Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Presentation by Admission Representatives from Emory University, University of California - Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Virginia

Some key take aways from the Admission Reps:

1.  The new Coalition for Access & Affordability website ( The schools involved with the Coalition are comfortable with students applying either by the Coalition application or Common App.  The admissions reps do not see what students put in their "locker" on the Coalition website.  They only look at the application.  They see the Coalition website as being helpful for students who don't have access to a school counselor or Naviance.

2.  Perceptions about the NEW SAT
The reps have not figured out what the new scores mean yet.  Students who have taken the NEW SAT have not applied yet, so it's hard to say how they will read them yet.  They wanted to remind students that the transcript and rigor of courses taken are the biggest factor and not the SAT or ACT or TOEFL.  All said that the SAT score is not a big factor in their decision.

3.  Class Rank as a factor
They don't compare students in one high school with students in another high school.  They compare students against their own school and how well they did with what was available to them.  They look more at fit and if they believe the student will engage in their college community.   They all said they were not looking at accepting the top kid.  They look at the application holistically.  The decision is not driven by rank.  UCal - Berkeley does not even ask for rank.  They want to see students "exhaust the rigor of the school" and research their school in order to answer the questions on the supplemental essays better like, "Why Hopkins?" for example.

4.  Tracking Campus Visits
These four schools do not factor "interest" in their decision.

5.  What they would like to see counselors tell students

a.  Let them know the true likelihood about getting accepted at each school.  Try to save their parents $75 if there is no realistic chance of being accepted.

b.  The supplemental essays are just as important as the main Common App essay.  They should have someone proof-read it and not put another school's name it it.  It should be specific to that school.

c.  UCal-Berkeley said that they go very deep into their WaitList each year so if a student is waitlisted, it is worth their time to do the additional supplemental essay that they are sent if they are still interested.

d.  While community service and extracurricular activities are important, the academics is most important.  They look at all pieces.  Do not send things that they don't ask for (i.e. a science lab report)

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