Admissions Beat

Admissions Beat

At a time when college applications are rising sharply and the most selective colleges are more competitive than ever, there's a lot of news—and noise—about college admissions. But how much of the chatter is accurate? And how much is just fear-mongering or gossip? For straight talk from experts, tune into our new series, Admissions Beat. Each week, Lee Coffin, Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth College, will consider some of the top admissions headlines and hot topics from the national admissions news beat. A roundtable of experts will offer conversation and advice before answering listener questions.

Episodes

January 17, 2022 46 min

For over two decades, journalist Jacques Steinberg has been demystifying the college admissions process, in his articles and blogs for The New York Times, in his groundbreaking book, The Gatekeepers, and now, by co-authoring with Eric Furda, a former Ivy League dean of admissions, The College Conversation: A Practical Companion for Parents to Guide Their Children Along the Path to Higher Education. Lee Coffin and Charlotte Albright...

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As 2021 draws to a close, college application deadlines loom. Lee Coffin shops for tips for getting to the finish line from a high school counselor, and learns to handle stress from his own fitness trainer. Does "optional" really means what it says on a college application form? Yes, says Dean Coffin, who ends the year with a poem of his own.

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December 6, 2021 55 min

Lee Coffin invites Sherri Geller, co-director of college counseling at Gann Academy in Waltham, and the author of a popular blog, to share her poignant, humorous posts about the pleasures and pitfalls of giving empathetic, realistic advice to students and parents. They are joined by Ronnie McKnight, the associate director of college counseling at Paideia School in Atlanta, for a candid conversation that brings levity as well as enl...

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November 29, 2021 39 min

Lee Coffin reunites panelists from a College Board colloquium to discuss the interdependence of transcripts and school profiles. Detailed descriptions of the high schools from which applications flow allow admissions readers to put transcripts in context, with an understanding that not all students come to college with equal advantages or access to advanced high school courses and academic support. In the newsroom, Coffin and his p...

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November 22, 2021 54 min

More and more selective colleges are seeking ways to open their doors more widely to populations that used to find it difficult to be admitted, or to afford tuition. For example, Amherst College recently announced it would no longer give so-called "legacy" preference to applicants whose parents attended the school. Lee Coffin talks with Amherst's dean of admissions and financial aid, Matt McGann, about that and other in...

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November 12, 2021 49 min

The Common Application, known as the Common App, started in 1975 as a paper form accepted by about a dozen institutions—mostly liberal arts colleges. The aim was to streamline the application process, thereby opening the doors of higher education to a larger, more diverse population. Today, over 900 colleges and universities across the globe accept the Common App, which, as it harnesses technology, continues to expand access for mi...

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November 5, 2021 39 min

Wherever they go, college admissions deans and counselors are invariably grilled by parents eager to get their children into the top schools on their wish lists. Host Lee Coffin and his guest, Jennifer Simons, who advises families for Bright Horizons College Coach, address some of their most pressing and common concerns. And, as always, Coffin and producer Charlotte Albright will review admissions topics and trends making headlines...

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October 29, 2021 33 min

Once an admissions officer, always an admissions officer. Even when deans of admission retire or take other jobs, they often remain committed to higher education, and their collective wisdom is valuable. In this episode, Lee Coffin talks with colleagues who, having left their former posts, speak candidly about pressing issues affecting applicants to college.

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October 19, 2021 33 min

It's been almost two years since COVID-19 upended the way colleges recruit and admit students. On most campuses, things are slowly returning to normal, but it's a new normal. Some virtual programming that expanded outreach is staying in place as admissions offices continue to grapple with changing realities. What does the future hold? In "What's Next," the inaugural episode of a new series, Admissions Beat, Lee ...

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