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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Bringing the Admissions Decision Closer to Home
Applying to college is a process rife with unknowns. You don't really know much about your competition. You don't know who will be reviewing your application. You don't know what they'll be like. And while you may know generally what colleges are looking for in an ideal candidate, you're not really sure what it will be that will set you apart.

Wouldn't it be great to know the person deciding your fate?

A small, liberal arts college in New England is trying that idea on for size. At Southern Vermont College (SVC), a 550-student institution with a commitment to helping "at-risk" students, admissions officers are enlisting high school counselors to help them make admissions decisions. The hope is that the counselors--who are closer and more invested in the students-- are better situated to recognize talented students whose admissions metrics don't immediately jump off the page.

The college application is an instrument designed to introduce a student to a stranger. An admissions officer is required to make an objective decision based what is often highly subjective information. The transaction is stripped of the personal contact that informs and enriches most of our social relationships.

SVC recognizes that high school guidance counselors are often in a unique position to evaluate and recommend students. Exceptional candidates might rank highly in other aspects visible only to someone who has had the opportunity to really observe or interact with them.

Even at SVC, the final decision rests with their admissions officers. Arguably, the project would be unwieldy at a large university in a bustling metropolis. The idea, however, is novel and thought-provoking. What if, just what if, a person involved in one of your greatest life decisions actually knew a little bit about you?


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