The past academic year has proven to be yet another cycle of excitement, challenges, and change in the already complex world of college admission and counseling. At Fordham, we’re pleased to share that the past year for us was very successful. We owe much of that success to your support and the outstanding work that you do in finding students who are the right fit for our programs and campus communities.
As the fall term began, we welcomed more than 2200 students to both the Rose Hilland Lincoln Center campuses.The Class of 2022 is an exceptionally talented one. We attained an applicant pool of more than 46,100 and an acceptance rate of 46%. The mean GPA for enrolled students is 3.65 on a 4.0 scale. The Class also has a mean standardized test score of 1355 (+11 points over a year ago).
Additionally, the Class is notable for its geographic diversity with 64% of students enrolling from out of state, including representation from 47 states (including DC and Puerto Rico) and 41 countries. Students of color (domestic) and international students comprise 46% of the class. The diversity of our domestic students increased by 6% and international students declined slightly (9% of the class this year is international vs. 10% last cycle).
To start off the year, here are some highlights:
- Fordham will continue to use one application platform –The Common Application. We know from your feedback that a single option is helpful as you guide students and families through the college process.
- We’ve launched a new admission publication campaign. If you haven’t received copies of our new materials, please email me directly if you’d like to receive an updated counselor packet for your office.
- After many years of super-scoring the SAT only, starting with the fall 2019 cycle, we will also super-score the ACT in an effort to acknowledge student achievement across all test types.
- Fordham University will offer a new SAT/ACT test flexible application option for qualified overseas students applying for Fall 2019 admission, as extensive test cancellations and reductions in administrations have significantly limited the opportunities for students living outside the United States to complete standardized tests often required for U.S. university admission consideration. Please see our Application Requirements for International students page for additional details.
- We continue to offer Early Decision in addition to Early Action, Priority Performance, and Regular Decision options.
FINANCIAL AID PROCESS
- We won a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant which will allow us to offer a new Aspires scholarship to select STEM students from underrepresented populations with financial need.
- We will continue to provide financial aid packages to eligible students who are admitted and complete the filing process as follows:
- Early Decision - packages received with admission offer
- Early Action - packages sent to admitted students by the first week of February
- Regular Decision - packages sent to admitted students with decision or, if incomplete, soon after
For more information about filing deadlines, please visit our Financial Aid website.
WHAT’S NEW AT FORDHAM?
There are a few other exciting items of note at Fordham. Here are some highlights:
- We’ll be offering a new minor in Disability Studies and a new concentration in Process and Quality Analytics.
- We welcomed the University’s first Chief Diversity Officer to campus this past January. Learn more about Rafael Zapata.
- Our London Centre has moved into a newly renovated space in Clerkenwell. This is just one of 110 opportunities our students have to study abroad on six of the seven continents!
- We’re building a new Visitor Center/Office of Undergraduate Admission at our Lincoln Center campus, projected to open in April.
I have so much more to share with you, so please follow my blog, read our periodic Ram Mail for counselors and visit our counselor page often. I also encourage you to contact me directly, visit campus, or interact with members of our Undergraduate Admission team.
I, and the Undergraduate Admission team, look forward to working with you and your students in the coming year.
Patricia Peek, PhD
Dean of Undergraduate Admission
Lincoln Center Campus | 113 West 60th St. | New York, NY 10023 | 718-817-4000
Rose Hill Campus | 441 East Fordham Rd. | Bronx, NY 10458 | 718-817-4000
As you continue to counsel students and families on the right college fit, I wanted to share a great example of how innovation occurs in a liberal arts and sciences setting when a student’s academic pursuits and personal passions collide.
Tyler Mitchell ’20, computer science major and Digital Technology Summer Fellow in the Gettysburg Innovation Lab, designed a potentially revolutionary medical device with the use of 3D printing technology. Tyler created a closed loop insulin pump that operates entirely by reading blood sugar levels that continuously move through a glucose monitor and has the potential to radically improve the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes. Tyler reflects on his experience: “At Gettysburg College, I was given the freedom to build whatever I wanted through my summer fellowship – and it seems to be paying off. My hope is that this project will have a real-world impact on those suffering with diabetes, and that I can truly help those individuals in a meaningful way.”
Tyler’s story underscores the ability to think critically and solve complex problems. His story is just one example of how students at Gettysburg College are inspired to transform the world around them.
Please take a moment to share Tyler’s story with your students and families as you discuss the value of the liberal arts.
Dean of Admissions
Tips for Writing an Effective Admission Essay
September 27, 2018
So you’ve started putting together your college applications, and like a boss, you’ve been requesting transcripts, filling in your personal information, and asking for recommendation letters. But there’s one last requirement that you’ve been dreading. It’s the summit of your mountain, the boss fight in your video game, the spun sugar on your croquembouche.
We’re talking, of course, about the college admission essay.
If you’re like many high school students, you’ve been putting off this part of your application. Maybe it’s because you’re not inspired by the various prompts. Perhaps you’re procrastinating because trying to express your character, personality, worldview, passions, writing skill, and desire to go to a particular school all within just a few hundred words feels overwhelming. Or maybe you’re stressed because you know a lot rides on this part of your application but you don’t consider yourself a strong writer.
Whatever the reason, we’re here with suggestions—and insider tips from the experts—to make the essay-writing process a little less painful.
It’s a story, not a résumé
Some admission officers pore over your application; others spend only minutes reading your documents. Whatever your reader’s process, you need to grab their attention. And a snore-mongering list of extracurriculars is not the way to hook your audience. As Southwestern University Associate Director of Admission Dana Marchant suggests, “Do not reiterate all the activities and involvement you have completed during your high school year. Focus on one experience and the skill it has taught you. It may be very big (e.g., being adopted) or small (e.g., a jarring conversation at an after-school club meeting), but focus on the life lessons you learned from that experience. Some of the best essays I have read have been about a simple experience, but students have been able to put me in that moment with them and then expounded on how it changed them.”
Remember that stories don’t begin with a repetition of the prompt (e.g., please don’t start with, “One time when I questioned or challenged a belief or idea was …”) or a definition from a dictionary (e.g., avoid saying, “Merriam–Webster defines ‘success’ as …”); instead, you should begin with something descriptive, such as setting the scene or jumping right into the middle of the action. Then, go on to illustrate how the event took place, devoting details only to significant moments. (Life hack: Keep in mind that this is also a story and not a novel, so don’t go all Charles Dickens on this.)
But unlike a story, an essay needs a main point that’s stated explicitly, so beyond describing the event or person, be sure to explain how that event or person changed you. Did you learn a skill you’ve used or would like to continue honing as an undergraduate? Did you learn an important lesson that has shaped how you think or behave in some way? Regardless of the topic you choose, your essay should tell a distinctive, compelling, cohesive story about who you are, how you’ve grown as an individual, and the contributions you’ll make to this particular college campus.
Honesty is the only policy
The application essay is not a résumé, nor is it an epic. And by “not an epic,” I mean both “not fiction” and “not a grand adventure story about an extraordinary protagonist.” Some students might feel pressured to invent tragic past experiences or monumental achievements to heighten the emotional appeal of their essays, but admission officers can detect bovine feces. They also don’t expect you to have survived trauma or carried out heroic feats by your senior year in high school. So always represent yourself in the best way possible, but make sure you keep that depiction truthful.
“To paint the lily … Is wasteful and ridiculous excess”
Remember what Salisbury says to the crown and Pembroke in Shakespeare’s The Life and Death of King John (1595), which I know you’re intimately familiar with and can quote by rote:
To descry your plans for achieving world peace,
To say a spork is but a metaphor for life,
Or to hint that an aglet is a fair symbol of your soul
Is slick and unctuous smarm. (4.2.11–14)
OK, that is in no way a direct quotation, nor is it anything close to blank verse, but trust me: the bard would want you to avoid trying to anticipate what the admission staff want to read. So don’t try to be too clever or cutesy in your essay, and don’t try to embellish a perfectly simple story. “We’re trying to discern whether you can you put thoughts on paper in a coherent manner,” says Southwestern University’s Vice President for Strategic Recruitment and Enrollment Tom Delahunt. “The topic doesn’t have to be heavy, like death, dying, or a debilitating illness. It can be light and still give us an indication that you can write and effectively communicate.” Everyday experiences can be meaningful, and youshould describe how a particular difficult conversation affected your thinking about cultural differences or how collecting antique typewriters helps you see technology in a different way. But don’t exaggerate the significance of your experience; the effect it’s had on your personal growth does not need to be elevated to the level of global impact.
And don’t try to use sesquipedalian (SAT alert!) vocabulary when you’re a mono- or disyllabic kind of writer; relying on a thesaurus and using words you’re not familiar with are another sure signal of an inauthentic voice.
The rough draft should not be the only draft
The college essay may seem like its own beast—and therefore one that you don’t know how to grapple with—but the writing process is the same as it often is for an academic essay, a blog post, a letter to the editor, or a cover letter: brainstorm, outline, write a rough draft, get critical distance from it, revise it, edit it, and proofread it.
Notice that I didn’t say, “write a rough draft, and submit it.” Why shouldn’t you let your essay fly? Because you need to take some time away from it to get some critical distance. For example, in the flurry of a rough draft, you might feel attached to a particular sentence or paragraph, but after stepping away—physically and mentally—from your first effort, you might come back to find that those wonderful turns of phrase don’t really fit the content or tone of the rest of the piece. You’ll be better able to catch those inconsistencies and revise them if you’ve given yourself distance from the essay. You want to make sure that your application is polished and tells a clear, convincing, coherent story about why you belong at XYZ University, so instead of dashing it off and being done with it, give yourself at least a day or two away from it so that you can come back to revise with an alert mind and fresh eyes. Only after you’ve had a chance to review your essay carefully and put the finishing touches on it should you click the submit button.
Another way to get critical distance from your essay is to get criticism. And I don’t mean a slash-and-burn review like you might get from an unreasonable reality-TV competition judge. I’m talking about constructive feedback from trusted friends, family, or mentors. Southwestern University Assistant Director of Admission Rebecca Rother recommends having two people review your essay. The first should be someone “who knows you super well, such as a parent, best friend, close teacher, etc. They will be able to see the essence of you in the story you’ve chosen.” The second reader should be “someone who doesn’t know you as well,” such as “a teacher you haven’t had for a few years, a friend of the family, the librarian at the local library, etc. This will be the person who makes sure that you aren’t missing key details to your story.” Often, the college-application essay is so personal that you can forget that your reader, the admission officer, is practically a stranger and may not recognize the people and places you mention in your essay, so your second reader can help you clarify those unfamiliar references.
Another great trick is to ask your two reviewers to read your essay and then, considering the story you have shared, think of three adjectives to describe you. If those three adjectives reflect the message or self-portrait you intended to depict in your draft, then you are on the right track; if not, then you need to rethink your content.
Use your words—preferably correctly spelled ones
Your grammar and usage do not have to be perfect. However, your essay should be polished and free of conspicuous errors, such as typos and spelling mistakes. In addition to having reviewers spot any issues with clarity and readability, Southwestern University Dean of Admission and Enrollment Services Christine Bowman suggests, “print out your essay, and read it aloud to make sure you have not missed any key words or punctuation. Sometimes we type faster than our thoughts get onto the page.” Seeing your essay printed in hard copy can help you see what you might miss on screen; reading it aloud can help you “hear” errors that your eyes might skip.
This has nothing to do with clothing; this has everything to do with making sure that you’re not sending the same essay to every university. If an admission counselor at Yalevard reads that your wonderful volunteer experience at the local giraffe rehabilitation center makes you a great fit for Stanmouth, then they’re likely to guffaw … right before they chuck your application into the rejection pile. Such mistakes can make you look careless and less than committed to the school. But even beyond just mentioning the correct names of schools, do your research to find out what makes each university the right fit for you. Clarifying specific aspects of each college’s curriculum, special programs, student organizations, athletic teams, or other opportunities and why they are an ideal match for your interests and values can impress admission staff that you’re serious about their institution. (Pro tip: you’ll want to remember this tip when you write cover letters and even résumés for internships and jobs; customizing your content to specific employers is always key.)
All that said …
Earlier, I mentioned that you shouldn’t make mountains out of molehills within your essay. Similarly, don’t exaggerate the importance of the essay itself: it is only one part of your college application, and it is rarely the sole reason a student gets admitted or denied. A particularly strong essay won’t balance out a consistent record of underwhelming academic performance, and a less-than-award-winning essay will not necessarily cancel out an otherwise stellar application filled with excellent grades, commitment to community service, and compelling recommendations. Admission staff aren’t looking for the perfect topic or essay; rather, they just want to get a better sense of each applicant’s passions, opinions, and ways of thinking so that they can fill each incoming class with a diverse group of interesting classmates and roommates. So work hard and carefully on your college-application essay, but don’t obsess over it.
Best of luck!
I write today to introduce myself and to share a few quick updates about Ohio Wesleyan that I hope will help you in your work. I’ll start with the updates:
$30,000 MERIT SCHOLARSHIP –We are pleased to announce we are renewing our expanded scholarship program for 2018-2019 to ensure top students have access to the kind of personalized, challenging, hands-on educational experience that OWU offers. Students with a minimum 3.4 grade point average and an 1150 SAT or 23 ACT score will again receive an automatic $30,000 Branch Rickey Scholarship, renewable for four years.
Students who are close to meeting these requirements will qualify for merit awards starting at $20,000. For additional information, please.
OFF-CAMPUS INTERVIEWS– Ohio Wesleyan is offering many off-campus interviews this fall. Students are invited to register online to meet with us at.
And just a quick note about me. I’m pleased to have joined Ohio Wesleyan in August, coming from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. In addition, I am the 2018-19 president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), and I am passionate about the importance of higher education, especially the liberal arts. I also have a high school senior involved in the college search process – making me doubly appreciative of all you and your colleagues do!
I hope to meet you in person soon. In the meantime, if I can ever be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Stefanie Niles, Ed.D.
Vice President of Enrollment and Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University