High Stakes: Placing their early bets

Third in our "High Stakes" series examining the college application process during senior year.

The Brain:

Although Austin* ’16 planned to apply Early Decision to the Brown-RISD Dual Degree Program, he decided against it because it seemed “very limiting and [he] wasn’t sure it was [his] first choice.”

Austin struggled with his decision for a while but eventually decided not to waste an opportunity to apply early.

“In the end, Restrictive Early Action just made the most sense,” Austin said. “By the time I decided that, it was too late to submit an art supplement to most places, so I ended up choosing Harvard because the art supplement deadline was Nov. 15.”

Austin really likes Harvard, partly because he grew up nearby, and he is happy with his decision. He also applied to University of Michigan and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which both have strong engineering programs.

Austin has also begun his Regular Decision applications for schools including Brown, Columbia and the Iovine-Young Academy at USC which mixes arts, technology and business. However, with the start of the soccer season, Austin is finding it harder to find time to work on applications and plans on working on them during the break.

The All-Around:

Virginia* ’16 was accepted to two diversity fly-ins to Dartmouth and Williams. However, she ended up applying Restrictive Early Action to Princeton and Early Action to University of Virginia.

Virginia was nominated by Harvard-Westlake for UVA’s Jefferson Scholarship, which is given to a “Renaissance” person who is involved in many programs at the school. If Virginia is selected, she will receive a full ride to the school.

Illustration by Anna Gong/Chronicle
Illustration by Anna Gong/Chronicle

“Princeton has been my dream school for a long time since I was young, but I didn’t really know that much about colleges,” Virginia said. “When I started finding out more about colleges, I switched to a more liberal arts college, but I’m back on the Princeton track.”

She thinks Princeton is a good balance between a liberal arts college and a research university.

Because of her full schedule, Virginia has begun listening to audiobooks and physics podcasts when driving due to her long commute.

“Efficiency is how I’m somewhat surviving right now,” she said.

The Artist:

Homer* ’16 is still aiming to apply to liberal arts schools but opted out of applying Early Decision to all of his top choices of Wesleyan, Kenyon, Carleton and Northwestern because he “wasn’t passionate enough to one particular school.”

He did apply to Early Action to the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University.

“I’ve just been doing a little bit of applications here and there to make it go down easier,” Homer said.

During mid-semester break, Homer visited Massachusetts and Minnesota to visit colleges. Though he didn’t like Tufts or Boston College as much, Homer really like Williams College and has added the school to his list of colleges that he is applying to. Homer is now applying to Carleton College, as well, after his visit.

Homer is also applying to a few Ivy League schools such as Brown and Columbia.

The Athlete:

Willa* ’16 has verbally committed to Emory University after finishing all of her official visits to the colleges she had reached out to over the summer. These schools, Haverford, Vassar, NYU and Emory all offer liberal arts programs, which is what Willa has wanted.

As defined by Willa, a verbal commitment is when someone committed to applying to the school has the coach’s support on her application.

Willa ultimately chose Emory after visiting the school and shadowing a basketball player on campus.

“Especially because I’m going [to school] for basketball, I had to consider both the academic side and the athletic side,” Willa said. “I knew I wanted to do something science-related, and I know Emory has strong science programs.”

Willa also enjoys the coaching style of the Emory basketball team and credits that as part of her decision to verbally commit to Emory.

Willa has also begun working on her Regular Decision applications to some of the liberal arts schools she was previously considering, as well as bigger state schools such as University of Michigan.

 

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