My Admissions Journey as a Former Admissions Officer
CollegeAdvisor.com presents My Admissions Journey as a Former Admissions Officer in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with Rose Cherubin. Our CollegeAdvisor will share their insider perspectives on applying to college as a first-generation American. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2021-06-22 My Admissions Journey as a Former Admissions Officer
[00:00:00] Hi everyone. Hi everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on Rose’s Admissions Journey as a Former Admissions Officer. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelist.
Hello, everyone. Hope you all are doing well. Thank you so much for joining us this evening. My name is Rose Cherubin, and I am a former senior director of admissions and multicultural recruitment at Hobart and William Smith colleges. No, it’s not Hogwarts. No, it’s not William and Mary. No, it’s not Smith college.
No, it’s not Harvard Hobart and William Smith colleges. If you say it three times fast, you get a dollar from me. Um, we’re also acronymed HWS and we’re in the middle of New York state. Not [00:01:00] upstate if you’re from New York city, but we’re smack dab in central New York. Um, and I’m also very proud that it is my Alma mater, where I graduated in class 2015, and I have a degree in public policy.
So for me, my college admissions process was as the young people say, chaotic, hectic, whatever you want to call it. Um, so for me, born and raised in New York city, and I felt that going away to college was really the only chance that I had to expand my horizons and just leave home and experience the world.
Um, it was a lot of research involved in the process. And as I tell my students now that I work with is that research will be your best friend in anything you do in life. Um, I was all over YouTube and looking at tons of videos, mostly utilizing my network and like talking to friends and upper-classmen about their experiences.
Um, could also connecting with my guidance counselors that were in my high school to look over everything, look over my [00:02:00] applications. And then of course, reaching out to admissions representatives and current students, and also other prospective students in the process.
So for me, a lot of factors, uh, were really big in my decision to go away and also my application. So one being the money, the money. So I do not come from a, you know, well-off financial family. Um, my family, we identify as working class. My mom is a registered nurse and my father is in New York city, yellow cab driver.
So if you see a yellow cab down the street EAP, I tried to kind of get him to like put the decal of my, on the monitor on the back of his taxi, but he said, he’s not allowed to, but like one day I will, one day I’ll get it there. So for me, I’m also a second generation first generation, depending on how you call it American, my parents are actually from the beautiful island of Haiti.
And so I identify as a Haitian American. [00:03:00] And so it’s also pretty key that I mentioned that to you because when my parents came to this country, they came when they were older as adults. And so the process in them acclimating to the us and the culture was different than if they were younger. Um, so it was also being mindful of that almost generation gap just in general, but then also that major cultural gap as well from traditional Haitian culture.
And then also American culture. Um, education in my home was like very big. That was literally the only thing I had to do if I didn’t have to clean, if I have. It was study and hit the books and just do that. And so for a lot of Haitian American students, especially young women, you’re not encouraged to leave, you know, your local area to go to college.
For me, I live not lying to you all I live about maybe on a good MTA transit day. I’m about [00:04:00] maybe less than 20 minutes away from the nearest, um, city, university of New York. Um, and that’s Brooklyn college. So they thought, oh, you’re going to Brooklyn college right down there. No. Um, and so it’s actually contributes to a running joke in Haitian American culture where it’s lit called Lac cry.
And that literally translates to school, church and home. That’s it. You don’t know nothing else. Um, and so the traditional residential experience wasn’t anything that I thought I could have, or even my peers thought I could have, because I went to small school environments. So everybody knew each other’s family and people were like, you’re not going to go where your parents aren’t gonna let you.
And then I was like, watch me.
So for my application, my strength, I would say is my essay. I actually was looking back on some of my old files and I actually found my college essay. Um, so it brought me back to even look at the stuff that [00:05:00] I was talking about. Initially I was pre-med. And so it was pretty interesting to read everything back again and talking about how I wanted it to be on television and a news correspondent, et cetera.
Um, how life changes, but one day you never know. And the president news correspondent does watch. Um, but I’m here with you all in a webinar. So I am on your big screen. Um, so for my extracurriculars, I did the Arthur Ashe Institute for urban. And remember I said I was pre-med. Um, so that especially took up a lot of my time.
Um, so we focused in, on medicine and public health research all in high school. I was also interested in debate. So I don’t know if anyone knows about junior statesmen of America also known as GSA. It’s a debate program, um, and talks about civic engagement and leadership. Interestingly enough, I now have a degree in public policy and summer youth employment, which I did for about two summers.
And they’re like paid sponsor jobs sponsored by New York city and [00:06:00] learning piano. Don’t ask me if I still play cause adult, but I tap in my creativity in other ways. So weakness of my application. My test scores. I’m not going to tell you how old I am, but I graduated from high school in 2011. So back in my day, we had the SAT’s out of 2,400.
So we use drop in the chat. If you remember, or if you have any parents that are near your older siblings that remember this, and it was out of 24 hours. Um, and we also didn’t have access to the resources that you all have now with Khan academy and the free programs. It was either you get the test prep or you’re out on your own, that’s it.
And so my test scores were not the strongest. I vaguely remember the number. Uh, can I tell you, I’ll tell you I’m grown now. Um, my sat scores out of 2,400 were about 1,000 or so, so they were quite low. Um, but I knew my test scores did not define me and my grades were super high. [00:07:00] Um, and I was an amazing critical thinker.
And so I knew test optional schools were going to be the best fit for me. And so it was truly an amazing experience for me to have found them on my, um, admissions cycle journey. So again, research is key and important, and I did also purposely my higher options, my higher choices. I only applied to test option.
So for me applying as a first-generation American and I also call myself a first-generation traditional college student. And I’ll give you a quick breakdown as to why. Um, so I say traditional, because for me, I’m an only child. Um, and so between my parents is that I was the one who went to college, you know, traditional age from like 17 to 20.
Whereas my parents, when they came to the U S when you travel from another country, oftentimes the United States, sometimes the United States may not recognize degrees or [00:08:00] accreditations from other countries. So you have to restart all over again from scratch. And that’s what my parents did. So my father has actually vocational training and my mother is a registered nurse and she had to restart everything when she was older and with me.
So she would have been considered a non-traditional student when going to college and in nursing school. But for me, I went straight out from high school from 17 to 21. Um, again also being Asian American and my parents’ cultural understanding of the residential college experience, um, for a lot of immigrant families, regardless of their background is that the American college experience is often of what they know on television.
Even when I studied abroad, my host sisters would talk about what they knew of the American college life. Oh, what they saw on Netflix and other American TV that they could have access to. And so we know is that because, um, American culture is very much of about the self and of freedom of expression. So when you have a lot of [00:09:00] families that are not quite accustomed to that, and it’s very traditional, it’s very rigid.
You follow this pad, doctor, lawyer, engineer, or else, it can be quite difficult to have those conversations with your families. And I can tell you, it was quite hard for me to have those conversations. Um, but I was able to do it, uh, and also applying, applying from New York city. So I’m a born and raised new Yorker.
I’m from Brooklyn. If you can’t already tell the best borough, you could fight me in the chat later. Um, and so I was intentionally applying to schools in suburban and rural areas. I told you I wanted to see the world. I wanted to see a cow go move. I wanted to see just grass everywhere, concrete, like walk on the grass.
Like when my bare feet, cause it kinda can’t do that in New York city depending on where you are. Um, but I really wanted that experience and that residential quad life experience and smell fresh air. Um, also another thing is the reality is that I also was applying to [00:10:00] predominantly white institutions.
So I had to know and understand and accept is that I would be one of the few when attending college, maybe one of the few black students, one of the few students of Haitian descent and also being from New York city too. So I just had to reconcile with that in order for me to continue to move forward in my process of going forward in my traditional college.
So what appealed to me about a liberal arts school? Uh, first off the depth of the academics, um, I am someone who I consider myself a forever lifelong learner. I love learning. Um, and I think I, I accredit that to my parents because again, Lac high school. That was it. That’s all I had to do. And because of that, I really do have a strong passion for learning.
Um, and in a liberal arts curriculum, you can truly study whatever you [00:11:00] want. And what’s beautiful about it is that you can also study what you’re interested in and then supplement it with what ever else you want to, which for me as, because my brain is always going and I love learning different things.
If you play trivia, you would want me on your team. Because that is how much I love to learn and just learn about new things. And so for me, I said, okay, liberal arts curriculum would provide me that flexibility that I really want for my academics while focusing on something concrete, um, liberal arts education also allows for you to look at different topics with a very open mind and encourage critical thinking.
I can say is that one of my values now in life is that I always look at things beyond face value and that’s truly what the liberal arts experience has taught me. And even when I advise students here at CollegeAdvisor and also in, in my full-time job, I think passive what students are telling me and I dig deep.
And once you dig deep, [00:12:00] that’s when you’re able to get a lot out of the experience. And that’s how also, uh, in being your advisor, I’m able to also help you articulate your story. Um, the liberal arts education also helps you strengthen your core skills or writing logical reasoning and understanding. I have never seen science students because again, at the time I was pre-med.
Seen science students panic about getting like, not the best scores in their lab reports because of a missing comma or semi-colon Kohler misplaced. Yeah, because the faculty said, listen, you’re not going to go out there in the world as a science student and not represent your best self in your writing.
So writing is keen and essential skill, logical reasoning and understanding. Um, again that it, it, it is for a reason that a lot of fortune 500 companies, even startups, big companies, they’re hiring noxious from the IVs, from the large publics or the large tech schools. But they’re also hiring from liberal arts colleges because they [00:13:00] understand is that liberal arts grads come in with a different perspective and critical thinking that is essential to the job and also enhancing the job.
The small school class sizes. I have been in small schools, my entire life. My eighth grade class was about 12 students and I’ve been in the same school from pre-K to eighth grade. Then after that, ask me where my high school was about two to three blocks down from where I went to elementary and middle school.
And even then when I graduated, we had the smallest class about a hundred students. So small schools are all I knew. I literally refuse to go to any large school. Like I was, I wasn’t having it. So small schools were the best fit for me. And, um, even in my graduate program now, small was the way I wanted to go to really get that personalized attention.
Um, great academic and student support services. Um, it was just truly an amazing experience to be able to connect with my faculty, connect with fellow students and get that extra assistance. I’m all about asking [00:14:00] for help. I tell my students all the time, if you don’t ask for help, close melds, do not get fed.
So ask for help. And that’s when I wanted to make sure I had access to it. And also again, knowing my faculty and for them to get to know me as a student, um, relationship building is key when you get to college and life and beyond. And even now, from when I entered grad school, I actually reached out to some of my old faculty say, Hey, can you write me like a letter of recommendation for graduate school and their lecture?
No problem. Right? Because we kept in contact. Um, so it was just amazing experience. And so for me, what did I like about my Alma mater? So fun fact last year, 2020, I was supposed to celebrate my five-year reunion, but. Panini sandwich had hit. So now we had it in 20, 20, 21. Yes. We’re in 2021 and we had it virtually.
So it was about a few weeks ago. Um, and so as it, as much as it was bittersweet that it was a virtual experience, um, it made me urine even more to go back to the campus, mind you. I [00:15:00] worked there after I, after college graduation. So that shows you of how much I really enjoyed my experience. Um, and it’s just really on the stall feeling in place to go back to, first of all, it’s beautiful.
I knew like my fellow classmates, that literally like, when it came down to the decision of choosing a school, they literally chose our school because it’s so pretty. Um, we overlook the lake. So I don’t know if you all can see in the background a little bit, but that’s a drone shot of the school and it, yes, it overlooks a lake.
Like if you, from the admissions office, you got a good arm on you, you could throw a rock and it lands right in the water. Um, so it’s pretty awesome. And we also get lake view. So it’s pretty, um, professors were always just available and ready to help students, um, the alumni network, um, again, even going to my college reunion, even virtual or going to the meetups that we have, um, every year for the holidays.
Um, the alumni network is just truly awesome. Really, even quick story. I was on a plane on my way to Los Angeles to meet with students for the posse program, because I helped did [00:16:00] final selection for posse. And I had a whole of colleges, Penn on the plane, the woman sitting next to me, she went to Cornell and we’re right above Cornell, but 45 minutes away, she said, oh, did you go to Hobart?
I said, yeah, I went, she goes, a lot of my friends. She’s like, I’m from long island. A lot of my friends went to Hobart and I went to Cornell. So I was always at your campus every weekend, visiting my friends. Um, even another fun. Funny thing is my friend was walking along the road one day and he just saw this old man.
Almost get hit by a car to run across the street to say hello to him. And my friend is panicking left first off, who was this old man who almost got hit by a car running, trying to run over to me? Am I going to, should I be scared? And because my friend’s face is in some of our publications, no. Uh, elderly gentlemen had said to him, oh, did you go to Hobart William Smith colleges?
And it was just like, wait, what? Um, so again, that alumni network, you just never know. Um, students, you can pursue. What I love the most about the community is that you could be interested in different things and [00:17:00] that’s okay. You know, so quick fun fact, not to brag or whatever, but I, um, so if you watch the super bowl, the Tampa bay Buccaneers one, and one of the Tampa bay Buccaneers is actually one of my classmates, uh, Allie Marvette.
And so he was interested in economics and philosophy and you see him, he’s this big tall burly guy, but he was so shy and quiet and kind of kept himself really sweet and he loved volunteering. And that’s something that he actually does in his, um, position, I think is offense linebacker. Don’t fight me now.
Don’t tell him, I said this. And so he actually, uh, has a really strong investment in community service, which is actually one of our school’s strongest missions is community service. So you could be an athlete and love economics and philosophy and math and volunteer. Uh, for me, I did a lot on campus. I was a policy student involved in research about super involved.
I was an RA, I did research dance clubs. I was part of the Caribbean student association, other clubs. I did leadership programs. I was part of [00:18:00] honor societies. So I did a lot. And what’s nice about it is that through that you meet other people and then your friends, your new friends will meet other people.
So I like to talk about our social scene as like a web we’re interconnected, by some way, you know how they say, like you’re related to like six people you’re related to each other by six people in the world. That’s kind of like our, our social scene at HWS is that you’re bound to know someone through someone, through someone.
Um, and it’s just a really awesome community and great financial aid package. I have no. No loans after undergrad and to be very transparent as well for my financial aid package, my parents paid less than $10,000 a year for my education. Um, so that was really amazing. Even my final year. I remember my dad got the bill and he saw $500 and he said, who did you Rob up there to like, get this big of a discount?
I said, nothing. I’m just that amazing. And like, I do what I’m supposed to do. I focus on my classes and again, [00:19:00] $500 debt free graduate school. That’s a different story. Everybody takes out debt, FYI. Right. Um, great study abroad program. I went to Copenhagen Denmark in my junior year. Um, just truly a beautiful experience that I had.
And I actually just, uh, connected again with my host mom to wish her a happy birthday and see how she’s doing and see the new doggies that they have. Um, it was truly just an awesome experience and so immersive. Like I finally just remembering, I can literally see, I lived in, I live, lived in another country for four to five months.
It was just awesome. Um, Wegmans, I did not understand the beauty of Wegmans until I went to college now, you know, Wegmans is amazing when my parents told me, Hey, will this cause that’s how you say my name and Creole was. Did you know that Brooklyn is going to get a Wegmans? Oh, I said, I knew I still have my Wegmans card from college.
That’s still good. And we went down to the way. And had an [00:20:00] amazing time. So it’s a little far from where I live in Brooklyn, but it was truly like all my college friends. We were like, oh my God, when he’s coming to New York city, it was like a, it was like a huge celebration. Even like from the founding Wegmans in Rochester, they came down to the city to like, have like the press conference and everything.
It’s actually interesting. Cause one of my friends from high school, her brother works now at Wegmans. So when I go over there, I’m like even my stomping grounds, young man. Um, but just truly, like when I go to Wegmans, it literally reminds me of my college. And again, having access to diversity, even at a PWI.
Um, so they had a Caribbean student association, which I became leader of prime minister. Um, also even amongst there weren’t a lot of patient American students, but when we saw each other, we were like sock up fed. That’s like a greeting that we say in Creole, like what’s up, what’s good. How you doing? Um, and it was pretty cool because I got to also interact with different cultures.
Um, got to participate in the [00:21:00] south Asian cultural club events, uh, Asian student union, um, Latino American organizations, and just really learn more, a lot about, uh, different cultures. And even though I’m from one of the most diverse cities in the world, I didn’t have access to a lot of diversity until I went to high school and even including college.
And that even meant students that were white. And I actually had a white roommate and we actually nicknamed each other Ebony and ivory. We were such polar opposites in our growing up experience, our personalities, but we just worked so well. So also be mindful is that diversity can literally mean even something that you’re not used to at all.
Um, and I had an amazing experience. So what did I like about like the least about my experience? Um, one Nicole, at the time I applied there weren’t many scholarship opportunities for me because I did apply tests optional. But now there are more tests, optional opportunities. And I’m proud to say, as I had a part in that when, uh, on the admissions committee and we were creating new [00:22:00] scholarships, uh, we voted for some of our scholarships.
Let’s make it test optional. And now with the circumstances with the pandemic, a lot more schools are going test optional with their scholarships. But I’m proud to say is that my institution was already doing that before the pandemic. Um, not having a license at the time. Can you believe I am from New York city?
I don’t have a license, not as believable. I got my license while working at admissions, which you’re really not supposed to have. You’re supposed to have your license before you start in admission. But again, that connection, the president of the institution actually gave me my job and I’ll never forget the VP at the time gave me money.
In my hand that shows you how strong that environment is. And he said, here’s the money hoping we’ll get your license. We can’t keep paying for these Uber’s. I still took Uber as though, because I couldn’t drive highway at the time still. Um, and so I still, unfortunately don’t know how to drive highway that’s.
One of my goals is to just practice highway driving and, uh, to really enjoy the experience of the finger lakes region. It it’s just [00:23:00] truly beautiful. If you asked me what was one thing I regret in my college experience, and that was not adventuring, the finger lakes I did after college when I was working.
But again, I didn’t have a car or like the license experience to drive on my own and experience things. Um, but truly it’s, it’s a beautiful place. Um, and wish me luck that I, when I get on my highway driving skills, I’m all up in the finger lakes, driving around to the awesome hotspots on my own. Oh. Also to mention that we had a very cute downtown area that was.
So I did go downtown all the time with my own two feet. That’s very walkable and we had a campus shuttle that ran around. Um, so it was really awesome. You can get to, and from the campus in downtown, like quick and like less than 10 minutes by walking, but like less than five seconds by driving. Awesome.
Okay. So what did I learn about the admissions process during my time as the admissions officer? So again, I worked in admissions at my Alma mater and I saw behind the curtain. Um, the whole student matters, uh, everything on down to your lived experiences, what [00:24:00] you feel comfortable sharing your grades, your grades have a story, your essay, your story, your letters of recommendation, everything and interviews.
I even asked students about home what’s home. Like, because you know, your family can also play a role in the decisions that you make or even the decisions that you make for college or even life after communication is. I feel like that’s just a life lesson. You have to communicate. You want anything in life you got at school, you got to communicate relationship building another thing about life.
And I tell my students all the time building that social capital is key. You have to let the admissions representative get a chance to know who you are, right. Because if I didn’t know who a student was, I couldn’t literally, you know, proverbially fight for them at the, at the committee table. So the more that I knew about a student, the more that I was able to advocate for them in the committee process, and even like, sit there and look down my vice president [00:25:00] and director for a good 20 minutes plus, and be like, no, I want this student for this reason because I had a chance to know that student, um, if it’s optional, you don’t know it.
I already know what that means. Just do it. Okay. Like Nike just do it, but it depends. Okay. So for example, test optional, that’s optional, right? That may really just be test optional, but again, ask the institution because for scholarships, they may still require scores for test optional. You have to maybe submit some type of document saying why you didn’t submit your test scores.
So again, this is why communication and relationship building is key. Um, if an interview is being offered and I want to stress that if you do have the ability to, uh, effectively and comfortably communicate your thoughts, because we have students that may deal with anxiety that may deal with processing, um, then they’re not able to process words and be able to articulate [00:26:00] themselves the way that they want to.
If you are able to comfortably share about yourself, do the interview. It’s like eating your vegetables is good for you. You’re not going to skip out on your vegetables. So don’t skip out on the interview. That is the prime time for the admissions representative to put a face to the application. Not only that, that’s your time also to interview the institution.
It goes both ways. Honesty’s the best policy. I cannot stress this enough, especially for your grades and your disciplinary record. Um, we know is that students, you know, you’re trying to just look perfect to the admissions committee. Please don’t lie because they can tell, we can tell. And when we find out that doesn’t work for you in your favor, we actually I’ve actually admitted students that helped admit students that when they were honest and they provided the background story [00:27:00] because they were the ones that told their story, because no one knows you better than you.
We were still even able to give them an awful. Because of everything, a part of their story. So again, your story is very important. The whole student matters and families are part of the process. Families. If y’all are on the call, students, you can tell your families. I said this, they got a problem. Tell them, find me families support your students.
Don’t suppress them. This is something common, especially amongst first-generation families or second generation families, where the expectations are so high that they often forget is that your students are people too, that with their own dreams, their own goals. And we know that it was a very big deal for a lot of our families to come over to the United States.
Some even risking their lives, right to come over here and to be able to embrace the freedom that that, um, American society has to offer for. [00:28:00] Parents caretakers families, let your children embracing experience of what American society has for them, but we know that you love them and you want to protect them as you have a right to do so, but encourage them in the process.
I promise you when you encourage your young people, they just go so far and do so many awesome things. They will thank you for it later.
So, what do I do now? I work in an entrepreneurship, nonprofit. I do post-secondary advising and organized curriculum. I mean, graduate student. I told you I love learning. I’m a master’s candidate in education, policy and leadership. I’m also a senior advisor here at CollegeAdvisor. I’m an alum volunteer on my Alma mater.
I’m on the committee for an alumni, not alumni, alumni, alumni, it’s for women career development program. Uh, I’m a freelance. Oh, I’m also an admissions volunteer because you have got to give back to the admissions team. To me, I’m a freelance [00:29:00] photographer, so I don’t play piano anymore, but my creativity comes out through my camera.
We can talk camera lens later. Uh, I look up tons. I told you I love self-teaching. So tell teaching a skill on YouTube. I’m always on YouTube. I have a whole YouTube account dedicated to DIY and organizing my Pinterest boards. I’m on there way too much, but it comes in handy though.
So, what advice would I give to all of you lovely students in your college application process? First of all, I’m sure you’ve heard this before many times. I’m sure there’s a video about it on Tik TOK or Instagram reels or the YouTube shorts, stop comparing yourself to others. Why would you now want to compare your unique, awesome self to someone else?
That’s not fair to you, right? Let people know who you are as an individual, right? You bring so much to the table. You are the sauce. You are the pizza, you’re the sauce. You are. The [00:30:00] secret ingredients. Let us get to experience who you are, get the help that you need in this process. Um, having access to a dedicated CollegeAdvisor is a huge help.
And if I knew about services like CollegeAdvisor during my time, uh, in my admission cycle, I think that even though I’m still happy and excited with where I went, I think they couldn’t even help me with like test prep to get higher scores, to be able to get those like big names, scholarships that were being offered and also even learn more about the college experience before I got to college.
Right. So in addition to my own research, having someone else who went through the process to give me extra information, I think would have helped me out a lot to be mindful of what you share. I, you know, typically because right now, um, we know a lot of students have experienced just different things in this pandemic.
And even before the pandemic, you know, you live your own life and [00:31:00] life has been hard for a lot of us and especially for our young people, but I do want you to be mindful. And this is a thing that’s in the college access space of the traumatic. I tell a lot of people is that if it does not lead to your story and who you are, if it has not informed who you are in this present day or the, even the career or the goals that you have, the exercise discernment, when you put it in there, I often tell people, I use this analogy of like, if you ain’t, if you’re not going to go up to a random person on the block and mind you, I live in New York city, you make friends with the most random people ever.
If I’m not going to tell them the deep intimate aspects of my life. And sometimes you’ll be chitchatting with people in the cab and just talking. And you’re like, oh my gosh, Hey, this and that. But if I’m not going to share the most deep, crazy things that have happened in my life, that even though they are part of my story and a lot of the goals that I want to accomplish, if I’m not going to share them with a random stranger on the road, [00:32:00] Why would I now share them in the admissions process?
Right. So you want to make sure is that it’s okay. To be honest and share your story, be honest. Yes. But those deep, intimate parts of your story, if, if you don’t want to share them and you’re sharing them just to do it, I want you to be mindful, be comfortable with what you share in this process, because it’s not just one person reading.
It could be a committee of 20 people reading this, even faculty reading it. So you want to be mindful is that, that you feel comfortable in sharing that story. Um, and I also kind of give the horror story analogy. You see a horror movie and you just see random things popping up on the screen. Like, oh my gosh, like saw Anabel, oh my gosh, like us, like what was going on?
And you saw all these crazy things pop up in front of your face. And there’s no context behind it. No, nothing. You learn nothing about the main character. You learn nothing about the villain. You learn nothing about the structure or the plot line. You learn nothing, all you just always crazy images. Now you about to go to bed at night, shaking in your boots.
Cause you just [00:33:00] saw something crazy on your movie screen. Think of it like that. If there’s no context and meaning behind that, I want for you all to exercise discernment. I had to stress that because it happens a lot and we’re seeing that a lot more in the college access spaces. So I want you to be mindful, always proofread, y’all know the tutor.
I tutored kids. And then the person will, I tortured kids, you know, yang torture the kids, you know, you tutored the kids, but you got to make sure the spellcheck is right. Um, don’t be afraid to have other people read your essay to help you look it over. Always make sure however that your voice stands in this process.
You can tell when a parent or a teacher or a counselor kind of wrote the, wrote the essay. And even me when I’m helping to do advising, I always want to make sure is that my student’s voice are in the forefront. I am just here to serve as a person, as a guide to help you structure that essay and proofread and make sure everything flows correctly.
But your voice is [00:34:00] always there.
Okay. So I’m sending out a poll, um, and we would love to know where everyone is in the application process.
Okay. Looks like we have some people researching schools and working on their essays. A few who haven’t started yet,
the, the majority seem to be researching schools, which makes sense. Okay. I think the numbers are starting to, even out. We have eight people who haven’t started 24, who are researching schools, 11 who are working on their essays and six who are getting their application materials together. All right. If anyone else wants to submit, that’s good.
And if not, I will close the poll.[00:35:00]
All right. So this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a we’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat so you can see and then read them out loud.
Before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page. Hey, it looks like we don’t have any questions yet, so please send them in.
Um, I have a question. What did you write your college essay about since you sought re again recently? Okay. So for me, I, uh, so I was fascinated with like, at the time watching the news and I was pre-med and seeing like Dr. [00:36:00] Sanjay Gupta on television and like traveling and going to all of these like crazy war zones and traveling, and I told you I’m a city kid.
I like adventure. Um, ask me if I’ll skydive. I get, I get nervous watching those videos, but that’s something I want to do one day. Right. It gives you a sense of like, just, I’m trying to just do different things. And for me, um, I wanted to use medicine as a way to give back and to help others. Um, so for me, growing up, like I talked about even my own experiences and having people very close to my family, having chronic illnesses and having to almost be like a part-time caretaker at a young age for my mom who was sick and seeing that firsthand.
And like, my mom is also a nurse, so I’m totally familiar with going into the hospitals and like even going to nursing homes and seeing people or seeing elders, et cetera. And I just thought of it as a way for me to help others do the perspective. And again, that, that life first-generation family push to be a doctor.
Um, and so for me, it was really [00:37:00] all about, I want to give back, I want to go into areas of parts of the world where, um, people don’t have. And wanting to be there advocating, using medicine as a way for that. And then also sharing that information with the world. Um, so being on television and remain information and educating other people.
So it’s actually pretty interesting that I pivoted and now am in a, an education policy program and at work and with CollegeAdvisor, I do that same thing and providing access and knowledge and sharing information with those to help advocate, to help them advocate for themselves. That’s so cool. Uh, okay.
Well, it looks like we have a few more, uh, we have some questions now in the Q and a tab. Alrighty. Alrighty. So also I want to let everyone know. I have this thing. Yeah. Your name is power. I want [00:38:00] you all to know that first, your name is power. If I mispronounced your name. Hit me up and I’ll give you a dollar.
I always make drugs. I always tell people if someone messes up your name, charge them, cause your name is power. Okay. So I apologize in advance if I mispronounce any of your names. All right. So we’re going to read some awesome questions. So from Ashley, this being the president of a club stands out more on an application than the amount of hours you put into the club.
That’s a very good question. Thank you for answering for asking that. So this is what I will say. Thank you for making that distinction because they see that distinction. So you could be president of a club and you only meet like one hour a week. And that was only like twice a year. Right. Um, colleges truly want to see commitment.
So even if you’re a member. If it’s something that you’re truly proud of, even if it’s president, you were president for a short time, but if it’s something you’re truly proud of and you spent [00:39:00] significant time on it, put it in your application because that’s something that you can’t list all 50 million things that you’ve done.
If that’s your case, put the things that you are most crowds. Um, so that’s truly my suggestion for you is that, um, it’s truly quality over quantity. So please let me know if that helps to answer your question, but that’s, that’s truly what I recommend quality over quantity.
Alrighty. So we’re growing and, and then Serena asks, how important are the essays and the recommendations? Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very important that yes. I said, Barry, on purpose, there are so important because the essay is your story. So I’ll give you some quick examples of essays that I remembered, uh, when I was doing posse selection, one of the students, and she was actually one of my ed biddies in the admissions office, anything I [00:40:00] need, I’m like, Christina, come and get me this please.
Um, so she was like my psychic and when I would travel to the office and I remember her college admissions essay, and I told her, I, I tell for every time I talk about essays, I’ll always talk about hers. Hers was about, uh, her biracial identity. So she’s middle Eastern and Latina. And she talked about Curry.
And y’all know if you ever had like yellow Curry, how we stains everything, your fingers, your nails, your phone, everything, anything you touch and the paper plates, everything. And she talked about like how Curry was like a stain on her that she couldn’t remove. And she talked about the cooking process and how much it’s an integral part of her life.
It was such a descriptive essay that literally on my flight to go meet this young lady and her peers, I was hungry. And I was like, where’s my Curry. Like I still remember it to this day. I remember reading an essay where a student talked about her pet monkey as a brother, how her family was able to get a monkey from south America all the way to New York city.
I don’t ask questions. We all saw tiger king. Um, [00:41:00] and so it’s a thing. Yeah. Um, then there was another one where young lady wrote about her love of Disney. And when I got to meet her in person, she was like, so creative with like blue hair and love to draw. So the essay gives us another insight into who you are.
So this is really your chance if you’re, even if you’re not the strongest writer again, ask for that, help join us at CollegeAdvisor and we can assist you with that writing. So that w you know, you have someone helping you to articulate the story. And then letters of recommendation. Yes. Here’s a trick that I often will tell people about letters of recommendation.
Um, yes, of course. If you’re interested in a certain academic major, does it make sense to ask the people that have taught that class and you may provide a perspective about you from that, uh, class, but don’t be afraid to reach out to club advisors. Don’t be afraid to reach out to that teacher, even though they, your ninth grade teacher, but you still kept in contact with them.[00:42:00]
Another thing is this how nice I am. Y’all I’m giving you all top secret stuff. All right. Don’t be afraid to ask the person. If you fail the class where you didn’t do well, and they know how, and they know your work ethic, don’t be afraid to ask them for a letter of recommendation because they can talk about your work ethic.
Schools want to see hard work. They want to see that work. Don’t say I didn’t tell you nothing. So I hope that answers your questions to Nina. So we have Eliana, uh, you’re a junior. Okay. Hey, and you have a couple of these, the Sierra. So you got a number of bees? Um, oh, okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. So I’m gonna kind of paraphrase cause I don’t want to put too much out there, but, um, I will say, is that for you, for your [00:43:00] question, Eliana is that, um, your grades again, your grades have a story.
Okay. Your grades have a story and you need to articulate that story. Right. And I know that there’s panic about like people going away to prestigious colleges, et cetera, et cetera. Put that story there. Okay. Because again, I’m also being mindful. Is that another thing too? Is that a lot of colleges, for example, you’re going to have something on your, your application call your school profile.
This is something that your school should be uploading, um, even more so because of everything going on, they need to be uploading something called a school profile that will help us determine like admissions representative determined to see the rigor of your academics. So for me, for example, like I’ll name off, like one of the most famous high schools in the country, LaGuardia, the fame school, right?
Academics at LaGuardia high school for the performing arts is going to be different than the [00:44:00] charter school down the block in Manhattan. So, uh, be at like, let’s say Cypress in high school, which is like one of the top high schools in the country in New York city. Uh, B is going to be so different than a B at, you know, a, a charter school that just opened.
Right. So don’t discount that B or that C that you got, because they’re also going to be paying attention to the rigor that is available at your high school. So again, it’s a story and the admissions representatives are going to try their best to piece the story, but you have to make sure that you give them context and about your parents.
Listen, I’m going to give you some advice, talk to your parents because, uh, she mentioned she was a first-generation student as well, and her and her family’s African. Do a presentation. So the same way I have this whole realization matter, you could download those slides, show them this recording, tell them that the presenter is Haitian.
And my parents are also conservative and [00:45:00] the was very strict growing up. Right? And so showed them this webinar because representation is very key as a first-generation American because your parents are in a way they’re scared because they don’t want to see their child take on a risk of uncertainty because they did a lot maybe to risk to come here.
So you can’t blame them on that front. So in that case, this is why community is power. And this is why, especially I’m here at CollegeAdvisor advisor and wanting to do this webinar to be representation for a lot of young people who are in the same boat and everyone else too, because that representation is key.
And once your parents, they see that it makes it easier to process and involve them in, in the admissions process. Have the admissions representatives will have to be with Omari. We train until. Like I had to train my staff and I like how to talk to them, like family, especially first generation Americans, because we know it’s a whole different boat, but show them this webinar, sit down with them, talk with them and engage in conversation.
And I promise you, once you open [00:46:00] that line of communication, things will get easier. I hope that answers your question and let’s see what else. Ooh, be asked as a woman of color at a liberal arts college. Did you run into any situations where you felt pressure or persuaded to change your major? Well, I would say the pressure kind of came from my family to stick with pre-med and then when I went away to college, I said, um, I’m here now I can do whatever I want.
Um, with respect though. So that’s when I changed my major, uh, asked me about what it was like when I came back home. Ooh, that’s another webinar. Um, but I would say is that, uh, it was not an easy process to like confidently change our major. And I actually changed my major in my first semester of college at a liberal arts college.
You actually have time to do that until your sophomore year. My second semester, freshman year, I already knew I wanted to do public policy and I signed it, had my advisor sign off on it and I said, Hey, you go. You know? Um, [00:47:00] so it was mostly not pressured to change, but it was the pressure to not stick with what my family wanted, um, which is very, very difficult.
And as a first generation American, um, but as a student of color, um, I felt very supported. Uh, in my academics, my faculty, my professors all supported me in anything that I wanted to do. And I wasn’t getting that, that communication and like talking to them and getting to know them and they got to know my story and I learned more about them as well.
Um, so that was just very, very helpful. And also, um, having upperclassmen in my circle to help me out on my gosh is so beneficial. I’m actually still friends with them to this day, when you all go off to college, upperclassmen will literally be like the big siblings that you never had in mind. I’m an only child.
Um, so that was super helpful. So in that perspective, I actually felt more supported at the institution to change my major because I wanted to. So I hope that answered your question. Um, [00:48:00] we have here, what if you’re not good about writing yourself and that’s eat CRA you cry or you $5. Okay. Um, and so. I would say as again, you know, have someone help you out?
I feel like I got a lot of this process. Some, sometimes people are scared to talk about themselves. This is the one time when a few times in your life where it’s okay to humbly brag on yourself, like brag on yourself. Talk about how awesome you are. You’re amazing. You have to let these people know that if they, if you don’t tell them how awesome you are.
In the paper, how are they going to know how awesome you are? Right. So again, if you need the assistance, because we’re all not perfect writers, this is where it’s really key to have someone help you. What I recommend is getting prompts, writing about yourself, and that’s how you can kind of construct different things to write about yourself.
And of course, again, have someone look at it, even though I’m a strong writer, literally my degree is all about writing. [00:49:00] I actually have a huge writing assignment due tomorrow. So writing is writing for me in school. And even for my graduate school essay, I had to have someone look at it for me because she was, you know, she tore my essay apart, but even me as a strong writer, I needed that.
So don’t be afraid to ask someone for help as well in that. And so how important is class ranking? Uh, it depends on what school you’re looking at. Um, some schools may consider ranking some won’t. Um, so it truly all does depend. And again, they’re looking at your ranking and also in conjunction with the rigor that’s offered at your school as well.
Um, so at work, uh, I have some of my students, one of my students has actually valedictorian. Um, but he’s valedictorian at a title one school, so they don’t have the strongest resources. Um, and he was able to get into QuestBridge, uh, Columbia through QuestBridge. And, uh, the ranking did play an important role in his application, but again, he [00:50:00] also was attending a school with not the best resources.
Right. But then again, you could be attending one of the top high schools in the country and you have a ranking of like 35. Well, yeah. They know it’s not easy at your high school. Right. So they’re, they’re being mindful of that as well. So it’s, it’s a puzzle piece they’re taking into consideration everything.
Again, that plays a part in the communication. You have to tell them the story you have to communicate and talk to them. Um, let me see, just very briefly, uh, if you want to work with super awesome advisers like Rose, I wanted to let everyone know what you can do to make that happen. So yeah, if you want to work with one of our awesome advisers.
You can follow the link that I just put up on the screen and sign up for a free consultation with us by going to CollegeAdvisor .com and clicking the green chat button in the bottom right of the screen from there, just write in consultation and a live team member will get back to you to help coordinate your free [00:51:00] consultation with us.
Okay. Back to the Q and a thanks for this. Thank you, Hannah. Alrighty. And yes, sign up. So anyone that has any questions or concerns, like really deep questions, concerns about that. Writing, um, forming your application, crafting that story. Please y’all get an advisor. Colorado psychology advisor. Um, we all come from a array of backgrounds and experiences, and we also work as a team to help support one another and in our, in our students.
Um, so we’re here to help you in this process. And so, uh, let me see, important things to look at when considering colleges and I share. I also see that you asked another one about difference between weighted and on, on weighted GPA. So I’ll answer those two. So you talked about important things to look at when considering colleges, uh, for soft fit.
I know that’s a generic word fit. Oh my gosh, what does it fit me? Well, first off, do the academics align with what you’re interested in, [00:52:00] right. Um, location. That’s something to be mindful. Uh, one of the students on my caseload, she said, I’m not trying to go anywhere. Where there’s cows going move right across the street.
She wants to be in a city. She was like, I’m not trying to go somewhere small. I’m not trying to do that. I’m trying to be in a big place, big school. And I was like, bet. Got you. And that’s a hard stop for that. That’s a boundary. And I said, all right, cool. Now academic wise, um, you know, I always recommend for students to be mindful of, have, have some places where there’s a little bit of flexibility in your academics as well, because at some institutions, if you decide to switch your major, even add onto your academic program, it may be a bit more difficult.
So if academic flexibility is key for you pay very close attention to that and ask the representatives and students and faculty that you interact with. Um, also what are the students like? What is the environment like? Um, our students, are they a community? Is it a competitive environment? And even if it is, are they helpful to one another?
Um, what are the career services. [00:53:00] You need a job after college, you gotta have a plan, even if it’s not straight to work, you have to have a plan after college. Um, so how can they help you curate that plan? Uh, what are access, if you’re interested in research, be very mindful of access, to research a lot at some institutions as an undergrad, it may be difficult for you to get access to research opportunities and other institutions it’s very easy.
So that’s something that you want to be mindful of, or you may even have to apply. And what the application process is like the prerequisites. So be aware of that. Um, another one is the alumni network. I think a lot of people underestimate the value of a strong alumni network to where even, um, when I was in college and then the career services, they even gave us guidance on, Hey, look, we have connections at this place.
Make sure you put this in your resume with your Holborn list of colleges, named degree, et cetera. Um, because they knew the connections. Um, would immediately be able to find us, right. And, um, even, uh, we had some alumni that worked in human resources and [00:54:00] they would come and do career workshops at the schools and give us insight into learning about more about an industry or a particular company.
So again, that alumni network is key. Um, another thing to look out for in a school is also, um, access to specific resources. So if you have to be mindful of certain resources, whether for dietary restrictions, for health reasons, um, Anything that’s or even academic support. If you have an IEP and you need a specialized focus, you need accommodations, be mindful and find out if that’s what they have.
So again, that research you’re doing in the process is very important. You want to know about what do you want in the college? What will you, what you want in the college process and look at the different schools that offer that and have a set of hard stops and what things you’re willing to be flexible on, because that’s definitely very helpful in your search and make sure that you’re going to the place that’s the best fit possible.
There is no perfect fit that does not exist, but is that as the best [00:55:00] fit possible for you. And I’m going to unweighted and weighted GPA. Uh, on weighted can often, uh, it depends on how your school scales it. Uh, sometimes at some schools, uh, with certain grades, certain classes like APS, honors, IB, depending on what other advanced classes are that may be considered like weighted to your GPA.
So it will boost your GPA. Unweighted is like the raw score. So if there’s no inflation or anything like that, that happens in your grades. It’s literally what is the raw score that you were receiving in your, on your transcript? So that’s the difference between weighted and unweighted and schools do look at that as well.
Again, that school profile is key. Write it down, ask your counselors at school. Hey, so-and-so where’s the school profile. You’re welcome. And also. [00:56:00] High sat scores to GPA ratio. It depends on where you go to school and what they’re looking at sometimes. Yes. Sometimes no, again, you need to have an explanation for your grades.
So if you have a high sat score, but maybe B or CS in your academic transcript, they’re going to want to know, Hey, what’s kind of up with that. We know the SATs are a little bit different where we actually ended up finding out what the new sat, when I was in admissions, we ended up finding out that students were, who traditionally didn’t score that well, especially from the schools that we had previously looked at and saw their scores previously, these students were doing better and better.
It’s also a little bit different here in New York city, because they’re required to take the SATs when they’re having. But in other places, it may be different. Um, so you all have just different access to the test prep. So that may be looked at as well. But of course, again, explain the story behind your academics and be honest and provide that perspective so that the admissions representatives are not making up a story [00:57:00] because you don’t want these people making up a story about you because it’s not fun.
And it really hurts in the process when we can’t be able to know as much as we can about your academic history and your story, because we want to make sure is that you are fairly represented in that process. Uh huh. And then we have Cumulus. Gabriela is cumulative GPA weighted or unweighted. Um, again, that depends on your school.
Um, that’s really something you’re gonna have to find out with your college counselor. So because at some schools it may be weighted at some of the schools. It may be unweighted. So that’s a question you’re going to have to, uh, ask with your counselors or any respective staff at your school. And do college ed Gabrielle asked another question, do CollegeAdvisor s help review your essays at this organization?
Yes, we do. We help even with interviewing, we help with research and selecting schools. We even help with finding internship and summer opportunities. We’ll help you with all of that. We are your one-stop shop. [00:58:00] Okay. We are a whole community out here. So we got you. If you want to sign up, sign up, uh, there’s someone that is, will be available to help you, uh, with the process.
If you have any questions to sign up, we got you. And then I’m just going to double check in Joylynn. Ask if you do a summer class that follows what you want to do as a major, where do you show that in your application? Ooh, very good question. So you put that in your extracurriculars. Uh, sometimes in the common app, especially in the common app, uh, you may be able to put that in your school.
And you can say is that you took a summer class, so you can have it uploaded there and just say it was a summer class, or you could put it in your extracurricular, in your activity section. So whichever one, but just make sure that it knows. And I apologize if you hear any barking that may happen very soon.
My dog just came up to say hello. So, um, if you want, just make sure is that you, you took it, you write down that it was a summer class. Okay. Cause you don’t want for now the application readers to get [00:59:00] confused, I think, oh my goodness. Did she go to college already? You know, they go to college already, like, et cetera.
So you want to make sure that you articulate that it was a summer class. Okay. I hope that answers your question. So, uh, jihad again, owe you $10, my friend $10 on your name. Okay. Um, as, again, as a repeat, if I mispronounced your name. Me directly. And so, uh, your extracurriculars, um, and should they be related to your major?
I mean, it helps, but doesn’t have to be right again, we don’t know what access you have to different opportunities. Um, you have students out here that they don’t have access to computer science programming, but they end up majoring in computer science. Right. We have students that don’t have access to pre-med opportunities, but they get into opportunities for pre-med.
Right. So again is, yeah, it helps. But we’re also [01:00:00] aware of that. Some students may not have access to certain opportunities. Again, you need to articulate that in your application whenever possible. Okay. A very good question from Evan Haywood. Is it a disadvantage to the, to apply to colleges as undeclared?
That depends on where you are applying to. So in a liberal arts college, you are not expected to apply. As a declared major. Like you literally can’t, they’re going to tell you, oh, that’s great. You want to go? Pre-med that’s wonderful. But you still have to declare when you get to campus some institutions, they require you to declare both in your application and you have to literally apply as such.
So if you’re applying to, let’s say the college of arts and sciences, and you want to be in that field, you may have to designate, you have to form your application. According to that same thing. If you want to go into architecture programs, you have to maybe apply to the dedicated school of architecture at different universities institutions and submit a portfolio and apply according to that, or even a [01:01:00] separate application.
So just be mindful of that. And when you’re doing your research to take note of that and also ask the reference. Um, we have a student that took a gap year and who was an international student and who took the TOEFL. Um, so I will break this down. Um, so if you graduated from university about a year ago, yes.
From high school, you can apply to a university. Um, you would have taken a gap year. I will say is that colleges wants to see what you have done during that gap year, if it was even taken care of family. And I always tell people, it does not matter, like literally write down anything you do for an extracurricular that takes up a lot of your time outside of two plus two equals four, that is an extracurricular do not discount yourself.
So if you had to take time off to take care of family, or you worked or did an internship, you need to let them know that for the gap year, because they will be paying extra attention. And we know in the process, a lot of students are taking gap years because of the pandemic, just to take some time off and figure things out.
So you need to also let them know of like why you took the gap year. Um, and especially as [01:02:00] international students, if you did not graduate from an institution where English was the primary instruction, you are required to take the TOEFL, um, with respect to now, with the pandemic, et cetera. And now with, um, right now it’s a different conversation happening with international students and even the admissions process, please double check with the institutions that you were applying to because they may have different parameters, especially we know that taking standardized testing right now, depending on what country you’re from may be very difficult to access.
So you need to let them know that and the admissions representatives at the different schools will walk you through the process. Uh, Hannah, do we have time for more questions or if there’s one more question that you, uh, think would be a good last one, then we can fit it in. Okay. So let me look through.
I’m the answer to, because I see your Brooklyn and I just got to give them a shout out. I’m sorry. [01:03:00] Okay. So I see what Brooklyn right there. Let’s see what we right here. Um, um, is there a way to avoid paying the college applications fee? Yes. Um, if you demonstrate that there is financial hardship and you cannot pay for the application fee, you can submit a letter.
Some schools may ask you a proof of that, of a hardship. If also you have received a waiver for any of your standardized tests that you are taking, most schools will accept that as a fee waiver. Um, also fun fact, if you’re applying for the CSS profile as well, if you’re applying to like, uh, larger private universities or private schools in general, you can actually use your college board sat, wait.
Um, to go uptight, leave eight schools free on the CSS profile. Don’t don’t say I never told you on nothing. All right. And then also here we have dual enrollment. Um, dual enrollment is a very interesting topic because we have a lot, there are a lot of students that are [01:04:00] in dual enrollment. So dual enrollment, meaning you’re in an associate’s program or you’re in college at the same time, dual enrollment is looked at differently by various schools.
Um, I do want you to be mindful and careful that if you are attending a dual enrollment program, um, some schools may tell you, you can transfer with that associate’s degree and you can start as a junior. Some schools will tell you, no, you have to start as a freshmen. We don’t recognize those credits where I went to college.
That was the case. You could maybe transfer over some credits, but you had to start as a freshmen. Also be mindful some programs. If you’re applying to scholarships, If you are choosing to take that associates with you to go to college, you may be deemed ineligible for certain programs. So that’s just be careful and just ask every representative, um, where you’re applying as to how they look at dual enrollment, how the credits will transfer and get a head start in that process.
Um, so that you’re aware of what may or may not be able to happen [01:05:00] in that. And I might cheat and just ask them one question, but I also want to respect time. No, that’s fine. Go ahead. Okay. Okay. Um, who has a question? And I did not answer it. Let us see.
I will just answer generally about the college essay. Um, you, they’re looking at you, they’re looking at your story. You can write anything random. Again, you can write about Curry. You can write about a bird. You could write about taking the train. You can write about. You’re honestly, you could write about many different things.
Like I’ve read some interesting stories. And I was like, oh my goodness, that’s still sticking with me to this day. Um, again, the pet monkey was one that I was like, how are you going to get a whole monkey on a us flight from south America? And they let you get that monkey out of the country. I hope that, you know, thinking back, I do question, what did they put them up again?
We all saw tiger king. Do not have to ask [01:06:00] any more questions at that point. Just knowing that they wrote that as a college essay, um, someone wrote about, uh, moving to the U S in the middle of their sophomore year, and then COVID hit. So the COVID essay, I know everybody got questions about the Ronan, the Rona, the panini sandwich, whatever you want to call it.
Everybody got questions about it. Okay. I’ve been in calls and talking to different universities, et cetera. We’ve been following up with my Alma mater, et cetera. Colleges are being mindful that dependent. Colleges were also affected by the pandemic. They know the pandemic hit, go ask their staff. They know the pandemic hit.
Okay. And they know in their college students do pandemic hit. So be mindful of, and just share and be honest. We know finances change during the pandemic. We know everything has changed in the pandemic. Right. So we know that they predict a lot of students are going to talk about COVID and again, you have every right to talk about how COVID affected you.
I can talk about how COVID affects me, but we’re not going to do that. [01:07:00] Right. So. Your experience is not going to be the same as everyone else has experienced here in the chat or in this webinar today, or even mine. And Hannah’s right. Write about your experience. If that’s something that truly affected your experience, you have you, you can talk about it, right.
But a lot of schools do know is that COVID impacted, um, even, uh, your high schools, um, even classes offered, even if your class, if your school was even able to be financially sustainable and keeping it real with y’all. Um, so they’re mindful of that and don’t be afraid to articulate that in the process.
And again, most school profiles will be articulating that as well and make sure that your guidance counselor as well is, is inputting that information, same thing with your teachers. And if you choose to work with a advisor from CollegeAdvisor , make sure you’re letting them know of that story as well, because they can help you articulate and craft that as well.
Alrighty. Um, would you do. I just love [01:08:00] answering questions. I know. I’m sorry. Okay. Okay. Okay. Um, pretty much answered all of them, but, uh, first gen applying to college. Thank you, honey, for the question. Um, applying first gen, uh, write about anything about how first gen that that impacts your experience. You know, you’re not the only first gen student that’s applying to college.
If anything, you know, the numbers of first-generation college students, it’s, it’s been interesting and looking at the numbers. But it’s also been interesting to see of how the pandemic has affected a lot of first-generation college students. Right? And then obviously you’re at yellow living your lives before the pandemic as well.
Everyone has very unique first-generation college stories. You could be the first, you could be the baby of the family. And the last it could be that your cousin went to college. It was the only face that you saw going to college. It could be that your parents or your caretakers when, and they couldn’t finish.
Right. So there’s many different stories and guides to the first-generation experience. And you need to [01:09:00] articulate that according to your own story, right? Um, again, write a prompt, write about yourself. If anything, write about yourself. That’s a practice field. That’s your homework. Okay. I’m giving y’all home.
Right about yourself. Take about 20 minutes and just write about something random, create a prompt for yourself and write about yourself and your experience. Let it all out, bring them even if it sound crazy, bring them because that is truly going to help you out a lot in this experience and my graduate school essay.
Um, and me talking about my, me being a first generation American and community networks and how the work that I want to do, even what I’m doing here now at CollegeAdvisor relays into the work that I want to do in education policy. And it was about nine pages, single space of me, just brain dumping. I had to fit in, uh, about a thousand words, but it was helpful because I was able to grab those things.
What mattered and have people read people who knew me, people who did it. I even found a doctoral student who was like, Hey girl, I don’t know you, but I’ll look over it for you. Right. [01:10:00] And, you know, getting help where you can in the process and having people help you read and give you a sense of what are better ways that you can articulate your story.
Just make sure that you, your story is at the forefront. I hope to answer your question. And I think that’s pretty much it. And someone asked a question about how has grad school in terms of community, as opposed to the early colleges. Oh, look at you thinking their head. Okay. Um, well it’s different because we’re an opinion, any sandwich.
Um, but my program is online. Um, but it’s based with, it has like a campus. So we’re kind of the online cohort for the campus program. Um, in the pandemic, especially, it’s been pretty interesting like the community, but regardless, um, uh, as, as I’m literally on this webinar, my phone is going off because I’m in a group chat with my graduate school classmates and group mates.
And we’re all talking about the assignment due tomorrow. Um, even like a couple days ago, I was confused about where are we in the reading? If someone was a growing or you’re confused, like we got you, don’t worry. And she even said, [01:11:00] that’s why we have this group so we can help each other. Um, so graduate school has been a community oriented process and I’ll tell you that that was important to me because of my undergraduate years.
So my undergraduate years and the experience that I had really helped to inform what I wanted to have access to in my, uh, graduate experience. So embrace the college experience, the type of community that you have access to, because that will help you out a lot in the decision-making process for graduate school and the type of community that that you expect.
But because I went to a supportive undergrad. I was not having it with hands-off experience. Can’t talk to my faculty for graduate school. I wasn’t having it because I was too spoiled by my undergraduate experience and having support and having those connections. Um, and that taught me how to make those connections and to fellowship with my classmates and my faculty in, uh, graduate school.
So I hope that helped answer your question, Hannah, [01:12:00] stop me before I keep going. Uh, wait, so questions, someone talked about sports. Um, this one, I kind of have to talk about a little bit, uh, because that’s very important sports. Um, sports can be viewed differently in your process. Um, I have, uh, worked with a number of athletes and I will say this, it depends on one, the type of institution you’re looking at.
So when I worked in admissions, my institution was a division three school. It was not uncommon to see students focused on acting on sports. Um, but it’s also, um, They want to also see as like, Hey, what skills have you developed within the sports? Right. If you’re a multi-sport athlete, you know, write that down.
Some people just have an affinity to sports and don’t be ashamed of that. Right. But I do want you to be mindful is that, um, don’t make sports just your whole identity, because you’re just more than that. I told him, I told you about Allie market, right? Allie Marka [01:13:00] is an anomaly because even when he went to the NFL, he was a rare D three recruit, going to the NFL and about 50 years.
And he was top pick. Right. But he’s more than an athlete. Like he did economics, he was involved in community service, just the overall suite person in general. Right. And so he had more to talk about, I didn’t know him before college, but, um, you know, just seeing how he navigated in college and even like having a class.
He navigated, you know, just his experience differently and, and is engaged in community service. Right. Um, I’ve worked with a number of athletes where through, uh, sports, they did. They helped out in local community and like taught like the kinder camps, um, or they even helped coach, you know, the little leagues or even serve as assistant coach or manager for other teams, um, or even served on a committee of athletes and like helped out with school rallies and [01:14:00] pep rallies.
So find different ways to talk about your sports experience. Um, because again, they want to know is that you’re just more than an athlete, which don’t discount that because athletics is also an important part of your experience. Um, but also even talk about how you got into athletics as well. Right?
Because everyone has a different story. I worked with a student who said, the reason why he got into football was because he saw the super bowl and was hanging out with his family and saw the cheers and thought it was so awesome. But football literally reminded him of that nostalgic moment he had with his family.
And that’s how he learned about how to get into, uh, community engagement, uh, entrepreneurship, through other programs that he’s in and. Made it to a lot of his top choices. Right? So again, don’t be afraid to talk about your sports experience, but you are more than an athlete. Just like how you are more than anyone just being pre-med.
You are more than just being a dancer. You are more than just being whatever activities that you have listed. Remember [01:15:00] you, the whole person and no, your essay does not need a title if you don’t want to, but also be mindful of the word count. Cause it may count against that word count. I think those are all the questions that I asked.
Yeah, it sounds good. Okay. Awesome. Okay. Thank you everyone so much for coming out tonight and Rose. Thank you so much for presenting. Thank you everyone. Have a good evening. Have a wonderful evening.