On Friday October 19th, Boston International School Student Services Director and College Counselor, Michael Wagner, was selected to proudly present at the recent Jiangsu College Counselor Conference at Dulwich College in Suzhou.
Mr. Wagner’s presentation was entitled – The Changing Landscape of College Admissions: Holistic vs. Test based. The presentation addressed how college admissions priorities are changing from simply a test scores and GPA driven process. The session was designed to help counselors gain a clearer understanding of the changing landscape of college admissions and to also help students develop tools to better tell their stories to colleges and universities.
Mr. Wagner has over 10 years of college counseling experience and has help many students gain admissions to a variety of colleges and universities.
In order to help our parents to understand more about college admissions dos and don’ts, so they may better assist our students during their college application process, we invited Mr. Wager to present to our parents, The Changing Landscape of College Admissions.
Since the beginning of this semester, we have had several colleges come over and give our students information sessions regarding college admission process and the key application criteria. We realize that different schools have different aspects of looking at a student’s application.
For instance, the representative from University of New Castle (UON), Sam Wong said, “Admission of UON is pretty much test based at the moment, students are only required to provide transcript at the time of application.”
The International Admissions Officer of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Philip Chen said, “We are still leaning toward the scores based approach, but did introduce the interview process…some of the more competitive programmes also require a personal statement from the students, so that the faculty/department can better identify the strength of the applicants.”
Whereas, the Assistant Director of International Admissions at Boston University, Samantha Fifield said, “The big change in the US in recent years, however, has been the turn away from standardized testing such as the SAT and ACT. While the number of higher institutions with flexible testing requirements is still relatively small, the number is growing. I think schools are realizing how much a barrier it is to students abroad, especially in places where access to the test is very limited, and also, frankly, that those exams are not the best indicator of students’ success. We were missing out on great students as a result of so strictly requiring those exams, and so it has led us to question our own test policies, and I see this happening with more and more institutions.”
As Mr. Wagner mentioned, a recent international education forum that he attended in Shanghai, the “Strength of Curriculum” and the “Essay or Writing Sample” are ranked way above the “test score”, which means the trend of college admissions is changing gradually. The transcript will still be a very importance aspect of a student’s application, but definitely is not the only one that college admission officers are looking for.
What’s also important? Develop the Unique Story!
Meaningful extracurricular activities
Get outside their comfort zones
Take leadership opportunities
Stick with it
Make it their own
Reflection on experiences
Now, do you have your unique story?