The Olympics excite and motivate us. Any Olympian knows that it takes careful planning and discipline to succeed. It’s no different for college applicants. They need to set goals and stay laser-focused. Fortunately, students learn life skills along the way, while their journeys sometimes take them to unexpected places.
Colleges Boast About Their Olympians
Colleges are getting behind their Olympians. This college counselor, forever a fan, is drawn to the athletes and their stories. Take fencers. We all know they’re smart. As noted in The Wall Street Journal, “U.S. fencers often peak when they’re young—their sport gets them into great colleges, which get them great jobs that pay more than fencing.” This year’s early surprise was a gold-medal performance from Lee Kiefer, a Notre Dame grad who’s now in med school at the University of Kentucky.
Swimmers make headlines as well. Indiana University, popular with New Jersey students because of its Kelley School, has long been a swimming powerhouse. The women’s squad includes Lilly King ’19. This year, UVA (Alex Walsh, Kate Douglass) and UT Austin (Erica Sullivan) are adding strength to the roster.
IU: “Describe your academic and career plans and any special interest that you are eager to pursue as an undergraduate at Indiana University.”
Touring: A Shorter and Sweeter Touch
Worried about the Delta variant? Colleges are, too. As reported in Inside Higher Ed, colleges have continued to modify their approach to in-person visits. WashU, a favorite among New Jersey premeds, is offering a WashU Walk-Though for students along with up to three guests.
“In about 250 words, tell us about something that really sparks your intellectual interest and curiosity, and compels you to explore more in the program/area of study that you indicated.” –WashU Admissions
Major Pressures? CC and CU Go Boulder!
Would it surprise you that eight out of 10 college students pick a major to get a job? Or that over one-third of grads surveyed would change their major if they could do it all over again? How about this: only one-quarter of students say their major is relevant to their lives?
These statistics are included in an article in Hechinger Report, which also showcases colleges that stand behind their undergrads as they explore their paths to the future. These include CU Boulder (Exploratory Studies), Dickinson (Explore More: Jumpstart to Connecting the Dots) and the very popular Boston College (True North).
In a recent webinar for counselors, Matt Bonser, Director of Admission at Colorado College, stated, “We see so much major switching from what is on the application to what they ultimately declare.” At CC, students take one class (block) at a time. Each block is 3.5 weeks, and there are eight per year (nine during the Pandemic). That’s ideal for students who like to immerse themselves in the subject matter. CC isn’t for those who like to hide in the back of the classroom. Classes can range from a single student up to 25, prompting Bonser to comment, “You better be on your game. It’ll be obvious who has done their work and who hasn’t.” All CC students participate in field study; in fact, an entire block may travel together.
“That 20-word ‘Why CC?’ essay is something that we take quite seriously.” -Colorado College
Coming in August: Supplemental Essays
Every year at this time, we await the college-specific essay prompts. These supplemental essays are arguably more important than the Personal Essay, allowing candidates to explain why they fit a particular campus or community. On August 1, students will be able to launch the 2021-22 Common App and see the latest sets of questions posted by colleges on their list, some of which appear as captions on the images above.
In anticipation of a new app year, I updated my first ebook, Supplementing the College Supplement. (See below.) I’ll be giving current students a pdf soon! (Your neighbors can order it through Apple Books or my website.)
In that back-to-school mindset? Unsure whether your student’s college and curricular goals are intact? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.