As Early Deadlines Pass, Seniors Consider Choices

The following article is the second part of a series that follows two Phillips Academy Seniors through the college admissions process. For most students, Parents’ Weekend meant dining and shopping with family, but for many Seniors, the school year’s first three-day weekend was instead filled with the a rush to finish early applications. A total of 155 members of the Class of 2005, roughly half of the Senior class, submitted early applications last Monday to colleges nationwide. Paul Kim ’05 is applying under the Early Action program to Yale University, his first choice. By applying EA to Yale, Kim will know whether or not he is admitted on December 15th, months before the school would announce regular admission decisions in April. While Kim describes himself as a pretty consistent student, he is still skeptical about his chances for admission. “I don’t see myself as the strongest candidate,” he said. He continued, “I probably won’t be getting in early…but I might as well take my shot at it and find out now.” Kim believes that applying EA to Yale has its advantages and is his best option. “It’s a smaller pool of applicants so they’d get a better look at me,” he said. Kim will also be applying to Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Stanford, and New York University, but feels that several qualities set Yale apart from the rest of his choices. “What appeals to me most about Yale is its [academic] reputation. The students are all very driven and know what they want to do,” said Kim. “Yale is very much like Andover,” he added. With future hopes in either engineering or business, Kim plans to major in a field that is math intensive. “The Economics and Mathematics major at Yale is of particular interest,” he said. On his applications, Kim will be emphasizing his involvement in music. He has played the violin as part of the Academy’s orchestra since Junior year. Unlike Kim, Laura Eddy ’05 is opting to not apply to any colleges under an early admission program. She will be applying under regular deadlines to American University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Syracuse University, and the University of Vermont. Eddy reasons that by delaying the application process, she will be avoiding added and unnecessary stress. “I feel no rush in applying. You only do this once in your life and it’s not a big deal for me to wait until the spring,” she said. Eddy also said that by applying regular, her transcript will include her Fall Term grades. “I wanted to show colleges that I can excel when I am taking classes that I’m interested in,” she said. As she is applying under regular admissions plans, most of her applications are not due until the beginning of January. “At the beginning of the year, [the application process] didn’t feel like a real thing. Now I’ve discovered the application process really does exist and it’s a lot of work,” she said. At the moment, Eddy has drafted her essays and has distributed recommendation forms. Eddy is looking for a school with a moderately large student body that maintains a solid business program and also has a strong athletic program. She said “I don’t really have a definite first choice…I like most of my schools almost equally.” Despite this uncertainty, Eddy is leaning towards Dartmouth, Duke, and UVM. “[Dartmouth] runs on a trimester system and only requires seven terms on campus. Combined with the fact that they have so many exchange programs, there’s a lot I’d like to take advantage of and experience,” she said. “Because my dad went to Duke, I’ve grown up with a love for the school,” she continued. Eddy also likes UVM because her mother attended the school. “I’m not a really good candidate in the sense that I’m not a good standardized test taker,” she said. Like Kim, Eddy also plans to emphasize her musical involvements as she sings in the Academy Chorus and Cantata Choir and has played the Celtic violin for most of her life.