College Applications: Not so simple after all

Hello again. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the free time to blog but I thought I would add a recent update on what senior year is like at Skyline. For starters the school seems to be functioning well enough, much smoother than last year. Mr. Sye does seem to have things under control and I’m starting to hear all these new announcements about students who are tardy to class starting next week will be detained (maybe it’s just me but that made me chuckle awkwardly considering how much we’ve been reading about the Patriot Act in government class).

I’ve been enjoying my senior year but it is crazy busy. I’m currently loaded down with three AP classes, plenty of homework to keep me busy, a job three days a week, participating in three clubs while running one of them, and trying to apply to colleges all at the same time. Yes… my head starts to explode probably every other day. Let’s just say I HIGHLY recommend that every student in this type of situation use a day planner… it’s been saving my life.

As for colleges, I’m starting to get overwhelmed and a little lost. Gone are the days of filling out an application and mailing it in. Everything is now automated and online, including the application itself, score reports, teacher evaluations, counselor evaluations, supplements…. AHH. But I did manage to take a break from the hectic mess to go visit some East Coast schools and gosh, it was so refreshing. Of the four my aunt and I looked at, Brown stood above them all. Right now I would say that is my top choice, and with a barely 12 percent acceptance rate (last year something like 27,000 people applied to a now 5,000 person student population) it will be a challenge.

Wish me luck.


  • Nextset

    When selecting colleges, apply for safe and reach choices. For safe choices keep an eye out for schools where your profile fits comfortably within the existing student body, look for schools large enough to have new opportunities in occupations and people. Look for locations where you might possibly want to settle in the future. Don’t rule out something new either. Being too comfortable is a mistake. For your reach schools try to have something that they might need. Schools are looking for diversity of zip codes, backgrounds, etc.

    Ask adults who work in fields you are interested in where they went and why. If you have a field or profession you like, look up prominent people in that field and note where they went. Information is power, talk to as many adults who you want to end up like – even call people you don’t know and ask them. Something interesting will emerge.

    Good Luck!

  • Walnut Creek Mom

    Coming from an Oakland public school, you will need some incredible test scores and extracurriculars to get into Brown. Good luck, you’re going to need it.

  • Jesse Dutton-Kenny

    Thank you, I have them.

  • Ex OUSD staff

    Walnut Creek Mom, your experience is different from mine. If you look at the distribution of college admissions for college bound seniors from East Bay private schools and from OUSD schools you will find about the same proportions of students going to junior colleges, CSU’s, UC’s and competitive private liberal arts colleges. Academically focused students from the OUSD are not at a disadvantage in college admissions compared to academically focused students from private schools.

  • Nextset

    Ex-Staff: As with the driver’s licenses, what worries me is that students who would have been directed/guided into college prep aren’t because the school doesn’t want to push them into “acting white”… I’m concerned there is emphasis in keeping it real. Real stupid.

  • CCounselor

    Did you apply Early Decision to Brown? Brown has a 64% higher rate of admission for Early Decision applicants than it has for its regular pool (making it one of the top schools in the country that has this dramatic of a ED advantage).

    If not, consider using CAPS (www.capstoapply.com) and demonstrating interest. Based on your post it seems like you have at least ballpark scores and the interest factor would help your application (in additional to your trek across the country to visit the college in person).

  • Walnut Creek Mom

    I wish I could say it was as easy as going to an easy school (especially compared to where the majority of Ivy-Leaguers go, getting bare minimum test scores (2050+)and shelling out some money to visit the school to seem “interested.”

  • Nextset

    WC Mom: I smiled at the Counselor’s comment also.

    In the USA 4 year colleges, especially the top tier colleges, are (social) class markers. One of the main reasons for being there is class membership and assortive mating. From these college experiences we also get children produced eventually who are themselves part of the upper class structure.

    Darn right shelling out $$ to visit the school to seem “interested” is a good investment. It shows the school that you have the resources (and values) to be considered to belong in this class – and the preferences for the live visit applicants help keep out those who’s circumstances show they don’t belong (not the right sort of people).

    We are talking about the gene pool here.

    Urban Public School children usually have no membership in these “clubs” and are only there as affirmative action admits – and even then there is a selection process that keeps out the Jesse Jackson’s in favor of the Obamas… Sort of a brown paper bag test but rather informal. Light Eqyptian preferred!! They don’t quibble about the college visits, they know better.

    Keeping a strong California State College system is critically important because that does provide a route for our public school kids to move into the professions.