Upper school deans host college admissions workshop

Kelly Riopelle

For the 35th year in a row, the upper school deans hosted a College Admissions Workshop April 23, designed to show students and their parents what the admissions process looks like. The event featured admissions officers from 46 colleges. Approximately juniors and their parents from Campbell Hall, Oakwood and Harvard-Westlake attended the two-hour event.

Attendees were divided into separate student and parent groups of from 10 to 20 people and each had an admissions officer. Each group reviewed four fictitious Common Applications and then voted to admit one student, waitlist one student and deny admission to the remaining two, while the admissions officers answered questions relating to the application process.

Afterward, students and parents gathered in Taper Gym, where the representatives set up tables, answered questions and provided information about their schools.

“We had 46 groups on campus [who were] given the exact same information and different groups made of up different personalities with different dynamics were tasked to admit one student and waitlist one student. They didn’t all agree,” Upper School Dean Vanna Cairns said. “The purpose is to show that it’s a really personal process. It’s heartening to know they are looking at more factors but it’s hard to understand that it’s such a subjective process. Each of the groups is looking at each of the candidates with their own biases.”

Emma Wasserman ’16 felt that although it was slightly stressful, the event gave her a better picture of how the admissions process works.

“The event made me understand how difficult it is to be an admission officer, because there are so many things they have to contemplate and take into account,” Wasserman said. “It made me a little overwhelmed and I just realized that it’s going to be a lot harder than I thought. The admissions process is hard and I don’t know how they do it.”