Two Mom's College Cram Course panelists are involved in college admissions and are also moms with teens making college decisions. It gives a new dimension to the blurring of work and home.
Judy Aaron is vice president for enrollment at Pratt Institute, one of the major four-year art schools in the country. She seems to share the emotions that we civilians go through. But she also has some sensible reminders for us.
"Having gone through the admissions process with my daughter and now my son, I can say that it is frustrating, anxiety-producing, and ultimately rewarding as the process becomes clear and your kids begin to make progress. The common application has evolved in the last few years to include on-line teacher recommendations, so it has eliminated much of the work of printing out the forms, addressing and stamping envelopes, and then getting it to the teachers.
"The difficult part is selecting the colleges, particularly at a time when your kids may not want to talk to you much. You have to be patient and provide little bits at a time. Some will take the initiative and go on the web; others won't, and you will have to help more.
But get this -- she thinks the process, that she lives through at work every day, can be just as difficult for those in the business. "The part that we don't realize as admissions professionals is how easy it is to lose track of the requirements of a particular school or the deadlines if you don't have a system for remembering and logging them in. My staff is always exasperated by students who fail to submit materials in time to meet our requirements, but I now understand how easy it is to forget to send an SAT score to a college you included late in the process.
"Again, the common application makes it very easy to keep track of the application submission, the supplement, the payment, and the recommendations, but you have to keep track of transcript submissions and SAT score submissions on your own. Dartmouth does a great job of reminding students immediately after they receive their application and supplement of what else is needed. That becomes a trigger for you."
Good golly, if admissions people think this is complicated...