When a Lokvani email arrived in her mailbox two weeks ago, announcing a college admission workshop, Anuradha Patel did what any busy career woman would do. With a son at high school, she put it aside promising herself she would open it the next day. It wasn’t until another friend called her urging her to join, that she decided to attend the session. Today, she is happy that she was there and admits to being better informed of the admission process.
For Sunita Srinivasan, college is a long shot away. She is in her junior year at high school, has AP courses under her belt, is active in various committees and has a good GPA average. Yet, when it is time to apply for admissions in her senior year, she will be better prepared, thanks to an introduction to the process from Lokvani’s highly successful workshop on college admissions.
As Allan Clemow, Director of Admissions, Tufts University put it. “Every time a senior bumps into any of his friends at the supermarket, at every family barbecue or even at a birthday party he is confronted with the ubiquitous question, “Where are you applying to college? Are you taking an early decision? What are your top choices for, and what will you major in? The students are stumped and so are many others who are feeling the same anxiety.
Allan Clemow, Director of Admissions, Tufts University, engaged in a lively and interactive session with the participants and talked on the strategy for dealing with admission to various colleges. He outlined a collection of tools to find and apply for the schools that were right for each candidate. Admitting that a student had to process a lot of information, he provided some pointers. Splitting the process into two, he informed the students and parents that while academics were part of the spectrum, extracurricular activities was another. On an average students’ applied to 7 to 8 schools and got admitted to 4 of them. Many students look for connections to various disciplines and to take advantage of this, he explained that choosing specific courses rather than asking for a specific subject to major in was an ideal choice.
Drawing on his personal experience he related with humor on how a student sent in a box of all his achievements and certificates from Kindergarten to High school. Definitely not what the admission officer was looking for!
To get a first hand experience from the students point of view, Lokvani invited Vikas Goela, a sophomore at Harvard, Shirali Pandya a sophomore at MIT and Manasi Singhal a sophomore at Dartmouth to share their personal experiences. Vikas Goela, who had attended Philips Academy before joining Harvard gave pointers on the essay that he wrote. He also felt that fewer but more focused extracurricular activities go a long way in helping the admission officer know about a person’s interests. He also spoke on his own job experience of working at Stop and Shop and a start up company that helped him develop a fresh perspective to people and life.
There were plenty of questions from the participants. Varun, a junior at Framingham high wanted to know the difference between early action and early decisions. Anusha, from Salem High school asked about the advantages of graduating in 3 years and talked on her experience of taking courses at the local state college. Rita Shah, a parent asked the question uppermost in the minds of many parents, the ways and means of getting a scholarship. A few other parents were keen to know more about fund allocation and financial aid.
With comments ranging from very informative, good initiative, well organized, Lokvani’s sponsored College admission workshop at Tufts University turned out to be a well attended, interactive and helpful event. Ashwin, a junior at Sudbury High school liked the idea of the perspective from a private school and a public school. At the end of it, it seemed as if the participants were eager for more on the issue. Here are some of the comments:
Very beneficial especially parents discussion. Also liked students view point. Thanks for organizing this.
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Vikas Goela, Allan Clemow,Shirali Pandya
Vikas Goela,Allan Clemow, Shirali Pandya
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