Getting Into Washington and Lee University: Advice from Assistant Dean of Admissions

By David Greenberg   , , , No comments

A special thanks to Dean Jonathan Webster for participating in Parliament’s Admissions Spotlight Series. coque iphone 5 Dean Webster is the Assistant Dean of Admissions at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. coque huawei pro

As the Associate Dean of Admission, what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I oversee the day to day operation of the admission office…I supervise the people who manage our reception area, our processing of applications, our web presence, our email and direct mail campaigns, and I advise the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.

What do you consider the most significant parts of an application, the parts which applicants should prepare the most carefully?

The most important part is the daily academic record. This obviously requires years of careful attention and diligence in school. All parts of an application are weighed carefully. Different colleges value different components of the application to different extents. Students should be aware that if a college asks for something as part of the application, then the college will consider it in their decision making about each candidate.

Is there anything you frequently see on an application that you hope to never see again?

Essays about girlfriends/boyfriends, sports injuries, or controversial topics like abortion.

What common pitfalls should applicants be careful to avoid?

Don’t miss a college’s deadlines. This is critical.

What advice would you give to an applicant with below-average test scores but significant extra-curricular experience?

I would tell any student to accentuate the part of their extracurricular record they most want the colleges to understand and appreciate. coque samsung a10 Do not assume we know what your local vernacular means…explain club names or titles/awards you have earned, rather than merely listing them.

Do you frequently have to turn away applicants whom you wish you could admit?

Yes. W&L typically admits 18-20% of its applicant pool. coque samsung a20 If so, what could those applicants do to be admitted? Often there is little difference between those admitted and those who are not. Not being admitted to a highly selective college is not a commentary on your worth as a student or citizen. coque iphone Many colleges value expressions of sincere interest in a college: visits to the campus, interviews with local alumni, intelligent questions about a college, etc.

How much faith do you have in the ability of the SAT to predict success at in college?

There is a consistent correlation between high scores and high GPA at W&L. coque iphone 6 Besides this, test scores are a useful way to distinguish between students with similar academic and extracurricular records.

What do you look for in a recommendation letter?

Anecdotes that illustrate a student’s personality and/or demeanor in class and in the community.