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Introducing School’s Out: College Application Workshop

Tova Tolman

Written by Tova Tolmanon July 7th, 2016

I began my career as both a tour guide and senior interviewer at my alma mater, Barnard, where I later joined the admissions team and read and reviewed applications from students applying from the northeastern, midwestern, and western regions of the United States, as well as Canada. A few years later, while pursuing my master’s degree, I briefly left admissions to be the director of student life at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Realizing I missed working closely with students on the high school side of college counseling, I joined the admissions team at Fordham University where I recruited and reviewed applicants applying to Fordham’s liberal arts and business colleges. My most recent experience at Montclair State helped me understand what the application process looks like outside of highly selective colleges and how to help students who may not be fully prepared for college-level work. One of my favorite past experiences was managing the athletic recruitment process at Fordham as well as a number of sports at Barnard. Understanding the inner workings of both the Ivy and Patriot athletic leagues meant I was able to guide students to find the best athletic matches as part of their college search.
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On last week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Ian Fisher debuted our new School’s Out series, held Office Hours with a former Yale admissions officer, and unpacked some of your student loan options. Inside the Yale Admissions Office In the first segment, Ian welcomed our colleague Amy Alexander to discuss The Battle for Room 314, by Ed Boland. Aside from convincing me that we should consider starting a book club podcast, the two discussed Boland’s experience in education, shared which pieces of his Yale Admissions experiences overlapped with Amy’s experiences, and uncovered the role of alumni interviews, essays, and letters of recommendations. If you’re looking for a phenomenal example of being real and presenting your authentic self, this book is a must read. School’s Out: College Application Workshop      After the break, Ian introduced our new series airing this summer offering actionable advice to help navigate the challenges of the college admission process. On this episode, Kyra Tyler joined Ian to tackle the essay - also known as the personal statement. The two went through how to begin brainstorming, what to leave out, and how to master the art of talking about yourself. They shared some examples of great writing showcasing the author’s voice, and explained why you shouldn’t be so quick to write about that summer service trip.  They ended the segment by each giving our listeners one assignment to kick start the writing process. How to Choose a Student Loan In the last segment, Tara Piantanida-Kelly joined Ian to talk about student loans. More specifically, how to find the best loan program and avoid graduating buried in debt. Tara patiently walked us through some of the options, explained what the maximums are for federal loans, and shared which loans might have forgiveness programs sometimes making higher interest rates worth considering. Most helpful to me was their discussion around when to and when not to defer your loan payments. Can’t get enough of the conversation on student loans? Then be sure to tune into our next episode when we tackle how much to borrow! Getting-In-CTA


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