|By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 08:58 am: Edit|
Out of curiosity, I wonder how the application and it's associated information is viewed by the reader. Is there a secretary who will boil down the app info to a one page summary of info? Or, is the package left as is and read in full?
|By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 09:11 am: Edit|
Most schools pride themselves in saying that each application is read by 2 readers before a decisionis made.
|By Momsdream (Momsdream) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 09:22 am: Edit|
But, does that mean that they read a folder full of materials.....various pages of the application just as it came in, etc. Or, do they read a summary....maybe with calculations done for them (for example, SATs where a student took them more than once and the best scores need to be totalled and maybe the GPA needs to be calculated).
I also recall hearing somewhere that the application details are boiled down by the admissions officer to fit onto a large index card so that he/she may present the candidate to the committee more easily....things are coded.....and numbers are assigned based on a scale specific to the school (it the scale is 1-10, then you might receive a 6 for the essay, 8 for your SATs, 7 for your GPA and rank, etc).
|By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 10:43 am: Edit|
When it comes to state schools, I have read that apps are read very quickly, 10 minutes, for instance, by one reader. Decisions are made on stats. At least that was the case in an article I read about how apps at a large Fla. university were read. They are numbers driven. Essays are not important. The exception would be schools that use essays to help evaluate students for merit scholarships.
The impression I have gotten from Harvard adcoms is that the adcoms read the entire application, including looking over additional materials the candidate has submitted. In fact, I can remember that when I was a freshman more than 30 years ago and was allowed to sit in on an admissions session, that was what was done.
Seems that the adcom presented a summary of the application to the whole committee, but the whole application was at the meeting, too.
I think that a description of how Wesleyan does admissions is in the book "The Gatekeepers," and the original articles that led to the book can be obtained for a fee on the NY Times site.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 11:47 am: Edit|
Here's a link to an article in The Technology Review that details how MIT treats applications. According to this, they do spend a considerable amount of time on each app, and they do use the "card" to summarize information. In freshman year all students can see their application file (with the exception of recommendation letters if they signed the confidentiality agreement).
|By Frazzled_One (Frazzled_One) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 05:43 pm: Edit|
Momsdream, I've long wondered what goes on behind those particular doors myself. I'm somewhat skeptical about the claims that each app is carefully read and considered, especially at universities that receive many thousands each year. Common sense would suggest that there must be an automatic reject pile based solely on GPA or test scores, though I've never heard or read of an adcom admitting it.
Rachel Toor's book, "Admissions Confidential," talks about her experience as an adcom at Duke. If I remember correctly, a "first reader" does the initial screening of the app materials and assigns a value from 1-5 for objective criteria such as GPA, difficulty of curriculum, and test scores. The adcom then also reviews the materials, checks the reader's eval for accuracy, and assigns values (again on a 1-5 scale) for the more subjective criteria: recs, ECs, and essays. The scores for the 6 areas are then added up (can't remember if any are weighted), and are categorized as "auto admit" or "auto deny." The many in-between apps are presented to a committee, which is where the adcom pitches those students he/she most wants to admit. Other factors come into play as well: geographic diversity, developmental candidates, legacies, and so on.
The book is worth a read, though it's a bit unsettling (and I don't personally know many folks as smug as the author - fortunately!).
|By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 06:50 pm: Edit|
If I can summarize Frazzled One's summary of the Toor book, it would seem that apps get 2 reads, one partial and one full. The in-between apps that are neither auto-admit or auto-reject then get discussed in committee.
I'v heard adcoms from 3 colleges say that each app gets two full reads.
|By Helicoptermom (Helicoptermom) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 07:04 pm: Edit|
The Gatekeepers, by Jacques Steinberg, is a terrifically readable and detailed look behind the closed doors of the admissions office at Wesleyan. Steinberg, an education reporter for the New York Times, had extraordinary access to observe the admissions process for nearly a year, and his descriptions rang completely true to me as my daughter went through that process at similar schools last year.
The numerical system you mention sounds something like the one described in A is for Admission, by Michele Hernandez, a former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth. Hernandez talks about "master cards" and "ready sheets" that summarize students' stats and other strengths and weaknesses, but unless the student is so overwhelmingly strong or overwhelmingly weak that his case is decided right away, two admissions officers independently read the file and make notes about the candidate on the "ready sheet."
Large state schools, with many more slots to fill, may depend more on numbers, though the University of Michigan, at least (after a Supreme Court challenge to their affirmative action program), now claims to "make a complete, indvidualized, and holistic review of each applicant." (You can find a detailed account of their procedure, which they're likely to follow to avoid future legal issues, at http://www.admissions.umich.edu/process/review/procedure.)
In general, the most selective colleges do seem to evaluate the various parts of each application pretty carefully and thoroughly; it seems standard procedure for at least one admissions officer, and possibly two or more, to read the entire folder.
|By Lovingdad (Lovingdad) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 08:30 pm: Edit|
only thing i like to add is one reader is the primary, like the regional rep who is responsible for the high school in the region he is assigned. He is supposedly most familiar with the student's school and environment. The other reader serves a supportive role. For example, the primary reader may expressed admit for top candidate to the dean. The opposite is also true for auto reject. The secondary can't do so. So the value of the secondary reader serves only to bounce off ideas about the in-betweens. They don't override the judgement of the primary. This is the One-and-A-Half model. One full read from primary, and a half read from secondary.
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