August 1st. For all of us in Bendetson hall, this means the unofficial start of the next admissions cycle. The Class of 2020 is going to matriculate in less than a month (don’t worry, we will be posting pictures of the whole day), and our sights have moved toward forming the Class of 2021. The first step in this long process is travelling to as many high schools as possible in the span of two months. Sounds daunting, and it can be, but it is a part of our job that is so important as we try to find the next herd of Jumbos.
We talk a lot about context in our office- it is important that we know where you are coming from so we can look at your application through the right lens. I read applications from parts of Northern California, but also India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. As you can imagine, it would be impossible for me to compare students from a public high school in California to a public school in India. While we can do as much research online to get a sense of your high school’s curriculum, travelling to your school allows us to see you in your “natural habitat”, so to speak. We get to visit your high schools, sit in your guidance offices (or libraries, or cafeteria…) and talk to you all in a really casual setting. These visits are meant to be conversations where we get to know you and what is important to you (for more about getting the most of a high school visit, check out this blog post). Instead of an information session, where admissions officers are talking about Tufts in a broader scope, high school visits are the chance for you to ask the specific questions. In addition, visiting your high school gives us the chance to talk to your college counselors. We get to learn about new programs at your high school, changes to the curriculum and anything else that may affect how we read your application.
Besides visiting high schools, travel season also consists of a set of presentations called Who Gets in and Why. This presentation, led by members of the admissions staff, will take you through a mock committee- we will take an in depth look at applicants and talk about how the academics, extra-curricular activities and personal qualities help the admissions officers make a final decision. To find out if we will be hosting one of these presentations in your area, visit the Tufts in your Area page.
Even though we will not be hitting the road until September, you can use this interactive map to find out who your admissions representative is. This person should be your point person throughout this whole process, and feel free to reach out if you have questions. We are here to help!