|By Shersby (Shersby) on Wednesday, October 06, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit|
During the summer, I participated in a program at Skidmore College, taking two credit-bearing courses during the five week session. I know many schools offer similar programs, how do admissions officers view such an activity? Does something like this stand out a great deal on applications, especially Ivies? I'm applying to Dartmouth, kinda curious how much this helps me out.
|By Editrix (Editrix) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit|
Unfortunately, I don't think these programs stand out very much on applications, though they're probably more impressive than spending your summer lying around at the beach. If it was a particularly competitive program, or you were studying unusually advanced material, the adcoms might take notice--but there are so many programs that they've become a fairly standard feature on many kids' applications.
For what it's worth, my daughter went to a summer program at Brown, and that's the one school that turned her down flat. (She was accepted at one Ivy and wait-listed at several others.)
|By Shersby (Shersby) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:14 am: Edit|
Oh well. I figured it might count for a bit more than that.
|By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:42 am: Edit|
I think it depends on the type of program. Like Editrix stated "If it was a particularly competitive program, or you were studying unusually advanced material, the adcoms might take notice'. I would add if it were a competive program and a scholarships were awarded to attend, it would hopefully level the field between the haves and the havenots
If they are just courses that are being offered any anyone can take them if they have the money, it may give the impression, that you are paying to build up a college application
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:54 am: Edit|
At schools in affluent areas, it's hard to find kids who haven't spent summers at Harvard or other good schools. Don't count on this to count for differentiation.
|By Jrmom (Jrmom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 01:10 pm: Edit|
But wouldn't it help if you apply to the same school the following fall, and you did very well at the school during the summer?
|By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 03:35 pm: Edit|
At Ivies, I don't think the summer programs count for anything. After all, most of the kids who choose to do such programs are very bright and will do well in the program. Being in such a program, and doing well, will not make a student stand out in the application pool.
In general, the only differentiating factor between the applicants who take summer programs at Ivies and those who don't is that the latter group either can't afford the expensive summer programs or is involved in ECs that would prevent their spending summers at an Ivy.
The exception would be the rare programs like MIT's RSI, which are extremely competitive and also are free. Attending such programs is difficult and is an honor, so that could tip students into admission to various competitive universities.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit|
There are also Governor's Schools which are very selective and free, and also the CTY program which is selective, and gives scholarships.
What about spending the summer in a language immersion program in another country (not through one's school but on one's own)? Does anyone have an opinion as how this would be considered in admissions?
|By Celebrian23 (Celebrian23) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 03:57 pm: Edit|
i know last year a lot of kids who did summer college at the ivys, and then applied there got rejected, it's becoming really common, just like study abroad, it's not seen as unsual anymore
|By Efs424 (Efs424) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 05:21 pm: Edit|
what if it's no special program? since freshman year i've taken classes at local college campuses durign the summer and school year, does that count for anything?
|By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 05:43 pm: Edit|
One group of programs that count a lot are the ones that truly are very selective, free and that require an enormous amount of talent. RSI is the best example that I can think of.
Another group that counts a lot, possibly equally, are ones that the student creates for themselves and funds for themselves.
An example would be a student who combs the Internet looking for opportunities abroad, finds a job working as a waiter in a foreign resort, and earns the money to get over there. I know someone who did exactly that.
This kind of summer experience would be far more impressive than would the typical experience abroad in which the parent funds the experience.
A student, too, who works a job, virtually any job, but particularly a job that they find for themselves and learn a lot from (even if what they learn is about human nature, as one can learn from very ordinary jobs) also has an impressive EC.
Taking any summer classes at colleges, doing regular immersion programs abroad, etc. will make one stand out at most of the country's universities. They just are not activities that are going to be tip factors at the most selective colleges where many students do things like that.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 06:13 pm: Edit|
I agree with your thought process, but how many parents would let their 16 year olds travel alone to be a waiter at a foreign resort? Most of my acquaintances were very surprised that I allowed my daughter to travel alone to Spain to be part of an immersion program (she was not part of a group from her school or anything like that) and to live with a Spanish family, going out at night unsupervised, etc. She did fine, as I knew she would, and it was very enriching experience for her, both in regard to the language and culture of Spain, and also in personal independence in general.
|By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:45 pm: Edit|
What I think you may be missing is that if a kid is very unusual -- extremely responsible, resourceful and competent -- they may also have the ability to convince their parents to allow them to do something that most parents would not allow their kids to do.
Not only do parents shape kids, but kids shape parents. Most parents would have good reason not to allow a rising h.s. senior to go alone abroad and to work as a waiter. A parent, though, who has a kid who is very level headed, fluent in the foreign language, and has a track record of responsible behavior, could have every reason to say "yes" to such a proposal.
And should the parent say, "No," such a student would have the creativity to come up with an alternative that would be acceptable.
Of course, there really are parents who, no matter what their kids do, will prevent their kids from doing activities with any kind of creativity. Unfortunately, that's the children's loss because at least when it comes to the top colleges, they will not stand out in the pool.
|By Motheroftwo (Motheroftwo) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit|
I see your point about that type of very unusual kid. I also think many kids of 16 or 17 would not be responsible enough to travel alone and live in a quite unsupervised situation even in a more standard immersion program like the one my daughter went to. I guess it is a matter of degrees.
|By Musicmom (Musicmom) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 10:35 pm: Edit|
Many states have Governor's Schools for students following Junior year in high school.
Admission is very competitive, involving essays, interviews, portfolios, auditions and recommendation letters.
In New Jersey, there are 5 Governor's schools covering the arts, environment, government, etc.
They are tuition free for the students selected.
Because of the intense selection process involved in Governor's school, colleges do seem to view it a distinct accomplishment.
|By Lfill (Lfill) on Thursday, October 07, 2004 - 10:39 pm: Edit|
The bottom line is that what was unusual for our generation is common place today. Tons of kids have spent time abroad, at summer college, at gifted programs, building houses in Guatamala and doing anything many want to think is unique. We really should start a thread on what differentiates today.
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