From Micaela Beigel
Why I chose to take a gap year and what you should consider if you’re considering taking one, too.
I knew I wanted to take a gap year long before my senior year of high school. In the Jewish community where I grew up it was a common practice, and I was lucky to see this experience modeled by older peers. It did not escape me then, or now, how privileged I was to have family and friends who supported my decision to take a gap year, when doing so is less common in the United States than in other parts of the world. Continue reading
*This is a repost of an earlier blog written by Director of Undergraduate Admissions Marissa Turchi. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that, more than ever, students have questions about whether or not they should apply early decision. The short answer: there is no right decision. For the long answer, keep reading.
Are you currently weighing the differences between Early Decision (ED) and Regular Decision (RD)? You’re not alone – this is one of the most common admissions-related discussions for this time of year. I wish I could give you a magic formula, one that simply tells you which decision to select, but I can’t. I can tell you this – there is no right or wrong decision when it comes to going ED or RD. You just have to figure out what option is best for you and your family. Continue reading
From Libby Lakeman
While many colleges are unable to physically welcome visitors to campus right now, Admissions Offices are offering various virtual events to connect with prospective students and families. Here at Bryn Mawr, we are coming up with creative ways to showcase our community through fireside chats, hangouts, and other online events. Other colleges are doing the same so take advantage of these opportunities! I know Zoom can be exhausting, so I want to help you find authentic ways to engage with our community during this time. Below are some of my best practices for engaging with colleges virtually.
From Kaila Hamdani
Assistant Director of Admissions & Coordinator for Access and Equity
The first semester of college is an exciting time – everything is new and opportunities seem endless – but many first-year students also experience an overwhelming sense of apprehension as they try to adjust to college life. For some students, especially those at selective institutions, the feeling of excitement is joined by a sense of surprise and concern – surprise that they were selected out of a number of applications and concern for their academic preparedness to succeed. Students may feel intimidated surrounded by other successful, highly capable students. This is known as Impostor Syndrome. Impostor Syndrome is the feeling you do not belong and question your own ability to succeed.
We know many students struggle with Impostor Syndrome, especially First-Generation and other underrepresented students. If you or a student you know struggles with Impostor Syndrome, we want to help. Below are some common remarks we hear and our responses. Continue reading
From Marissa Turchi
Coronavirus has dosed the world with a prevailing uncertainty – spreading panic and testing our anxiety thresholds. During this unprecedented time, everything feels weird and awkward and a bit surreal. The College search process is no exception to this state of weirdness, but luckily, we’re in this together! Continue reading
From Cheryl Lynn Horsey, Chief Enrollment Officer
For most colleges and universities with application deadlines, November marks the beginning of application season with applications and materials being submitted for early and regular decision. No doubt this can be a stressful time for everyone. Students are frantic with the prospect of learning their fate, and parents may be anxiously standing by to support as they navigate what may seem like a mysterious process.
Over the past few months, your student has worked to curate and assemble college lists and applications – transcripts, essays, interviews, college visits – there are a lot of moving pieces. Now that the application is submitted, what happens next?
The application is now in the hands of very capable admissions officers who are responsible for admitting a class of students who will thrive and persist at their institution. This is not a process taken lightly. Admissions officers spend hours upon hours on committee discussions and holistic reviews of applications to admit the best class possible.
As you and your student await the admissions decision, it is important that both of you manage your stress levels. This is particularly important with social media being such an integral part of our lives. Peers will begin posting decisions and this may further exacerbate the anxiety that you both may be experiencing. Managing expectations is really important at this point. Understand that whether or not your child gets into their top choice is no reflection on your parenting, nor is it a reflection on their worth. Colleges and universities receive far more qualified applicants than they can admit.
Another tip that cannot be stressed enough is allow your student to be in the driver’s seat during this process. The parental instinct is to protect and to advocate for your child, but encourage them to communicate with their counselors and admissions officers. Helping your child take the lead will foster their ability to develop the emotional and self-regulation skills that will be needed when they go to college. All students need to take on a more independent role in college and this is a great time to start practicing those skills. We know that this process is a family one and we encourage you to stay involved and be supportive of your child while giving them room to grow and learn.
Final words of wisdom: Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
From Katie Krimmel, Associate Dean of the Career & Civic Engagement Center
I always share my cell phone number with students. If they are ever on the fence about applying for a job or an internship, I want them to call me so that I can remind them of all of the ways their Bryn Mawr education has prepared them for this next challenge. I love encouraging students and learning what matters most to them. I am fortunate to do that work every day. As the Associate Dean of the Career & Civic Engagement Center at Bryn Mawr I want to tell you more about our unique Center. Continue reading
From Susan Chadwick, Director of Financial Aid
With October 1 right around the corner, many students and families have financial aid on their minds. Suddenly there are questions about changes in income, how retirement should be reported on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and what an FSA ID is used for in the process. While financial aid applications can appear daunting at times, there are many tips and tricks that can help you along the way.
Here are my top tips to successfully navigate the FAFSA and CSS Profile, College Board’s application used by many schools, to apply for institutional need based aid.
From Andrea Lirio
With a year of college under my belt, there are a lot of things I wish I had known — from what to pack and what classes to pick to how to make the most of my college experience — before jumping in. As the semester comes to an end, I decided to go around campus and ask my peers what they wish they had known. I hope this helps you as you plan for move-in day!
Campus visit advice from Bryn Mawr’s Coordinator of Visits and Events, Libby Lakeman.
If you are planning on visiting a few college campuses this summer, or even if you have some visits laid out for the fall, I am here to help make sure you capitalize on each experience. The campus visit can be overwhelming: you are being given a lot of information in a very short amount of time by staff and current students who seem all too happy for you to be at their school. So, below are a few insider tips to help you navigate your visit. Hopefully, they will help you come out on the other side feeling energized and optimistic about the rest of the college admissions process.