CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Demonstrated Interest in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenter will provide information about attending college visits, reaching out to admissions officers, and demonstrating a passion for a school’s academic mission. Our advisor will share information about how to show demonstrated interest from sophomore year to senior year in addition to how to show demonstrated interest in your essays.
2020-09-27 Demonstrated Interest
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Bullseye admission webinar on Demonstrated Interest. So to orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
So with that, let’s get into a little bit more about me. My name is . I’m a freshman at Wharton. I’m studying business and specifically I’m concentrating in business economics and public policy. I’m also thinking of taking a minor in data science and some fields that I’m really interested in a long term or private equity venture capital, and that type of industry.
So tell us is also [00:01:00] here for tech support and feel free to message her if you have any tech related issues with accessing handouts or not seeing the slides, anything like that. So with that being said, let’s jump right into what demonstrated interest is. Demonstrated interest in a nutshell, shows admission officers that you’re interested in their schools.
And especially in this time, because there’s so many applicants and schools are becoming so competitive, it’s really important to set yourself apart from other applicants. And one way to do that is through showing a school that you’re actively interested in that. So 40% of colleges have admitted that they actively consider demonstrated interest when they’re evaluating their applications.
In other words, they’re taking a look at how passionate you are about what the school has to offer the research that you’ve done about that school. And they’re using that to evaluate how likely you are to potentially attend the school if accepted to. So finally you can, you also use demonstrated interests for your own [00:02:00] purposes?
The college admissions process is a little bit messy and sometimes the answers to your question is a little bit nebulous. So when you reach out to people like admission officers at school representatives, you can use that to also get your answer or questions answered and get some more specific information about what exactly campuses offer.
So with that being said, let’s get into our next slide. Before we get into the different types of demonstrated interest. I wanted to just get a feeling for what types of demonstrated interest that you guys are interested in. So with that being said, I’m going to publish our first poll. And yeah, I’ll just wait for the answers rolling.
And we’ll delve deeper into each of these throughout today’s webinars. So don’t feel pressured if you don’t know about these.[00:03:00]
Interesting. So we actually have a very even split. It seems like the majority of you guys are interested in campus visits and how those will go down, which makes a lot of sense because COVID has changed the way that game works, but there’s interest in almost every facet of these. So once again, where are you at?
Some of these are unfamiliar terms to you because we’ll be delving into that throughout the rest of this presentation. So with that being said, let’s get into it with the basics campus visits. So when you’re applying to a college campus, a very important thing to understand is what the campus is, what it looks like and what you feel about it.[00:04:00]
So campus visits, let you get a little taste of that by experiencing that campus in person. The other thing that’s really helpful that most schools used to offer and that some schools are still offering now they’re in areas, not that impacted by COVID our student guides, which go take you through the campus, show you around, show you the highlights.
And most importantly, answer some insider questions about what student life actually looks like. So without being said, COVID-19 does mean that in-person campus visits might not be a feasible option for awhile. That means that you might not be able to go walk through the campus that you might want to return, or even if you’re able to actually get onto campus.
It might mean that student tours, which are usually organized by the. Varsity aren’t necessarily being offered because those do pose a hazard without being side, if you want to still check out the campus, I know that a virtual experience can’t really replicate on the same feeling of actually [00:05:00] stepping foot on there, but there’s a website called visit.com that has a bunch of virtual tours of over 600 campuses.
So it’s very likely that whatever colleges you’re interested in on we’ll be down there. So that’s a little bit on campus visits, not necessarily the most feasible option in these times, but there still definitely other ways to show interest. And that gets us into regional. No, which are a lot more accessible now, especially since so many of them can be hosted online.
So there’s two ways to sign up for regional fairs and whatever. The first of these is really simple. If you go to most colleges websites, or for some of you guys, if you’ve taken the sat act or other standardized testing optimum for their billing services, you’ll know that when they have your email address, they connect you to a lot of offers or tutor parties, a lot of events, a lot of admission officers, et cetera.
So that’s one way to start getting adjust [00:06:00] for when regional fairs and webinars are being held. And what actually goes down at these places is like these webinars, we’re going to have an admissions officer or set of admissions officers who go talk about the college application process, talk about some of their institutional needs and priorities, and hopefully answer some more of your questions in some of these regional fairs as well, they do connect you with other students.
So that’s a good alternative to student tours because it does let you get some of those insider perspective. Would that being inside on, I know that the emails that you got from colleges can be very overwhelming. But one note that I personally never knew of that I only learned after I joined bulls, is that there’s rarely the tracks who opens them and who would get to that.
So even if you’re in habit to actually open these emails, be proactive about checking your inbox. And in the [00:07:00] best case scenario, you’ll find webinars that you’re really interested in. And in the worst case scenario, the college, which is see that you’re interacting with that type of material. And finally, the important thing about these webinars is that they let you get into the shoes of an admissions officer.
And so oftentimes there’s this pressure from students being like, I have to go in with these extracurriculars and these perspectives on admissions officers might not see it the entirely the same way. So especially if you have unique questions about programs or something, These options can be incredibly valuable for you.
All right. So let’s get into our next slide with high school visits. If you don’t want to sign up for a regional fairs, something that was emailed towards you, oftentimes there’s individual events that will be set up by your high school, where admissions officers go and talk to students in a little bit more of a private setting.
And I actually really prefer these over regional webinars, just [00:08:00] because since it’s a little bit limited to your school in general, there are less students going. You’ve got more one-on-one attention and it’s a little bit cozier of an atmosphere. I’m not sure exactly what software your guys is on college or high schools will use.
I know that my high school, we use something called , which I do believe is the most widely used format, not getting students access to college resources, but Even if you guys don’t use Navi ons, feel free to send your counselors and I’d be happy to link you with those resources. One thing that I would note is that even though a lot of people only really start attending these webinars when they’re a senior you can has had as an underclassmen and some colleges, like I know you Chicago and Johns Hopkins at my school track the people that would attend as sophomores and juniors, and that actually ended up manifesting in some acceptances for me.
So that’s definitely an option to keep in mind that the worst case [00:09:00] scenario, you just get more information about the school. So that’s a little bit on high school visits
and last but not least, I know that it’s intimidating to get your questions out in a lot of these public events. So the most intimate way to get information about different campuses or unique niche information is just writing to your admissions officer. And a lot of the time they’re really.
Happy to hear from you, not nearly as intimidating as you see, they see. And unless you’re asking a question that really easily could have been Googled, they are going to appreciate the interaction. So we’ll give you some examples. When I was applying to UC Berkeley, there was a pretty recent program called global management, which only accepted 35 students and gave them direct admissions to the Haas program which is their business school.
And because it was so recent, we didn’t really know much about it. And what ended up happening was everyone who wrote to the admission officers about that [00:10:00] one program. I ended up getting into that program being one of my friends. And I’m not sure if that was correlation, not causation, but without being sad at the very least you do get some more information out of it.
The few words of caution I would have here are admission officers. You men, they do get a little bit frustrated if you’re going to ask them, Hey, how many people were on your school when that’s something that you really easily could have Google they’re just got enough, their front page. They are going to be on maybe a little bit frustrated with the fact you didn’t reach out to other resources first and finally admissions officers at the end of the day are going to be the ones oftentimes evaluating your applications.
So make sure to keep these interactions very courteous, make sure to be respectful, use proper grammar. Don’t give them any reasons to reject you before your application has even gone out.
so here’s an example of on a sample template providing to admissions [00:11:00] officers. Once again, it doesn’t have to be as formal as that. If you go on back and forth a lot with them, you can change out that structure. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this because Tess already dropped the link for all these slides on the shot.
So if you want to take a look at this after the webinar, feel free to, and if you have more specific questions about approaching them for more specific issues on feel free to let me know in the Q and a
all so those are all a few steps that you can take before you even start writing your college applications. But now, since we are in the midst of college application season, I think that one very important to us, Dr. Demonstrated interest is going to be crafting those why school assets. And I know that these are some of the most frustrating essays to write.
I know that when I was going through this process for better or for worse, I oftentimes felt like I could copy paste a lot of this stuff that I was saying. But with that being said, it’s very important to [00:12:00] craft a unique and well-researched answer to your why school essay, because it doesn’t only show that you’re literate and you’re able to write pretty sentences.
It also shows what specifically about the school you’re interested in. And especially as if you had to very selective schools, they want to make sure that you actually researched their offerings and their programs. And you’re interested in some more of these unique opportunities.
So a few ways to really make your wife’s school. I got doubt. The first of these is not interesting specific classes and professors, for example, when I was applying to Penn there was one class in presidential communications taught by professor Eisenhower who said descendant of president Eisenhower that I thought it was really cool.
So I did mention that on talking about specific parts of the campus, Yale has gorgeous libraries. U Chicago has got like it’s known for its architecture. I named dropped those and those essays as well. It seems to work. All right. And then on that note, if you want to mention the surrounding areas and the vibes of [00:13:00] the campuses, Philadelphia, Chicago Columbia, all very urban places.
You want to go to someplace more like Cornell, which is a little bit more isolated. It’s definitely more of a college type field. It’s not as connected to every place else and admissions officers want to know that you’ve researched those facets of campus. And you like for better or for worse, the feel of this founding area.
And finally, one of my favorites talk about some student traditions. So college is about more than going in and sitting in class for six hours. And just grinding your way through life for job interviews. People like to go out on weekends. People like to participate in fun, freshmen traditions.
People like to get into the sports culture or whatever. And there are some colleges that are really into that. And I really appreciate it when students bring out these types of traditions. So definitely don’t count that out. You can set stand out by just showing that you’re really excited about becoming a member of that community.[00:14:00]
And then on the note of essays, I also want to delve into two other categories of essays. The first of these are optional essays. So I think that the most on. Commonly cited example of these are the Harvard supplements. The Harvard supplement is listed as quote unquote optional, but a lot of these optional essays really do help.
Admissions officers get to know a little bit more about you as a person. So consequently, to show interest answering these optional prompts can both show that you’re willing to put in the extra work to get into these colleges and show the admissions officers and other facets of your personality that might not be available in your common up.
So I highly recommend writing these, treat the, say these the same as any other mandatory supplement. And the second one of these are scholarship essays. So [00:15:00] on for some schools, they’re going to submit additional essays to be allegeable for specific scholarships. I think the closest thing to this that I did was for USC, if you submitted by.
I want to say December 1st or November 1st, something like that. You were put into consideration for their scholarships, but other schools have specific prompts that are like, Hey, if you want to answer this we could give you money for it. Oh, a really good example was UC Berkeley on. They oftentimes set out a list.
Sub-region scholars, they make you do another essay. And then on, if you got it, that’s great for you. You got some money and some institutional priorities. So showing that you’re willing to write these essays, not only puts you in the running for some of this money. It also shows that you’re passionate about this school and willing to put in the other work and it can make you stand out really big pool of candidates.
And now [00:16:00] we go into the part where you actually applied to these colleges. So when you apply early, you have two options, early action and early decision. The difference between these is that early decisions are binding and they can give students a really easy, because they increased colleges.
In other words if you’re easy to a school, a college knows that you’re going to attend. And that’s why oftentimes their acceptance rates in the ed are two or three times what their acceptance rates would be. Normally early option is the same or relatively similar. Except if you get accepted, you can still apply to other schools.
You don’t have to commit to that school. And just yet, and acceptance rates on average are higher for early auction as well. The third category is some schools have rolling admissions, which means there’s no hard deadline. There’s no day where every single person’s admissions offers are going to be released.
You’re just go in and submit your stuff. And then maybe two or three weeks a month, they review your decision and get back [00:17:00] to you pretty quickly. And so for these programs, if you apply a little bit earlier in the cycle, what this does show is that there’s more seats. The institution has maybe a greater priority in your list, which is why you did it before.
That’s why it’s a little bit easier to get into these schools. If you apply a little bit early, this also applies to very large public schools. So for the UC system specifically schools like UC Berkeley, or UCLA have an absurd number of applicants occasions each year, like a hundred thousand or something.
And the admissions officers, aren’t going to wait until the day after the deadline to start reviewing these. So what I have noticed is that if you apply earlier in the cycle, You tend to get priority for certain scholarships. For example I got offered the region scholarship at Berkeley and LA. I applied a month early to both.
Again, it might be correlation, not causation, but I never think that I don’t think that it ever hurts to be proactive. And finally, the last note do not apply on the early decision unless you are [00:18:00] completely committed to a college. When you apply in the easy and you get in, you have to go. There are very few ways to break that commitment, unless you can show that like your financial situation has completely changed.
That gets into some very messy territory. It could lead to you getting blacklisted from certain colleges. So just make sure that you’re committed to attending that college. If you got in before you make the decision to EG. So after hearing about how you can use these early applications to show demonstrated interest, I have another poll for you.
Which is basically, are you planning to apply early to any schools on your college list? So again, we’ll check these a second to start trickling in.[00:19:00]
Wow. So it looks like that’s most of the responses and it looks like the overwhelming majority of you guys are still deciding whether or not to EDI or easiest to specific places. So that’s something that bullseye advisors can really help you with. And if you have more specific questions for me, especially about Penn or other schools feel free to approach me after the webinar.
Also if you need a refresher on the application options and how [00:20:00] they can be combined, we have a webinar on that earlier in the month. Full disclosure. I did not apply early to Penn. So I definitely don’t think that’s a decision that you have to make. But again, I’ll be done for a little bit more personal questions after the webinars.
All right. Next step. Let’s get into, after you submitted your application alumni interviews at the next step, they’re often offered, and it’s very advisable to take that opportunity just because if you turn down into alumni, interview, colleges are going to look at you and maybe be like what does he, or she have to hide?
Why does he not want to talk to our alumni? So there’s a few things to think about before you go into the inner review. The first of these is what type of school is it? Is it a research school? Where is it located? What is the student body size? What is the location? What is the curriculum? Some schools are very open with their curriculum.
Brown is huge on allowing students to take basically whatever they want, pass, fail. And there are other schools that take pride in the [00:21:00] very central club curriculum. So the classic example is Columbia. So know what the characteristics are of that college that you’re interviewing for and why you like those characteristics.
And then just answer why you’re applying to that school and have a better answer prepared that Harvard is pretty prestigious. I would like to be a Harvard man because that’s not exactly a very unique answer. Finally, when they’re going into these interviews, have questions ready for the interviewer.
This shows that you’re very engaged in the campus, and it can also help you curate a little bit more about your college experience. For example my interviewer was very helpful in helping me decide if I wanted to eventually get in an MBA. And he also is the one who ended up pushing me into the private equity direction, because it’s a lot better pay for a lot less work than the classic investment banking direction.
So anyway, that can be very helpful. I’m still friends with a few of my interviewers after applications are over. It’s [00:22:00] just a good resource in general. Finally, we have offering updates while waiting for decisions. So when you’re waiting for decisions, it’s important to keep admissions officers up to date with new accomplishments or experiences that you got.
I’ll tell you guys a little bit of a story about this. One of my best friends on EEG to brown and he got deferred, which is a pretty common outcome when you were applying to Ivy league colleges, along with two other people in my grade. So of those three people, he was the owner in wanting to make a proactive effort to contact admissions officers.
It just started with a very simple email saying, Hey, I know that I was deferred, but the school is still my top priority. What would I have to do to get in? And he was ghosted for a few months, but later on in January, he did well at a debate tournament and he won a silver medal and a Scholastic fair for her on poetry.
So you sent another [00:23:00] email that was talking about he’s called, he was also ghosted there for a little while. And finally, one month before decisions were released, his admissions officers came back to him and said, Hey would you, by any chance have any material in your portfolio, we’re still evaluating your applications.
So he submitted a book of poetry that he had written on in the past few months. And lo and behold, when decision day came, he’d gotten off the deferral list for Brad, which is a pretty rare occurrence. And he was the only one from our school to manage, to do that. Admissions officers do enjoy being updated about all the stuff that you’re doing, especially through your senior year, because there’s this really interesting trend that people getting to their senior year, finishing up applications and then deciding okay.
I give up, I’m done. I’m going to chill the rest of the year. And that’s great. It, but I definitely understand the sentiments of that. I was like that as well, but if you want to put in just a little bit more efforts, maybe get you off of waitlist later or get you off to fertile [00:24:00] lists. I think that can be a very worthy investment.
And the final thing that I want to talk about is in the worst case scenario, if your waitlist at a school, I think that it’s very important. If you want to attend that school to submit a letter of continued interest on, which is basically just saying, Hey, I’m still interested. I would like to attend. Even if the school doesn’t have a reputation for taking people off the wait list.
And then the second thing that you should do is update them with any accomplishments that you have. A period, the mind of hobbies, and to be wait-listed at Stanford, and she was pretty big in speech in space. And after offering updates for how she did a few circuit tournaments, she ended up getting off that wait list, even though the waitlist at Stanford is notoriously difficult to get off of.
So that’s definitely an option. The gist of this, the point is don’t lose hope. There’s always going to be options on keeping them updated. And so [00:25:00] finally, I wanted to go through some schools where demonstrated interest is very important and some schools were demonstrated interest isn’t taken into account.
So I’m not going to list on every single one of these. You guys would be here for awhile. And once again, I’d remind you that the slides of this presentation are accessible in the chat. But I do want to say that even for schools that say that they don’t consider demonstrated interest that much. So for example, Harvard or Yale, or those types of schools I still think it’s valuable to be in contact with your admissions officer, just because even if they say that they don’t consider it.
You’re obviously more likely to admit a student who has been in touch with you and who is enthusiastic about the school than a blank face of the four GPA and some impressive extracurriculars. And finally, there’s also an educational aspect to showing demonstrated interest. It helps you learn more about the school and then subconsciously you’re going to be crafting a better essay as a result of that.
So for all of these schools, if you’re truly passionate about attending [00:26:00] them, I highly recommend on going and being in touch with these people at either regional affairs, high school fairs or through email and staying engaged with their mailed college. So that’s it for this presentation. I hope that you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides in the handouts tab or click the link in the public shot, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through the questions that you’ve submitted in the Q and a, and I’ll paste them in the public shop for everyone to see.
And finally, I’ll read them out loud before I answer. And as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. So with that being decided, let’s get into it.[00:27:00]
All right. So our first. Question, which I’m going to put in the chat is what are some good questions to ask college representatives who visit your high school? So I think that the best questions tend to be a little bit more on, on the experience side. So what variances are unique to this school? What are some unique characteristics?
Stuff like that. I’ll give you some more specific examples cause that’s pretty nebulous. I would always ask about special programs that I was interested in on the global management program at Berkeley is one example for schools that didn’t necessarily have very special programs. Questions that I liked to ask were do the majority of students participate in research?
What are pods do internships at this school? What is the athletic scene look like on, I personally play a little bit of basketball and I’m nowhere near good enough to [00:28:00] go D one, but I do want to play it a little bit of club sports. So I would always ask about that. Just showing that you’re interested in the college experience in general is usually more than enough asking about their experiences as well.
If they’re alumni is something that I would often see people do. And I’m not sure if this is advisable, but some of my friends always had meme questions that they would ask. Like my friend who attends Brad would go ask every admissions officer to describe the perfect college student in five adjectives, which is like a fun, little reversal of the essay prompt that most colleges supports their kids to write.
So I’m not sure that ended up helping him out, but if you wanted to be funny as well, I guess if it conveys an impression.
Next up, we have how many optional asset prompts should we answer? Unless the work is really over [00:29:00] whelming for you, especially if this is one of those hard choices, I would recommend the answering all of the essay prompts. Just because it shows the most insight into you on, I think it’s generally considered an advisable strategy.
I also don’t know of very many schools that have five optional essays. I think the most I’ve ever seen is two, which should be pretty manageable. Perfect. Next up we have, this is a long one. So let me get in the shop first. Are you familiar with the coalition app? There’s a question that asks, what is your major of interest?
If you are still undecided, should you put undecided or the one or two majors you might be leaning into? How might the answer affect you either way? I’m not familiar with the coalition, not I’ll get out of their way first. And I think that’s a great question to email some other advisors that bullseye with that being said, I do have some answers for this question about the major gods stocks.
I think that it’s always better to apply having demonstrated interest in a [00:30:00] major, just because if your application aligns with that place, then that might get you into the school a little bit easier. Colleges don’t say that they do this, but in reality, all of them have a subconscious idea of how many spots they’re going to accept for each major.
And so on. I guess if you have some vision, it makes it easier for an admissions officer to see how you’ll fit into the atmosphere of the college. And if you don’t answer anything at all, and one thing that I will tell you is that it’s really easy to switch. I applied to Penn in business economics and public policy, but you don’t have to declare your concentration as whole, the end of your sophomore, beginning of your junior year.
So I’m also contemplating behavioral economics. I’m also contemplating management and the first comes to worst. So I end up defaulting to finance and going to wall street. So don’t feel pressured of committing to a major that on you don’t want to do because there’s plenty of opportunities to split.[00:31:00]
All right. Great question over here. Can you give us a template of a well-written follow-up after a decision? I think that bullseye does have some, these in the resources. I don’t have the access to this right now, but approached me after the webinar and I’ll make sure that I get it for you. And if we don’t I’ll approach my friend as you are, he wrote.
And I’ll definitely make that a publish resource for bullseye, because I do think that could be a really useful tool. Great question. Thank you for that.
What are some ways to see a college has offered scholarships for grants for native Americans? That’s a great question. There’s a lot of specific scholars. That was for specific ethnic racial or social groups. I know that the UCS had a [00:32:00] list where you would just check off everything that you were a part of or identified as a part of, and they would forward you scholarship opportunities.
Based off that beyond that, I think the easiest way is under Googling for established scholarships in the areas or contacting admissions officers. And I think that it’s always worth a shot, even if there is no published information about it.
Okay. We have a few questions. So I’m going to condense all of these into one. What made you choose to attend Yukon on? Yeah, so I can get into this a little bit. My best choices, I would say we’re on a full ride to USC on coordinator. On supine, of course, Hopkins and then regions to Berkeley and automatic admission to their business school and then admission to [00:33:00] UCLA.
And then you Chicago as well. So my parents really wanted me to go to a private school just because the concentration of opportunities there does tend to be a little bit bigger and I wanted to go to a school that was smaller than on Berkeley or LA. So that was the first set of criteria. I ended up getting rid of USC, even though I absolutely loved that campus loved the vibe, just because I thought that there were better ways to get into private equity and the east coast on the schools that feed into that where Chicago on Cornell and Penn, which ended up being my final three choices not to discern any Chicago fans, but.
I did visit Chicago and I personally don’t think the social scene was as extroverted as I liked on the guy that enjoys going to a lot of parts, these, on going out a lot on the weekends and stuff. And so that just wasn’t for me on, and then the [00:34:00] boarding school also just has a great network and it comes to getting people into wall street or private equity or those areas.
So that’s how I made my calls. I am not farming right now. We are currently all online, but as of next semester, if we’re not allowed back on campus, I will be getting an apartment in Philadelphia.
All right. We have.
Which factor is taken in consideration more often for college admissions act, your sat, score, grades, volunteer service, extracurricular assets, scholarship essays, et cetera. That’s a very loaded question. I wish I could give you a very quizzy answer to that, but if I could, I can get you guys into any [00:35:00] school that you want it, and it is a little bit more complicated than this I will say is that the most important thing is standing out one way or another, whether that’s through your seller test scores or extracurricular involvement.
I think test scores are going to matter a little bit less this admission cycle, just because not everyone has had the opportunity to take tests before centers closed down. If it helps you guys, I’ll give you a little bit of a perspective on what my extracurriculars were. So I think that there were like three areas that I talked about the most.
The first was I was pretty involved in debate on. I’d done well individually. And then my senior year, I was one of the 12 students on team USA. So I got to travel around and compete at international tournaments. And beyond that being a very selective opportunity, I also just got to see a lot of the world.
And I think that’s something that admissions officers appreciate it. So that was one of my spikes. A second was that I did a lot of legislative work. I was the legislative intern two [00:36:00] years, one for a local assembly member and then one for my Congressman. So I actually got to write a policy briefs, make recommendations on policy Polish up my research skills a little bit.
So I also think that was a fairly unique experience that not a lot of people get to. And the third was I don’t like to, I don’t know how big of a doctor this was because this also does relate to debate, but one of my big international projects. We’re starting a speech and debate program and in Pakistan, which is where my family is from.
And they haven’t had any of those in the past. So I created it from the ground up. That was a really fun experience, God, to bring over students here. So yeah. Nice scores were fine and stuff, but I think that my extracurriculars really carried my application and yeah, it’s all about just the, a unique if you have more questions about my own portfolio, feel free to message me on after this presentation.
And I think you can get through one more question before our halfway point.
All right. This is a good question. So someone asked what number of colleges is too many to apply to, or what’s the maximum number of colleges you should apply to. I applied to 14 on, got into nine on, I think that’s in general, a good number. I will say that it depends on what schools types of schools you’re applying to.
For me, I literally just went down the list of the top 20, and then I chose, like I was supposed to apply to all of them, got rid of the five schools that I didn’t like, and then applied to all the UCS, which is one application. And that was it. That was how I started with schools. I was applying to, I don’t per se recommend that strategy on it was very short-sighted of me.
I really just wanted to get into a prestigious institution on if you have schools that fit you, that you can spend [00:38:00] more time on. I think it’s more intelligent way you go with your, to go with your college applications. So seeing as you’re through the halfway point, I wanted throw in a quick plug and let you know a little bit more about both.
So we’ve recently partnered with the NCS side to bring you this webinar to bullseye and MSA members. We also have a bunch of free resources at bullseye that can help you with your college applications via webinars, just like this one, and also a bunch of free essay guides that give you specific advice on how to answer supplemental questions for each schools.
Because the session includes, I say, this is the way to show it up and started an interest. I’m going to send everyone a link to our essay guides page, where you can find guides for the schools that you’re applying to. So let me copy and paste that in the shot right now. And then we’ll get back to college application questions.
These are especially helpful by the way, for answering the why school [00:39:00] supplement
- Yeah. And so with that blink side, it’s get back into some of our Q and a.
We’ve have someone talking about what will make someone stand out in an application. Again, a lot of that is just being unique. Here’s two good questions. The first of these is it true that the other students you go to school with are your greatest competition in college applications on, I think this varies institution through institution.
And I also don’t think that this is something that colleges are that public about. Regionally. I know for a fact that the other students in your area are your biggest competition. So I’m from the bay area in California. It’s pretty well not common knowledge that there’s a limited number of seats for bay area kids, just because you don’t want everyone in their college being a tech bro from the bay area who has that set of experience and [00:40:00] says your area definitely matters for your school.
I don’t know, but Some schools got like some high schools, for example, there’s a school called college prep next to me, gets a bunch of kids into duke and a few other IVs every year. So that varies institution through institution on. Okay.
Yeah. That’s the next question. And then on the same person asked, are some majors more difficult to get into than other majors? Yes. Some majors are definitely going to be more competitive. I think that one of the most competitive ones for public schools like the UCS is computer science. It has the reputation for being most difficult just because the most people apply in it with that being said, the level of difficulty doesn’t vary that much.
If you’re a qualified student, I think we’ll get in anywhere. And I don’t think that. Being a little bit scared of a harder application pool [00:41:00] is good reason to apply in a totally unrelated sector.
So some one has a question about community service verification unless it’s a presidential award which also requires verification. I don’t think that admissions officers necessarily need to see these usually. Everything is based on the honor system. If you say that you’ve done stuff that you had write about it in your essays, it’s more or less going to be accepted on.
The one exception is if something was very outlandish, then all the applications officers might contact your high school with your counselor to ask you to submit that proof. So keep that proof handy, but don’t stress out too much about verifying it.
Our next question is, would me attending a private school be something that helps me stand out in admissions? [00:42:00] So sorry about that. On privates school is something that can help you, but I don’t think it’s a drawing itself. Don’t structure your essays being like I went to private school, please accept me.
There’s obviously certain private schools that have a reputation for getting a lot of kids into specific places. Three classic examples are Phillips Andover, Phillips Exeter, and St. Paul’s, which are very expensive or boarding schools in the east coast that get a lot of kids into IVs. The reason certain private schools get more students into high profile schools is that their curriculum is a little bit more challenging and they often have established relations with admissions officers.
If you’re going to one of those schools, that definitely is a draw, but make sure to advertise parts of you that aren’t contingent on the school that you attend. So the service that you do, the scores that are what you’re passionate about, all that stuff is still [00:43:00] incredibly important, regardless of where you go on.
Okay. We have three questions about my college on my personal experiences. We have what got you into Yukon and other competitive universities. Did you use any of these strategies? Where are your test scores? Good. And yeah. Did you use any of these strategies again? I talked a little bit about my extracurricular profile on already on, I did have fairly decent test scores, full disclosure.
I got a 1570 and my sat, I got on 200. Cause my son subject tests, math to physics, I got to seven 80 in chemistry, and then I got straight fives across 12 APS. So yeah, my scores were decent. With that being said, someone else in a year with test scores being largely optional, would you consider interests more important?
Versus things like extracurriculars? That’s a phenomenal question. Yes. I think that both extracurriculars and interests are going to be way more important [00:44:00] this year on, I think the interest especially matters in schools that I’ve been hit on in regards to their endowment who are really looking for students who are willing to go into Tunde.
So yes, this does matter a lot, especially this year.
Next, we have a question about the UC specifically, which is something that I can speak to being from California. Is it okay to apply to all these UCS? Because I heard that rivalries between the schools can get you rejected. I have been down this corner about it as well. I will I’ll admit that short answer.
No, that’s conspiracy theory. I’ve heard a lot of these rumors about if you get into USC, you won’t be getting into UCLA because they don’t like each other. Or if you get into Berkeley, you won’t be getting into LA because people are just going to go to Those are urban legends. This process is complicated enough.
There is no admissions officer. Who’s going to be like, Hey, this kid is really good. Let me make sure that LA is at an [00:45:00] acceptable because I want him at Berkeley. So do not worry about that. If you want to apply to all the new CS, apply to all the UCS don’t feel bad about getting rejected or don’t blame potential rejections on institutional rivalries.
The next question is a really good question. It’s very pertinent to the materials. That I just presented. Where would you find access to the contact information of admissions officers? Should we limit the number of AOS that we contact per university? So do you want to be contacting your regional admissions officer?
The way that you find that is pretty simple, go to a list of the admissions officers for schools. They usually have a list of the different areas that you should mission officer on takes and then contact the admission officer for your area specifically. And then your school can also get you in touch with them, but usually a Google search will suffice.
If [00:46:00] not feel free to go talk to your counselor.
We have a question about athletics recruitment. If you were being recruited as an athlete, how important is it to reach out to admissions officers? Is it better to ask these questions directly to coaches since you already may have an open dialogue? I don’t know that much about athletic recruitment.
Full disclosure. A few of my friends are going to Stanford on athletics. So I’ll answer based off my understanding of what happened there. Yes, my understanding is the majority of the interactions did happen through coaches and those coaches would later contact admissions officers. I also understand that admissions officers opinions don’t really matter as much as they would with conventional applicants.
When talking about athletics, coaches are given a lot more discretion there. So yes, I do think it’s better to build those relationships and preserve established coaches.[00:47:00]
What is the honors college? Is it really competitive to get into honors colleges? And what does student benefit from it? What do they get from being involved with that? Yeah. So honors colleges are separate subsections of certain universities that give students access to privileges. This might be better.
Jordan’s on access to harder classes, access to research. And it’s usually for the academic upper echelon of those types of schools. I think they’re pretty beneficial to get involved in on, honestly, not a lot of the schools that I applied to had honors colleges except for UFC. But it was nice.
They gave us access to the best dorms on canvas and yeah, a bunch of other resources. They were very kind to us with merchandise as well. So I can’t speak on it that much. That might be a better question for someone who attends an honors college right now, I’m out of university, but I do know that students there stuck on some special perks.[00:48:00]
What is the most supportive thing to focus on for those still a ways from applying to colleges? Great question. I’ll answer this in light of demonstrated interest. And then if you want me to answer a lot of extracurriculars later, just feel free to contact me afterwards. I’m going to put my email in the shot, just so it’s because I realized that you guys don’t have access to that right now.
So my emails are hunted at Wharton, got groupon.edu. In regards to demonstrated interest with this looks like a sitting in a regional webinars, talking to regional admissions officers on sitting in on high school meetings, learning about campuses and professors that you want to get involved in and doing all that preliminary work.[00:49:00]
We have a question about AP or IB on cause being in these classes that you noticed. Yes, it does. Just because it shows that you’re taking more academically rigorous courses with that being said I’ve noticed a movement in colleges in recent years. Just because the AP market is so over-saturated, I’m guilty of this as well.
I took APS, not because I was genuinely interested in them, but just because that was the norm for applying to colleges on. Yeah. And so that’s what a lot of colleges are considering them less and less with that being said. I still think they matter. I still think having an academically rigorous schedule is important.
And one alternative that I would discuss to this is dual enrollment or involvement and community colleges becoming very common as a way of showing you’re passionate about certain projects. In my school district, at least every college class was graded the same as an AP class. So it was a little bit more unique of a way of showing.
Hey, like I do [00:50:00] stuff that isn’t just for college, I’m genuinely passionate about these subjects.
Feel free to keep the questions coming because I am almost at the end of it. And we do have eight more minutes left. It doesn’t have to be about demonstrated interest could be about anything. Our PFAC score is just as important as other test scores to schools. No good question. They are not your PSA to you determines absolutely nothing, except whether or not you got the national merit scholarship and potentially other scholarships by the college board.
If you do not end up getting these scholarships, no one knows or cares about your PSA T scores. So the vast majority of friends that I’ve had, who have gotten into Ivy league schools are equivalents were not national merit. Semifinalists finalists are scholars. Don’t stress about this one too much.
And the [00:51:00] last question on the shot for now is it okay to get A’s and B’s in high school and still be able to die and die. So just in a nutshell, having one or two bees won’t ever kill you with that being said on the advice that I would give you is higher. Grades are always better. I did have a 4 0 1 way to, for seven ways going into college applications on if you’re going to be, it’s not the end of the world.
Don’t stress about it at all. With that being said, one of my friends managed to get into Dartmouth with a C in physics. And he had a pretty interesting story. He suffers from migraines and during the final one year, he just got in migraine on, and then he took AP physics the next year, just to prove that he could do well in it and got an a, and then he ended up getting into Dartmouth, Berkeley, Ella.
For those types of unique circumstances, don’t stress about it. My friends who actually, every single friend that I have currently goes to Stanford has gotten to be at [00:52:00] some point in high school. So don’t stress out too much about that stuff.
We have, is there an amount of AP classes that is too little? For example, if I only take four APS in some honors classes, will colleges still consider me a competitive applicant? This is really in context of what your school offers. I know friends from the Midwest too hot, no AP classes in their schools.
I also have friends from areas that were a little bit less awful, and we didn’t have access to a like IB curriculum or AP curriculum. Colleges will consider your application in light of what opportunities you had access to. So don’t stress about this at all. And the other thing is, if you, even if you had access to AP classes and you didn’t take that many of them, but you were out there doing incredible work in the world, that’s still going to reflect in you really well.
As an applicant [00:53:00] can explain why you didn’t take these difficult classes. There is no one size fits all path to college substances. You really do have to be unique. And even though the quintessential way of doing that is having an absurdly hard schedule that you do well, it is by no means the only or easiest way to get to these schools.
We have a question about clubs. If you’re part of the specific clubs, we’ll help you get into colleges. In my experience, the answer tends to be it depends more on the work that you’ve done with that club saying you are a part of the California scholarship foundation or national honor society. You go and help you per se.
If you’ve done very cool projects with organized fundraisers and stuff. Just talk about it in your essays that maybe yes, it does help. So it’s less about the title or about what you’ve actually done with that. Okay.[00:54:00]
And then we have a question about AP classes on. My school doesn’t have any AP classes, but it’s an accelerated school and an early college, does my admission depend on my essays and extracurriculars? No, that is incredible. That is a very interesting model of school that I was not aware of. Colleges are definitely going to consider that unique.
And if you’ve been challenging yourself with your schedule, you are not at any disadvantage compared to other schools that might overload an AP classes. So don’t stress out about that at all. Would that be excited? Yes. Essays in extracurricular still do matter. There’s no such thing as a golden ticket to a top school.
It’s best to work on all these areas and get them as perfected or polished as you can.
It didn’t do much during my freshman and sophomore year, but I did a lot more during my junior and senior year will not affect my college decisions, but it looked like I rushed to do extracurriculars and AP classes. [00:55:00] My advice here is better, late than never. They’re going to see that you’re more motivated.
One of my friends was like this on and just a bit is if you do unique stuff, show that you’re motivated and finally show that you have a passion other than just getting into college. So you’re passionate about something outside of that one acceptance letter. I think that tends to reflect the best in applicants.
So make sure that when you’re doing these AP IB classes, crazy extracurriculars or whatever, there’s a reason independent of. I want to go to a good school that you’re doing these
We have one question about QuestBridge ongoing to maintain, unlike not going to answer this because I have no experience with QuestBridge whatsoever. And I don’t want to give this information, but I do know we have bullseye advisors who have been QuestBridge scholars, and I can direct you to those after this webinar for more specific questions about it.[00:56:00]
We have time for one or two more questions. So what is an average GPA or higher that you would recommend to have out of high school? When applying on this is a tough question to answer because it’s tension to a lot of other factors, like what you’ve done in high school. What other draws you have on as a general rule on, I feel like the majority of people that I know who have been accepted to on top 10 colleges have is like a three eight unweighted or above.
So a handful of things. Perhaps and that’s all, but there’s again, no one size fits all policy. I don’t want to discourage you guys. Also one caveat that I will say is that I as handed a very hyper competitive area in regards to colleges, everyone really did the most. It is [00:57:00] regard it’s evaluated in terms of what your area is like.
So things might be different for people who aren’t living in like the bay area in California.
And that looks like the list of questions that we have so far. And we are at 5 59. So that’s perfect. That’s the end of the session. I had a really good time telling you guys about What to do when demonstrating interest these colleges. And if you have more questions that you start to get sued, or that you would want to message me privately on, feel free to either contact me through bullseye or just approach my email.
I’m going to drop that in the chat. One more time. It’s our home at Wharton got Yukon thought really knew our next. Webinar’s going to be in two days on Tuesday from eight to nine Eastern. This is a college panel from Boston university and Boston college. So on feel free to go to and do not that’s our last webinar for September, but it won’t be our last two webinars [00:58:00] ever.
We have a brand new series lined up for you on the month of October and some sessions that you’re welcome to attend for free. So with that being said, thank you so much for coming out of this webinar. I hope that you all say stay safe, take care and good luck with your application.