How We Read

We Admit It! We’re proud of the application review process we have in place.  We believe it to be genuinely holistic, thoughtful and contextual.  There is no automatic in, and no automatic out.  There’s no pre-sorting based on any one criterion.  There’s no mathematical formula where a + b + c = a specific admission decision.  The classes we have built and the classes we hope to build are about so much more than transcripts and SAT scores (although those of course are important factors).  It’s not your 4.0 that makes you the most interesting student in your discussion-based freshman seminar.  And it’s not your ACT score that makes you the next president of the Student Assembly.  It’s your personality, your background, your talents, your life experiences that provide engagement, perspective, challenge and life to our campus.

So how do we make those decisions? Well, each and every application is read at least twice, from cover to cover, by two different members of our team (one of those reads will be done by our regional dean).  During each read, all components of the application (transcript, standardized test scores, extracurricular engagement, recommendations, the essay(s) and any optional components submitted) will be reviewed and assessed for their overall strength relative to the overall application pool.  Each read is also done contextually taking into account everything from a student’s background to their high school environment to any extenuating circumstances brought to light in the application so that we are assessing your accomplishments with as much background information as possible.

From there, an application can go in a myriad of different directions. Many will end up being presented to the Admission Committee (our Committee meets at the end of both Early and Regular Decision reviews) during which a group of deans will vote on the applicants before us.  The Committee has the benefit of having had a chance to see a majority of the pool which informs its decision on the applications being presented, and it has more voices at the table to discuss the merits of the toughest cases.

Despite the increasing number of applications we receive and the pressures that come with completing such a labor-intensive process in a relatively short period of time, we keep with it because we’ve seen it yield such phenomenal results. We do everything within our power to give each individual applicant the due consideration we believe they deserve.  And we believe our process allows us to build the best incoming class that we can.

Thank you for the time you’ve put into your application. We truly look forward to reading them.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

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