PA SENIORS RECIEVE DECISIONS: CCO Sees Patterns as Seniors Make Choices Based on College Letters

Last week marked the end of the college application process for the Class of 2007 as they received letters from colleges around the world. Although the College Counseling Office does not yet have complete statistics on acceptances, rejections, and matriculations, they have already started seeing potential trends. John Anderson, Director of College Counseling, said that the College Counseling Office is already noticing commonalities in acceptances between Andover students and other students across the country. He said that the highly selective, smaller liberal arts colleges seem to have become more selective over the past few years. In addition, students are applying to many more schools now than in the past. Senior Lindsay Agostinelli applied to 13 schools. Like many Andover students, she participates in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including volunteering at the Peabody Museum, dance, Azure and musical theatre. Although she was accepted at many of the schools to which she applied, Agostinelli said that her biggest mistake was starting the college process too late. “I wish I had written essays and figured out what I felt was most important to me in a school. Senior Fall was all applications and not enough homework,” she said. Agostinelli, who plans to study marine biology, has an idea of where she would like to go to college, but will visit the schools she was accepted to before making a final decision. “I was accepted to USC and I think it is my top choice, so hopefully my visit will make that definite,” she said. The College Counseling Office has also noticed that more girls are enrolled nationally in college than boys are. Yet because most co-educational institutions attempt to have a gender ratio of 50:50, when a higher number of girls apply, many girls with higher academic potential are being turned down at top schools for boys with lower academic performance. Mr. Anderson says that this is a more recent issue, but has not directly affected Phillips Academy students. Mr. Anderson served as college counselor to Kelly Chang ’07. Chang said that her college application process was unlike that of most students. She was accepted Early Action to Harvard University. She later decided to apply to Stanford University and was accepted last week. Although Chang was lucky enough to have been accepted to a school early, she still found the college process to be very stressful. “I had to be pretty careful about deadlines and getting stuff done because I feel like this kind of process is very important. College should be something you look forward to, but the actual process to get there is stressful for everybody,” said Chang. Beginning next year, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, Harvard University and University of Delaware will not be offering any early admission. Mr. Anderson says that this could mean that Andover students who would have applied early to Harvard may apply early action to a small number of early action, or early non-binding admission schools. He continued to say that they do not have a sense of how the number of applicants to these schools will change. Last year, top choices of schools among the Phillips Academy Class of 2006 included Brown University and Yale University, each with 13 who matriculated; Harvard University, with 19 who matriculated; and Georgetown, MIT, UPenn and Trinity, each with nine Andover students. The Boston Globe featured an article on March 30, 2007, that announced Harvard University’s undergraduate statistics in Fall 2007. The article said that of the 22,955 applicants, only 2,058 were accepted, just below 9%. Of these students, 3,200 had perfect math SAT scores and 2,500 had perfect verbal SAT scores. It also noted that 3,000 of the applicants were ranked first in their high school class. This is just one example of how the competition to get into college has increased.