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    #162392 - 07/17/13 10:32 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Quote:
    parents will have strategized an EC path to optimize intellectual curiousity.


    We really didn't have to strategize... my D's ECs were pretty much on the mark for this. She was a top quiz bowl player in our state (that was really her top EC), went to THINK for two summers, was one of only 2 girls on her FIRST Robotics team, collected insects and did some other wildlife biology activities, was in a fencing club (just practiced, no competition prior to applicatons), and won a few awards in visual arts. And had fantastic test scores and good teacher recs that I think backed up the intellectual impression. And she knew immediately what she would write on for her common app essay (thankfully she did not have to agonize over her topic for that particular essay!) -- she wrote about how she has tried to emulate Sherlock Holmes in her life since first encountering him in literature in 3rd grade. We really did not try to make her into something she wasn't... and when colleges could see clearly what she was, they seemed to want to admit her.

    Also, my D is pretty introverted, and interviews would have been a nightmare for her. So she chose not to interview at all. None of her colleges required it (no Harvard application like the one in the article). College reps from a lot of the schools she applied to came to her high school, so she made sure to attend those sessions and take a couple of good questions for the reps. Usually only a few kids were there so the rep got their names -- that is as close as she came to interviewing. Although it would be a great skill for her to develop, we felt like the stakes were too high for her to struggle through interviews for college (she has been practicing on the summer job circuit this summer instead :)). Now my older D was a great interviewer, so she interviewed everyplace, and I am convinced it helped her get more merit money at the school she attended. So your milage may vary on the interviews depending on your kid and the school -- if you think this is a weakness for your student, then consider avoiding them if possible.


    Edited by intparent (07/17/13 10:34 AM)

    Top
    #162393 - 07/17/13 10:46 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Quote:

    We really did not try to make her into something she wasn't... and when colleges could see clearly what she was, they seemed to want to admit her.


    LOVE that.

    It also begs the question-- why would any parent want anything else for a child? smile
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162512 - 07/19/13 01:19 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    Here's a link. "The Match Between You And MIT"
    http://mitadmissions.org/apply/process/match

    It seems to be more about who you are than what you do.

    Top
    #162546 - 07/19/13 09:55 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: 22B
    Here's a link. "The Match Between You And MIT"
    http://mitadmissions.org/apply/process/match

    It seems to be more about who you are than what you do.


    That list is a really accurate picture of what it's like at the Institute. If it doesn't resonate with your kid, he's not likely to be happy there.

    Top
    #162550 - 07/19/13 01:25 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    That is a great insight, Elizabeth-- thank you so much for sharing that. smile It's hard to know what is wishful thinking and marketing anymore and what is authentic. It's great to hear it's the latter.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162551 - 07/19/13 01:31 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    MIT has the luxury of being prestigious enough that they can be really open and honest about what it's like there. They don't have to chase after anyone - just provide a certain environment, and describe accurately what it is, and the people who belong there will get there. Some others who don't belong there and think that these kinds of description are puffery may also get there, and may be miserable or flunk out or whatever, but at least the ones who need it can find it.

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    #162555 - 07/19/13 04:27 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Not all colleges are that up front, that is for sure. One way to get a "real" flavor is to pick up copies of the campus newspaper when you visit -- or a lot of colleges have them online now, too. You can get a feeling for their "dirty laundry" and some of the issues on campus by reading several issues.

    Top
    #162562 - 07/20/13 05:00 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2601
    Loc: MA
    Here is how Marilee Jones, then director of admissions at MIT, described MIT students in 2001. Her last paragraph about ethics is ironic, considering that she was forced to resign in 2007 for having faked degrees on her resume. The part about "not as likely to study subjects for the pure pleasure of it" because they are so busy is troubling.

    http://www2.lns.mit.edu/fisherp/Fnl141-1.pdf
    New Kids on the Block: Observations on the Newest Generation of MIT Students
    by Marilee Jones
    MIT Faculty Newsletter
    September 2001

    ...

    They are idealistically pragmatic.
    Combining the idealism of their Boomer
    parents and the pragmatism of the Gen
    Xers, these students really want to make
    the world a better place and, most
    importantly, they have a plan.

    • They are group centered. As the
    population with the highest percentage
    of members in day care from an early
    age, they have learned good group skills,
    how to lead and follow as circumstances
    demand. They spend more time in groups
    and group activities than their
    predecessors.

    • They have no problem with
    authority. These students have been raised
    in relative affluence in peacetime by
    Boomer parents. Most of their free time is
    spent in adult-supervised activities. They
    have little urge to push back against adults.
    In fact, they actually like adults. This is
    shocking to both Boomers and Gen Xers
    who still regard authority figures with
    suspicion, but Matures find a certain
    resonance with them.

    • They are attracted to large social
    movements, very much like their
    Boomer parents, but look for ways to
    make their contributions on a local level,
    more like the Gen Xers. They are
    expected (even required) to volunteer in
    their communities, working side by side
    with adults who teach them competence
    and effectiveness. Consequently, they
    know how to work the system and they
    always have a Plan B. Many of our
    students have already made significant
    contributions to their communities while
    still in high school.

    • They are not as likely to study
    subjects for the pure pleasure of it, not
    as likely to focus on one thing, because
    they are the busiest students in US
    history. The majority of my audiences
    this age seem to carry upwards from
    eight ECAs in high school, in addition to
    a stiff course load. (I wonder when these
    teens actually sleep.) They have
    essentially been trained to be generalists.
    Consider the tension created when MIT
    Mature, Boomer and Gen X faculty, who
    are living their passion, teach Millennials,
    who want to learn the material just well
    enough to get a good grade so they can
    move on to the other 17 activities they
    have to master that day. This has the
    makings of a classic generation gap.

    • They desire instant gratification.
    A member of the Financial Services
    staff remarked recently that these kids
    “have never heard a busy signal.” They
    are used to surfing the Web and they
    prefer Instant Messaging to the phone
    for the sake of efficiency. (Why have a
    conversation with just one friend when
    you can speak with 8 simultaneously?)
    With Boomer parents who demand top
    service and strive to meet their childrens’
    every need, these kids expect what they
    want when they want it from all of the
    adults in their lives.

    • They may not see or accept the
    consequences of their behavior. Adults
    are always saving these kids. I see that
    top high school students who fail exams
    or miss deadlines due to outside
    commitments are regularly protected by
    their teachers and school personnel.
    Excuses are made, adults blame
    themselves rather than allow the student
    to accept the painful consequences that
    previous generations knew all too well.
    Parents do most of the negotiating with
    admissions offices now, regularly
    weighing in on every piece of the process
    on behalf of their busy children, taking
    on an almost eerie quality of parent-as-applicant.
    No surprise that students cheat
    more often, drop activities if they can’t
    win, cut corners. Their time is all carved
    up, given away to multiple and
    competing demands that please adults
    while the adults in their lives race to
    protect them from failure.

    *****************************************************

    An article from the MIT student newspaper describes her commitment to "diversity and equity".

    http://tech.mit.edu/V127/N66/marileejones.html
    Marilee Jones Leaves Behind Complicated Legacy
    By Marissa Vogt
    February 5, 2008

    ...

    Jones had worked in the Admissions Office since 1979 and became dean of admissions on Jan. 1, 1998. During her 28 years at MIT, admission to the Institute became increasingly more competitive and the incoming classes became more diverse. As the associate director of admissions, Jones was tasked with increasing the percentage of female students, which grew from 28 percent in 1985 to 42 percent in 1996.

    Michael C. Behnke, director of admissions during that time, said in an e-mail that although Jones was his point person on female recruitment, the increase was the result of a team effort by the Admissions Office and was supported by MIT administrators, including then-President Paul E. Gray ’54. “Marilee has obviously brought some discredit on herself, and I would hate to see any of that reflected on the increase in female enrollment that happened while she was there,” Behnke said.

    When Behnke left MIT to take a position at the University of Chicago, Jones was named interim director of admissions and a national search began to find Behnke’s replacement. “By conducting a serious national search, we wanted to ensure that any internal candidates would be measured against the highest standards,” Professor Rosalind H. Williams, dean of students and undergraduate education from 1995 to 2000, said in an e-mail.

    The search committee, which included then-Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow ’72 and other MIT administrators, eventually chose Jones for the job based on her familiarity with MIT and the admissions process and her commitment to diversity and equity, Williams said.

    Top
    #162564 - 07/20/13 06:01 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: intparent]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Originally Posted By: intparent
    Quote:
    parents will have strategized an EC path to optimize intellectual curiousity.


    We really didn't have to strategize... my D's ECs were pretty much on the mark for this. She was a top quiz bowl player in our state (that was really her top EC), went to THINK for two summers, was one of only 2 girls on her FIRST Robotics team, collected insects and did some other wildlife biology activities, was in a fencing club (just practiced, no competition prior to applicatons), and won a few awards in visual arts. And had fantastic test scores and good teacher recs that I think backed up the intellectual impression. And she knew immediately what she would write on for her common app essay (thankfully she did not have to agonize over her topic for that particular essay!) -- she wrote about how she has tried to emulate Sherlock Holmes in her life since first encountering him in literature in 3rd grade. We really did not try to make her into something she wasn't... and when colleges could see clearly what she was, they seemed to want to admit her.

    Also, my D is pretty introverted, and interviews would have been a nightmare for her. So she chose not to interview at all. None of her colleges required it (no Harvard application like the one in the article). College reps from a lot of the schools she applied to came to her high school, so she made sure to attend those sessions and take a couple of good questions for the reps. Usually only a few kids were there so the rep got their names -- that is as close as she came to interviewing. Although it would be a great skill for her to develop, we felt like the stakes were too high for her to struggle through interviews for college (she has been practicing on the summer job circuit this summer instead :)). Now my older D was a great interviewer, so she interviewed everyplace, and I am convinced it helped her get more merit money at the school she attended. So your milage may vary on the interviews depending on your kid and the school -- if you think this is a weakness for your student, then consider avoiding them if possible.


    I find this thread overall ironic. Most everyone on here have kids like intparent's who establish the criteria that all the preppers and college coaches are trying to imitate.

    Top
    #162565 - 07/20/13 06:09 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    intparent Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/16/09
    Posts: 553
    Yes -- but there is so much "noise" in the college admissions process that helping the admissions office clearly see your kid without missteps that get the application thrown in the reject pile is still a huge challenge. How do you get admissions to really identify your kid from all the 'preppers' at a school like U of Chicago that gets 30,000+ applications?

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