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Summer College Visits, The Common App Essay, and Tuition Refunds

Lauren Randle

Written by Lauren Randleon June 14th, 2018

I learned firsthand about the world of highly selective admissions as a former assistant director of admissions at Georgetown University. I traveled the United States, in and out of high schools and auditoriums, to eagerly educate students and their families about the application process, and then painstakingly reviewed thousands upon thousands of applications to fill our class. I reviewed applications for all four of Georgetown’s colleges (Georgetown College, McDonough School of Business, Walsh School of Foreign Service, and School of Nursing & Health Studies), and chaired the admissions committee for the School of Foreign Service. I experienced the nuances of the recruitment process as the admissions liaison to the Georgetown women’s soccer team, and also understood the significance of the admissions interview as the co-coordinator for Georgetown’s alumni interviewing process. I left admissions to pursue a master of education degree at the University of Virginia to broaden my knowledge of student development theories and current trends in higher education. There I decided that it was time to work more directly with students and families at the high school level, where my support and encouragement would have a more personal impact. That desire led me across the globe to Hong Kong, where I worked at a competitive international high school helping students with their college applications to the world's best universities. My international experience offered me the opportunity to work with extraordinary students and see extraordinary places.
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On this week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Ian Fisher tackles campus visits over the summer break, getting started on the Common App essay, and tuition refunds. The school year is either already finished or ending soon, and your summer schedule is wide open! Should you fill your summer break with college campus tours, or is that strictly an academic year activity? Former Barnard and Fordham admissions officer Tova Tolman joins Ian for a pros-and-cons discussion on summer campus visits. Be sure to tune in for this segment if you are considering touring colleges in between your beach vacations! The School Spotlight this week offers a 30-second snapshot of Middlebury College. Find out about this liberal arts campus where students are eager to engage the world. . . and a rousing round of Quidditch. Kara Courtois, a former Barnard admissions officer, joins Ian for an “Office Hours” segment to help students begin writing their Common App essay. Also called the “personal statement,” this main essay is something students should prepare for well in advance of application deadlines, as it may not be an easy exercise for many students. What are admissions officers looking for in this essay? How do you choose the “right” topic? Tune in to hear Kara’s advice on brainstorming and how to get the ball rolling on writing your Common App essay. What if my child doesn’t like college? Can I get a tuition refund? Hopefully these are questions you won’t have to ask as you drop your child off at college this fall, but just in case, financial aid expert Michelle Richardson helps address this scenario. Michelle explains what might be possible in terms of refunds, how it can change based on when the refund request is made, and what you might have to pay back for financial aid. Make sure to listen to Michelle’s advice if you are considering purchasing tuition insurance for your student. On next week’s episode of Getting In, we will cover summer test prep strategy, setting goals for younger students, and options for student loan forbearance. Getting-In-CTA


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