. How common is minoring or double majoring?
  6. What leadership opportunities are there for freshmen or sophomores?
  7. How students in (my major) begin to make contacts via the school for jobs or internships?
  8. What does the school do to support healthy lifestyles? ex. healthy food; healthy activity; alternatives to drugs or alcohol
  9. What are the study abroad programs like at your school? Requirements to be eligible?
  10. Describe core or distribution requirements. How flexible are these?
  11. How do you handle advance credit? ex. AP; IB; outside college credits.
  12. Describe student safety concerns on campus. How about safety in the local community?
  13. What is the path for research work with professors?
  14. How does faculty advising work at your school?
  15. Tell me about the most popular areas of study at your school.
  16. How big is the XYZ Department at your school? Is it growing?
  17. Describe the most popular activities for students during the weekend.
  18. What opportunities are there for merit scholarship?
  19. How do students get to and from campus? How close would I be to an airport; rail or bus stations?
  20. What is the connection like between students on campus and the local community?
  21. Anything else that is on your mind about the student learning and living experience...?

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

The Swing to Test Optional Policies

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In response to stay-at-home orders impacting thousands of student across the US as well as around the world, scores of colleges have announced changes to their standardized testing admissions policies. 

Recognizing that high school juniors are facing diminished opportunities to take the SAT, ACT as well as IB examinations, there have been substantial conversations concerning what is now deemed essential to evaluating candidacy for admission at individual institutions.

While the test optional movement has been rapidly accelerating over the last several years, the current worldwide pandemic has forced the hand of admission offices everywhere to recheck their policies. As of this writing, over 1100 colleges and universities do not require SAT or ACT testing as an admission requirement. To access the full and continually evolving list of test optional colleges and universities, visit The National Center for Fair and Open Testing at www.fairtest.org.

Still, a test optional approach to application review does not mean “test blind.”  For a student who has already tested to their satisfaction or plans to continue testing once community health conditions predict safe social gathering, it may make sense to continue on a testing path in order to present best possible scores at the time of application.

A number of colleges have established variations of test optional policies, including: one-year trials, three-year trials; shifting from a prior test flexible# policy to one in which standardized tests are no longer required for review, as well as policies fully embracing a test optional philosophy. Schools with test optional policies assert that do not need to rely on SAT or ACT scores because they receive sufficient information within a student's application to render an admissions decision, including classes taken, grades, curriculum rigor, activities, essays and teacher and/or counselor recommendations.

Note that international applicants may still be required to produce some form of standardized test results, including English language competency scores through TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo.

Colleges announcing recent shifts around testing policy change include:
(Last updated:  5/6/20)

Amherst*
Babson College*
Boston University*
University of California system*
Centre**
Claremont McKenna (will not accept online testing)
Colgate
College of Wooster
Cornell University*
Davidson **
Hamilton ^^
Haverford
Indiana University system
Loyola University New Orleans ~
Macalester College
Middelbury**
Northeastern*
Pomona*
Rhodes**
St Olaf
Santa Clara *
Scripps
Swarthmore
Trinity University, TX**
Tufts **
University of Richmond*
University of Southern California*
Vassar*
Wellesley*
Williams*

*One-year test optional pilot and will then reassess

**Three-year pilot test optional and will then reassess

^^ Was test flexible but now test optional for Class of ‘21

~   Recently adopted a test-blind policy for admission and scholarships


These colleges to offer a #test flexible policy (applicants can choose which standardized testing scores to submit -- ex. SAT Subject Tests; AP scores; et al.)

Texas Christian University
All public universities in Oregon
Western Michigan University 
________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com


College Fairs Popping Up This Spring

Sunday, February 16, 2020

With spring weather on the horizon, college admission representatives from hundreds of institutions are making their way to college fairs throughout the country to meet prospective students and share their school's story.  Chances are that a college fair will be one of your stops along the college-shopping journey.

This spring, the "granddaddy" of area college fairs, NACAC Boston National Fair 2020, will be coming to town from Thursday, April 30 - Friday, May 1.

This widely-anticipated event expects to host more than 350 two-year and four-year colleges, nursing schools, business schools and trade schools at the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority located at 415 Summer Street, Boston.

Other Local College Fairs On Tap

By attending a college fair, students can learn about a wide variety of schools' offerings and connect with admissions reps. This is a bonus opportunity in particular for students and parents who may not be able to make in-person campus visits or who wish to gather more information before investing time and money in travel arrangements.

And before late April blooms, there are several college fairs scheduled for earlier in the spring.  Have a look at what is coming up in your local area this spring ...

** SERF College Fair - Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School
Saturday, March 21, 2020

12.15 - 3 PM

_____________________

** MetroWest College and Career Fair - Ashland High School
Saturday, March 21, 2020

9 AM - 12.30 PM
_____________________

** TEC Spring 2020 College FaIr - Westwood High School
Thursday, March 26, 2020

6.30  - 8.30 PM

http://tec-coop.org/student-programs/college-fairs/spring-college-fair-westwood-high-school
_____________________

** Providence NACAC National College Fair
Providence, RI
https://www.nacacfairs.org/attend/national-college-fairs/providence/

Tuesday, April 07, 2020
5:30 - 8:30 PM
401/458-6000
_____________________

** Arlington High School College Fair
Monday, April 27, 2020

6:30 – 8:00 PM
Arlington High School, 869 Massachusetts Ave

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

Top 12 Tips for Campus Visit Success

Thursday, February 13, 2020
What? Already? The campus tour season is here. As you check out colleges during break and beyond, be intentional and make the most of time invested on the road.  Solid planning makes for worthwhile (and memorable) on-the-ground college research.

Looking to get the most out of exploring colleges? Check out these top suggestions for campus visit success:


  1. Register ahead via the campus website for information sessions and tours. Some colleges receive many hundreds of visitors in a week, and spaces may fill up.  If you need to cancel a reservation, contact the school so a spot can open for another visitor.
  2. Sign in when you arrive to campus so there is a record of you having taken the time to visit. This will also ensure you a spot on the school mailing list.
  3. Allow yourselves plenty of time to arrive and, most of all, to park and find the Admission Office. Do not assume that parking and the Admission Office are close to one another. And don’t assume that a tour or information session will take place at the Admission building.
  4. Even though it may sound obvious, wear comfortable footwear and bring a snack or drink with you as touring can tax one’s energy. Keep up the blood sugar.
  5. Bring extra pairs of dry socks (seriously). Even if shoes get wet in the rain, you will be much more comfortable if you at least can pull on dry socks for the next tour.
  6. Capture several photos of campus and nearby town, maybe even with you in them. Photographic images evoke deeper memories. 
  7. If you do not have time for both tour and information session, prioritize the tour.
  8. Don’t be shy about stopping a couple of friendly-looking students and saying something like: “Hi, I’m visiting today and wanted to get some thoughts about what students here think of X College. So what year are you in and what are you studying here? What are a few favorite things for you about your school?”
  9. Check out food places; fitness center; Career Center; Student Success Services or "Disability” Office; library; etc. if these are not included on your tour.
  10. Peek at posted signs; notices — anything that tells you what is being promoted or talked about at that school.
  11. If financial assistance is part of your college process, ask if admission is “need blind” or “need aware.” This will tell you how much the school considers demonstrated financial need when evaluating applications. You could also ask what % of demonstrated need the college will meet. If the school meets 75% of your demonstrated need, that means that the rest will be up to you to obtain.
  12. If the school says they offer merit awards, ask which financial applications, special essays, if any, need to be completed to be eligible for merit aid.
  13. What is the 13th tip you would like to see here?  Submit your favorite tip to marla@achievecoach.com, and you may see your suggestion added here next month.
________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com


Starting College in the Spring

Monday, February 03, 2020

A growing number of students are receiving admission to sought-after colleges -- just not in the fall.

For years some northeastern elite colleges, including Middlebury and Hamilton, have engaged in an admissions practice offering a selection of students second semester admission. Midd "Febs"and Hamilton "Jans" share a mid-year enrollment calendar with a number of other highly-selective colleges and universities.

Same College, Alternative Path In

Today, students applying to a handful of schools on both coasts might see their admission offers contingent on an unanticipated timeline.  A sampling of schools and programs potentially offering applicants a later freshman start include:  

The Spring Difference 

Top-of-mind questions for second semester admits concerns the impact of a spring start on forging solid social connections. What will campus life be like for the new group joining established classmates who have been living and learning together on campus since fall orientation?

Students who begin college via the second semester option tend to report that their smaller cohort provides them with a more intimate, bonded social experience at their start of college. A strong January campus orientation program can serve to support those connections.  

Sometimes a later start incorporates a first semester international experience, the destination country compatible with the student's intended major. Participants bring these closer connections back with them to campus in January.

An organized program, such as the University of Maryland - College Park's Freshman Connection, offers spring admits an optional opportunity for a fall start, living on campus while choosing from selected classes. In contrast, other schools may leave the choice of fall programming entirely up to the student, potentially involving employment, volunteerism, or community college classes for credit. 

Cornell University's First Year Spring Admit (FYSA) program admits up to 50 students as "January freshmen," while recommending pursuit of enriching extramural involvements prior to arriving in Ithaca for spring semester.

The University of Southern California offers students the opportunity to pursue classes at affiliated American universities located in Europe where they may pursue classes for credit with students from around the world.

Regardless of the entry date, the premise supporting a January start is enrichment for the student prior to the start of college, bringing even greater anticipation and readiness for their educational experience.

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

Indiana University's Flagship Goes Test Optional

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Indiana University's flagship campus in Bloomington, IN has said "no thanks" to requiring SAT or ACT in admissions evaluations.  IU has now joined six other campuses in its state system in the test optional movement. 

According to IU Admissions, the university has observed that GPA performance in high school is the best predictor of college success, and that standardized test scores typically reflect the economic resources that students are able to invest in test prep.

Students applying to IU in 2020 will not be required to submit test scores with their applications.  

________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com

Got Email?

Friday, December 20, 2019

In an era of non-stop texting, instant messaging and SnapChat, for our students email is soooo 20th-century.  

While email remains the preferred mode of communication in the professional world, it seems our Generation Z would prefer to keep things briefer.

Because Email

The importance of juniors learning to get with their email account begins to accelerate once the college process kicks off. Frequent touch points with one's email account begin to take on new importance. Standardized testing registrations; financial aid application notifications; and not to mention actual decisions rendered by colleges, typically arrive through an email platform. A high school junior or senior's daily touch point with their email account becomes important. At least 3 - 4 inbox visits per week is my recommendation for even the most email-phobic teen.

Too Much of A Good Thing

Ironically, part of the reason college applicants are squeamish about opening their inboxes is the overwhelming amount of communications generated by the colleges themselves. Kiddoes often comment on the hyperactivity on the part of schools stuffing their inboxes with solicitations imploring them to apply.

Email Etiquette

Even though youngsters prefer the ease and spontaneity of the quick text, now is the time to learn how to manage the realm of  to/from/subject lines.  Email communication is how most in the professional world interact with colleagues, clients -- and prospective employers.

Just as formal telephone skills were once a fundamental element in professional communication, the same stands today when we talk about email.

Be A "Wide Receiver"

As colleges have been observing the strange but growing disconnect with applicants across this "old-timey" platform of email, they are resorting to seeking permission to make contact via text message. For some high schoolers this could come as a welcome blessing, while for others an intrusion into what feels like a personal domain.  And let's not forget that not every student is in a position to own a cellular device with a texting plan.

Managing Inbox Overwhelm

Kids might consider opening a designated "college process" email account to separate out the personal stuff from the college mailings.  Now there will be no excuse to miss notifications about essentials such as scholarship awards or missing recommendations or test scores. Until communication technology evolves yet again, keep that email inbox front and center. Don't want to miss those important notifications from the Dream School, do you?

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Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com


The Best Recommendations For How to Succeed at College

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Where was the oh-so-wise Dr. Glenn Altschuler when I was in college? While I had not the good fortune to sit in on even one of the good professor's classes, I feel fortunate to be in the position today to channel his wisdom about bringing the best of study, personal care and time management skills to any student's university experience.  Amongst all that new independence and freedom that college students embrace, setting up for academic success in the first year sets the tone for what's to come down the road.

Dr. Altschuler, who has long been regarded as a beloved professor on the Cornell campus, presents Ten Recommendations for First-Year Undergraduates.  If I were to highlight one primary tip from his Top-10 for any budding college student, it would be to cultivate that very precious resource -- TIME -- learning how to think ahead and plan, plan, plan.  

Squeezing Into a 24-Hour Day

College life features a boatload of choices and possibilities to manage. Students benefit when they learn to operate in advance of what is coming the next day, the following week, and the month to come.  High school students who learn how to anticipate what lies ahead make the best transitions to college, earn the best grades and can dig into the wealth of offerings.  And what about self-care and time for social enjoyment?  The fun stuff counts, too. 

Learning how to "work smart" is smart.  Even without sitting in on any of Dr. A's lectures, students can still carry his good advice into their daily lives while still in high school, starting as a first-year, and beyond.

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Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com


2019-20 Common Application Essay Supplements

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

They are here! Rising seniors looking for a head start on individual college supplements will be delighted (well, maybe kinda glad?) that several schools have announced their updated supplementary essay prompts for the 2019-20 admissions cycle.

This gives students an extra few weeks ahead of the start of senior year to focus on what drives their interest in the colleges they plan to apply to in the fall.  Our current updates include, in alphabetical order, supplementary essay prompts for the following colleges:

  • Boston College
  • Dartmouth
  • Emory
  • Tufts
  • University of Colorado - Boulder
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Virginia
  • Villanova
  • Wake Forest
BOSTON COLLEGE

Choose one of four (400 words max):

1. Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?

2. When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?

3. Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?

4. Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?


DARTMOUTH

Respond in 100 words or less:

While arguing a Dartmouth-related case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818, Daniel Webster, Class of 1801, delivered this memorable line: “It is, Sir…a small college. And yet, there are those who love it!” As you seek admission to the Class of 2023, what aspects of the College’s program, community or campus environment attract your interest?


Choose one of the following prompts and respond in 250-300 words:

1. “I have no special talent,” Albert Einstein once observed. “I am only passionately curious.” Celebrate your curiosity.

2. The Hawaiian word mo’olelois often translated as “story” but it can also refer to history, legend, genealogy, and tradition. Use one of these translations to introduce yourself.

3. In the aftermath of World War II, Dartmouth President John Sloane Dickey, Class of 1929, proclaimed, “The world’s troubles are your troubles…and there is nothing wrong with the world that better human beings cannot fix.” Which of the world’s “troubles” inspires you to act? How might your course of study at Dartmouth prepare you to address it?

4. In The Painted Drum, author Louise Erdrich ‘76 wrote, “… what is beautiful that I make? What is elegant? What feeds the world?” Tell us about something beautiful you have made or hope to make.

5. “Yes, books are dangerous,” young people’s novelist Pete Hautman proclaimed. “They should be dangerous—they contain ideas.” What book or story captured your imagination through the ideas it revealed to you? Share how those ideas influenced you.

6. Labor leader Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist who co-founded the organization now known as United Farm Workers. She said, “We criticize and separate ourselves from the process. We’ve got to jump right in there with both feet.” Speak your truth: Talk about a time when your passion became action.


EMORY

In addition to your Personal Statement, please answer two (2) of the prompts below. Choose one prompt from the “Reflections” category and one prompt from the “Tell us about you” category. Each response should be no more than 150 words.

“Reflections” Category: Respond to one of the following.

1. Share about something you want to bring from your community to the Emory University community.
2. Share about a time when you questioned something that you believed to be true.
3. Emory University’s shield is a crossed torch and trumpet representing the light of learning and the proclamation of knowledge. It symbolizes our mission to impact the world through discovery. What truth or knowledge do you want to see shared?

 “Tell us about you” Category: Respond to one of the following.

1. Which book, character, song, or piece of work (fiction or non-fiction) represents you, and why?
2. If you could witness a historic event first-hand, what would it be, and why?
3. If asked to write a 150-word tweet to tell the world who you are, what would you say? (Yes, the actual Twitter character limit would likely be shorter than 150 words, but thanks for indulging us.)

TUFTS

Think outside the box as you answer the following questions. Take a risk and go somewhere unexpected. Be serious if the moment calls for it, but feel comfortable being playful if that suits you, too.

Applicants to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, and 5-Year Tufts/NEC Combined Degree answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? In short, ‘Why Tufts?’ (100-150 words)

2. Now we’d like to know a little more about you. Please respond to one of the following three questions. (200-250 words):

A) From recognizing break dancing as a new Olympic sport, to representation in media, to issues of accessibility in our public transit systems, what is something that you can talk about endlessly? What do you care about and why?

B) Whether you’ve built circuit boards or written slam poetry, created a community event or designed mixed media installations, tell us: What have you designed, invented, engineered, or produced? Or what do you hope to?

C) We all have a story to tell. And with over 5,000 undergraduate students on our campus, that is over 5,000 stories to share and learn. What’s yours?

Applicants to the BFA or 5-Year BFA+BA/BS Combined Degree at the SMFA at Tufts answer the following two questions:

1. Which aspects of the Tufts undergraduate experience prompt your application? Why SMFA at Tufts? (100-150 words)

2. Art has the power to disrupt our preconceptions, shape public discourse, and imagine new ways of being in the world. Whether you think of Ai Weiwei’s work reframing the refugee crisis, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald’s portraits of the Obamas reimagining portrait painting on a national scale, or Yayoi Kusama’s fanciful Infinity Mirrors rekindling our sense of wonder, it is clear that contemporary art is driven by ideas. What are the ideas you’d like to explore in your work? (200-250 words)

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO- BOULDER

At the University of Colorado Boulder, no two Buffs are alike. We value difference and support equity and inclusion of all students and their many intersecting identities. Pick one of your unique identities and describe its significance. (250-650 words)


UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

The college admissions process can create anxiety. In an attempt to make it less stressful, please tell us an interesting or amusing story about yourself from your high school years that you have not already shared in your application.

Choose 1 of 4 -- 300 words max:

1. UGA’s 2017 Commencement speaker Ernie Johnson (Class of ’79) told a story from his youth about what he refers to as blackberry moments. He has described these as “the sweet moments that are right there to be had but we’re just too focused on what we’re doing …, and we see things that are right there within our reach and we neglect them. Blackberry moments can be anything that makes somebody else’s day, that makes your day, that are just sweet moments that you always remember.” Tell us about one of your “blackberry moments” from the past five years.

2. What is the hardest part of being a teenager now? What is the best part? What advice would you give to a younger sibling or friend (assuming they would listen to you)?

3. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.

4. Describe a problem, possibly related to your area of study, which you would like to solve. Explain its importance to you and what actions you would take to solve this issue.

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Answer one of the following questions in a half page or roughly 250 words.

1. UVA students are charged with living honorably and upholding a Community of Trust. Give us an example of a community that is important to you and how you worked to strengthen that community.

2. What's your favorite word and why?

3. We are a community with quirks, both in language and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are.

4. Student self-governance, which encourages student investment and initiative, is a hallmark of the UVA culture. In her fourth year at UVA, Laura Nelson was inspired to create Flash Seminars, one-time classes which facilitate high-energy discussion about thought-provoking topics outside of traditional coursework. If you created a Flash Seminar, what idea would you explore and why?

5. UVA students paint messages on Beta Bridge when they want to share information with our community. What would you paint on Beta Bridge and why is this your message?

VILLANOVA

Villanova has three new prompts for their Choose 1 of 3 supplement. (250-1000 words)

1. In the spirit of Saint Augustine, we believe that everyone in the Villanova community learns from each other. What is a lesson that you have learned in your life so far that you will share with others?

2. You may live in one of the busiest cities in all the world or come from a small town with just one traffic light. The place that you call home has probably shaped who you are in some way. Tell us about where you are from and what, from there, you will bring to Villanova.

3. Please describe a choice for change that you have made in your life that has greatly affected your life or the lives of others.


WAKE FOREST
How did you become interested in Wake Forest University and why are you applying?

Tell us how a work of fiction you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity.  (300 words max)

What piques your intellectual curiosity, and why?

As part of our “Voices of Our Time” series — which allows students, faculty, and staff to hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers — Wake Forest has hosted Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, Eboo Patel, and Thomas Friedman. If you could choose the next series speaker, whom would you pick, and why? (150 words)

At Wake Forest, we gather our students in “Calls to Conversation,” congregating small groups around dinner tables in faculty’s and administrators’ homes to discuss topics organized around a theme, for example “arts for social change,” “gender in society,” and “leading a meaningful life.” If you could design a theme for a “Call to Conversation,” what would you choose, and why? (150 words)

We live in an age intensely interested in heroes. Professor Joseph Campbell defined “hero” as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Describe a hero in public life and how and why, in your opinion, they meet Professor Campbell’s definition. (150 words)

We are all different, and our lived experiences — influenced by our culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or religion — shape our understanding of the world. How have your experiences shaped your development, and how do you plan to use those experiences to interact and engage with others who might be different from you within our Wake Forest Community? (no word limit)

OPTIONAL - 12 QUESTIONS

Give us your top ten list and theme (100 characters for each)

Have you visited the Wake Forest campus? Tell us about your visit and with whom you spoke. (150 words or fewer)

Have you ever been on probation, suspended (in or out of school) or dismissed from any high school or college? If yes, explain fully on a separate sheet.

Have any criminal charges been brought against you? (Exclude charges which have resulted in a finding of not guilty or complete dismissal.) If yes, list and explain fully on a separate sheet.

If you have attended more than one high school, please explain reason for transfer.

300 words max:  Tell us how a work of fiction you’ve read has helped you to understand the world’s complexity.

1a. List five books you have read that intrigued you. Author. Title.

1b. (100 characters each)

As part of my high school English curriculum, I was required to read:

I would have liked to replace it with:

The required book I was most surprised I enjoyed was:

150 words max:   What piques your intellectual curiosity, and why?

150 words max:  Which of your extracurricular accomplishments has had the most meaning for you and why.

150 words max:  As part of our “Voices of Our Time” series — which allows students, faculty, and staff to hear from some of the world’s leading thinkers — Wake Forest has hosted Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, Eboo Patel, and Thomas Friedman. If you could choose the next series speaker, whom would you pick, and why?

150 words max:  At Wake Forest, we gather our students in “Calls to Conversation,” congregating small groups around dinner tables in faculty’s and administrators’ homes to discuss topics organized around a theme, for example “arts for social change,” “gender in society,” and “leading a meaningful life.” If you could design a theme for a “Call to Conversation,” what would you choose, and why?

150 words max:  We live in an age intensely interested in heroes. Professor Joseph Campbell defined “hero” as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Describe a hero in public life and how and why, in your opinion, they meet Professor Campbell’s definition.
________________________________________________________________
Marla Platt, M.B.A. is an independent college consultant based in Sudbury, MA through AchieveCoach College Consulting, providing personalized guidance to students and families throughout the college planning, search and admissions process. Marla is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association and NACAC and can be reached via www.achievecoach.com



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