Heads Up! The College Admissions Process is Shifting Focus

Recently, we’ve been receiving many calls from very anxious parents about milestone changes in college admissions policies.  Several top colleges have acknowledged changes, including Carnegie Mellon and University of Chicago that will affect rising seniors (Class of 2023)

The University of Chicago dropped an admissions requirement for students to submit either the SAT or ACT test scores becoming SAT/ACT optional.    James G. Nondorf, Dof admissions and vice president of enrollment and student advancement stated,   “We want to remove any policy or program that we have that advantages one group over the other”.

Carnegie Mellon University eliminated so-called “demonstrated interest”.  CMU prominently states, “The mission of Carnegie Mellon University includes the cultivation of a diverse community”  It further states: “…Our undergraduate admission process is shifting to focus more on diversity and inclusion of all populations by reducing or eliminating advantages that have been inherent in certain aspects of the admission process. The goal is to provide a more equitable, level playing field where all segments of our applicant population have the same opportunity in the admission process. We’re eliminating demonstrated interest as a consideration in our admission paradigm. See Carnegie Mellon University’s Statement.

What does this mean for applicants?:

  1. The college admissions landscape is changing.
  2. Colleges admissions officers are considering diversity in admissions – they want a diverse incoming class
  3. Top Colleges Enhance Efforts To Enroll Low-Income Students

What this really means is that top colleges are shifting more to a holistic admissions process, are becoming more inclusive and recognizing that each accepted student brings unique qualities to the university setting.  The college admissions process is shifting more toward evaluating a student’s character (College Admissions: How will Character be Assessed) and what they can meaningfully contribute to university community.  They are spending more time reviewing students under a microscope and appreciating the fact that some applicants are disadvantaged during the application process. As a result the admissions process to the Ivies and highly selective schools is becoming hrpercompetitive and and more non-formulaic!

“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe, founder and managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group, provides comprehensive counseling advice, exclusively for admissions to top private schools; Ivy League and highly-selective colleges/universities; BS/MD programs; graduate and medical schools and top visual and performing arts programs.   The admissions affiliate: Ivy League Admissions Advisors specializes in admissions to Ivy League and highly selective colleges,  Dr. Lowe also specializes in helping students who have been wait-listed, deferred or rejected gain admission into their top-choice schools: College Application Rejected. and student who wish to transfer to another college:  College Transfer Admissions AdvisorsSummer Camps:  BS/MD Application Boot Camp and Ivy League Application Boot Camp.

College Admissions Tips for Art Students

High school students who are interested in arts programs or majoring in art in college must prepare for the college admissions process in the same manner as other college-bound students.  However, in addition to grades, GPA, extracirricular activities and college applications, they must develop a professional art portfolio.  The art portfolio requirements vary at each college so it is essential to contact each college Art department for these specifications.

Here are several useful tips for college-bound art students:

  1. Have your artwork photographed, videotaped, scanned or graphically converted to display in a professional manner.
  2. Show a range of techniques and mastery in the works you choose.
  3. Choose works that show creative thinking and a unique perspective.
  4. Begin developing your portfolio during your junior year so that you may evaluate what works you already have and plan to create works in areas that you are lacking.
  5. Take your works to a professional for critiquing!  An art teacher, local artist, art professor or a current art student may be good sources to give your portfolio a trial run.
  6. Since your art portfolio is a part of your college admissions process, you should consider retaining the services of an admissions advisor who has experience in working with art students and understands the philosophy and academic mission of each of your target colleges.

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director of Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.  He and his team of admissions advisors, through the admissions affiliate, Ivy League Admissions Advisors help students gain admissions to Ivy League and high selective colleges and universities.