Edward J. Connor '92

Dean of Admissions

Friday, March 13, 2009

Five for Five

Adam asked me today if I'd go 5 for 5 and post today about committee....it was a long week but here it is!!

Another good day of decision making came to a close a few hours ago and I've been spending a little time running the numbers at home. We have about 100 more files to wrap up early next week and have 180 files that still haven't been reviewed because they are not complete.

Today Karen and I spent time reviewing many of the applications we have from China and Jen lead a committee meeting of most of the remaining counselors to discuss their remaining candidates.

It's always interesting to see which schools send us the most applicants. The top 10 are always fairly similar, but the positions do change a bit year to year....

The top 10 this year:
(In Massachusetts unless noted)

Acton-Boxborough Regional HS - 40
Shrewsbury HS - 31
Wachusett Regional HS - 31
Bishop Guertin HS (NH) - 27
Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science - 27
North Quincy HS - 25
Bishop Feehan HS - 24
Salem HS (NH) - 23
Boston Latin School - 23
Quincy HS - 23

The top 5 outside the United States:

Nanjing Foreign Languages School (China) - 20
Academia Interamericana (Panama) - 11
HS Affililated with Nanjing Normal Univ (China) - 11
Chengdu No 7 Middle School (China) - 10
Koc Ozel Lisesi (Turkey) - 9

I suspect the numbers are so high at Action-Boxborough since I was the one to visit this year:)

More posts to come as the decisions mail. Hope you enjoyed hearing a bit more about our committee meetings this week.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Long Day Four of Committee Meetings

The light is at the end of the tunnel for us and for the students.  After several more hours of committee meetings most of the applications have been reviewed....just a few hundred to go!!

We'll have a busy day tomorrow and then head into some clean-up meetings next week.  I know many of you are anxious to get your decision.  Based on all the phone calls and e-mails I know there are lots of anxious students out there.  We are still over 2 weeks from April 1st, but hope to have all the decision letters out a few days before then.

We still mail our decisions...call us old fashioned...but we still think it's the best way send out our decisions.  I suppose at some point we'll have to make them available on-line to keep up with the times, but don't go looking for your decision on-line this year...you won't find it:)

If you live outside the US we use a mix of airmail and DHL to send out decision letters.  If you have reliable mail service it's likely to come by airmail...if not then we'll send by DHL.  It may take a couple of extra days depending on where you live...but hang in there we'll get the news out as soon as possible. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Light Day 3

Day 3 of Committee week was a bit light today. Many staff members were involved in scholarship committee meetings and a couple of staff members were prepping to hit the road for college fairs and conferences...yes the next cycle of recruitment has already begun!!

Some additional decisions were made today, mainly in the international group, but we are also working on wrapping up completion and reading of applications. We still have about 400 incomplete applications, but good to see that number dropping over the last week.

Sometimes students are surprised to find out we haven't been able to review their application and are sure everything was sent in....

Let's do some math -

6,300 applications, SAT scores, transcript, mid-year progress reports, at least
two recommendations, an essay, resumes from about half the applicants, certification finances forms from international applicants, and TOEFL scores from students who did not grow up speaking English as a native language...

GRAND TOTAL - just under 45,000 items...and that's not counting all the wonderful supplemental materials we get.

Our first application deadline is November 15th and our final notification date is April 1st....lots of paper floating around and lots of documents in cyberspace in a short period of time.

Do items ever get lost or misfiled? You do the math:)

Check those apps on-line!! http://admissions.wpi.edu/application.html


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Two is in the books

Our second day of committee has wrapped up with decisions made on another 300+ applications. My day was dedicated to the evaluation and discussion of international applications. Michelle, Karen, and I were holed up with laptops, printed reports, peanut M&Ms, and of course lots of files.

What are we looking at? What are we discussing? With our international applicants a lot of time is devoted to making sure we have a full understanding of the curriculum and grading system of the country and that we are giving a equatable review to each file. As you might imagine when considering candidates from countries such as Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, and Brazil within an hour's time there's a lot to wrap your brain around. And yes we were discussing files by country:)

What's most important to discuss? We want to be sure that students have the appropriate background to do the work at WPI, but also are considering what they will contribute to the WPI community and how academically competitive they are within the applicant pool.

How much time do we spend discussing a candidate? It can be as short as a minute or two, or stretch to 7 or 8 minutes for more complicated discussions.

Do we all agree on who to offer admission to? Sometimes;)

Day three will be here before we know it!!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Day One of Admissions Committee

We kicked off our admissions committee meetings today and devoted most of the day to discussion of our applicants. In case you are wondering, we don't typically all meet together for the entire day. The staff spent the first couple of hours all together, broke for lunch from New England Roast Beef, and then reconvened into two smaller groups for the afternoon.

Have you visited the meet the staff page? One group consisted of me, Katie, Julie, Kait, Aleksandra and Michelle...the other Jen, Adam, Jay, Karen, Bonnie, and Liza.

How many applications get discussed in a day? This depends how many groups we are breaking in to, but we wound up making decisions on a couple of hundred applications today.

Tomorrow we'll break into 3 smaller groups for the day....

Hang in there...decisions will be available soon.


PS - Congrats to the women's basketball team for winning their 2nd ECAC Championship in the last 3 years!!