College Admissions Committee for Juniors and Parents meets each May at Hewitt. This program is strongly advised for all Hewitt juniors and their parents, as college admission officers present on various aspects of the application and share the wisdom and insight of their experience from inside the application review process. Each admission officer then leads a smaller admissions committee in a separate classroom, before we all reconvene in the gym for a quick review of committee work and report out decisions on applicants.
Juniors discuss applicants briefly as a preview of this exercise in weekly College Seminar. All applications are linked below, in advance of the evening program in May, so that we arrive to committee having familiarized ourselves with the applicants (students’ applications and high school profiles) and the University Profile, ready to discuss and advocate. Here are some tips for areas of focus for reading through the applicants’ files.
Please open the University profile first, as it contains a note-taking tool to help you organize your thoughts as you read applications to prepare for the Case Studies in College Admission evening program.
An admission committee carefully reviews information provided by the student and the high school. To help you read your files, here are a few questions on each section of the application. Please carefully read the admission cases and take notes on the candidate rating form (links to applicants and the University’s profile are listed below).
Is there anything about the student’s background or family information that stands out in relation to the college to which s/he is applying? Are there any special circumstances of which you should be aware when evaluating the more objective parts of the application (obligations at home that limit extracurriculars, trauma attending a downward trend in grades)? Has the student ever been suspended or received disciplinary action from his/her high school or been in trouble with the law?
What kind of grades has the student received over the years? Is there a trend – an upward or downward one? Has the student taken advanced and/or challenging classes as appropriate/recommended? Look at the high school profiles to understand the student in the context of what is offered at each school. Does the high school have strict prerequisites for entrance into these courses? If shown on the transcript, what kind of program does the student plan to take in the senior year – is it challenging or weak, based on 9-11 grades for this applicant? Are there any holes? What are the student’s curricular interests? If available, where does the student rank (does his/her school rank)?
SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests
What are the applicant’s SAT or ACT scores? Are there areas that are significantly higher or lower? Do the SAT/ACT scores correlate with the student’s GPA? Is one significantly higher than the other?If there are Subject Test scores, how strong are they? Do they show proficiencies in specific subject areas? How do the scores presented fit the score ranges on our University’s profile? How important do you think test scores will be in the evaluation process?
What has the student done outside the classroom, both connected to school and out of school? How much time has the student committed to those activities? How much depth is presented? Has the student pursued a leadership or other role with responsibilities in those activities?
Does the essay tell you something about the student beyond the transcript? What did you learn? What qualities or talents does the student reveal? Do you hear the student’s voice? Do you get a sense of the student as a person? Does the student tell his/her story effectively? Are the grammar, spelling and punctuation correct?
Letters of Recommendation, From Faculty and Counselor
What two or three things have you learned about the applicant through the recommendations? What struck the teacher most about the student? What effect/impact does this student have on the classroom dynamic? How positive or enthusiastic is the recommendation? Is there more information that will help the admission committee determine how capable the student is in meeting the academic demands of the college?
High School and University Profiles
What can the admission committee learn from the high school profile that might assist us? How might the colleges help us learn which student might be the best fit for our university? Does the high school profile give you information that might better help you understand the student’s educational opportunities and accomplishments?