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March 2007 Visits (& News)

on March 1, 2007 in College Visits

uwquadUpdate from the University of Washington

The University of Washington’s Office of Admissions has received 1,200 more freshman applications than last year — a notable number because of the time involved in doing full holistic reviews.

Admissions officers plan to finish selecting the incoming freshman class only after completing the review process — something they hope to do by the last week of March. Therefore, many admission decisions — whether admit, deny, or waitlist — will not reach students until the end of March or the beginning of April.

Campus Tours

High school students across the country are beginning to finalize their college lists by participating in the annual spring ritual of touring college campuses. Have you planned your tours yet? Try to visit a variety of campuses if you can. There are many academic and nonacademic factors to consider. Would you prefer a large campus or a small one? Urban or rural? What about athletics, art, and music? Support for students with learning disabilities?

The standard tours and information sessions offered by colleges are helpful. Find out if you need to make a reservation first, though, and try not to overload your schedule racing from one campus to the next. Leave yourself some time to eat on campus, talk to students, and meet with alums from your high school who might be attending the college. This guide (prepared by the National Survey of Student Engagement) contains some questions you may want to ask on your visits in order to learn more about the real experience of being part of the student body.

If you are a student with a learning disability, your search for the right college will require additional preparation. However, there are many tools available to help families explore their options. First, read about various colleges and make sure you understand which questions to ask on your campus visits. Each visit should include an appointment at the disability support office to meet the staff who will be working with you, and to examine the support available. This extensive guide (prepared by The George Washington University National Clearinghouse on Post-Secondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities) offers in-depth assistance as you explore your college options and make a final selection. Remember as you move toward college that many successful people grew up with learning disabilities and some may share your interests or have accomplishments you admire.

If you are an athlete who has already been in contact with your prospective college coaches, make appointments to visit them during your tours. Remember to complete each college’s recruiting form first (available on the college’s website) and to get familiar with team rosters and results so you can understand what you might bring to the team. To learn which sports are available at various colleges, go to the NCAA website (go to Sports and Championships, which breaks down programs by season and league). If you are a looking at Division I or II schools, the rules are more complex so familiarize yourself with the process by reading this guide and registering for the NCAA Clearinghouse. Additional requirements include sending your official standardized test scores and transcripts directly to the NCAA. If applicable, students should also consider assembling videos for coaches and posting them on YouTube for easy access.

The Importance of the Portfolio

Are you interested in learning more about the portfolio process? Portfolios aren’t just for art students; they can be a wonderful addition to almost any college application. Consider one of the hundreds of summer programs around the world in film, art, dance and design that could result in a portfolio for college. In Seattle, Cornish College of the Arts offers summer classes for high school students to assist in this process. Summer is the perfect time to start preparing your portfolio so you can share it on Portfolio Day during the winter of your senior year and have it ready for the application process.

Of course, portfolios are also important for art schools. The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design is a non-profit consortium of 36 leading art schools in the US. Learn about the process of selecting and applying to the right program. Details regarding specific offerings and information on choosing the right program are highlighted.

On a related note, take a look at this new way for high-school students to post online profiles revealing their talents, and for admissions officers to search for students with specific interests.

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