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Ali Flanders ’09 Decides to Forgo Early Apps

Even though Ali Flanders ’09 decided against applying early to Brown University, she was still able to ring in the New Year in a celebratory fashion, unlike many of her classmates. “I was super responsible, and I got all of my applications in a week before they were due, because I wanted to have a good time on New Year’s,” Flanders explained. College applications were due on January 1 this year, and thanks to some early preparation, Flanders found herself remarkably prepared. When interviewed in the fall, Flanders was planning to apply early to Brown in Providence, Rhode Island. In retrospect, Flanders said, “I don’t know where that came from.” Flanders said that she also had not completed the Common Application by the time the Early Decision deadline rolled around. Flanders said that she is glad that she did not apply Early Decision to any college, especially regarding the gossip that followed early decision announcements. “There’s a lot of talk—it just seems so ridiculous [to talk about] where everyone got in. I think when all the information starts coming in at once [in April], there will be a lot less pressure,” she said. The University of Virginia is now Flanders’ first choice college. Flanders said that she chose the University of Virginia because it was the college that she could most see herself attending next fall. In the fall, Flanders had not planned to visit any colleges, believing that she could learn all that she needed of her prospective schools on their websites’ virtual tours. However, her parents did not agree with her philosophy. “My parents wanted me to visit five schools, but I only ended up visiting two,” said Flanders. Flanders visited Duke University and the University of Virginia. “When I visited the University of Virginia, I loved it. It was just so beautiful,” said Flanders. Flanders added that the University of Virginia was just the right size and a public school. Eight out of the eleven schools Flanders is applying to are public. Her three private schools are Duke, Brown and the University of Southern California. Flanders took an unconventional approach when it came to choosing which colleges to apply to. She said, “[I applied to] the ones where the supplements were the shortest.” In the fall, Flanders said that she did not want to apply to safety schools. However, Flanders applied to University of Colorado at Boulder, which she said was her safety school. According to Flanders, the school has never rejected anyone from Phillips Academy. In addition, Flanders’ father attended University of Colorado. Flanders insists that she would enjoy herself at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “It’s supposed to be a really fun school, and I love to snowboard, so that would be great,” said Flanders. Flanders said that she would be content to go to all of the schools that she applied to, “with the exception of Duke and Brown,” where she believes the people may be more pretentious. Flanders said, “I only applied to Duke because it was on the Common App.” As for Brown, Flanders said, “I didn’t really want to be in Providence, Rhode Island, and I think that the tree hugging factor is a little too much for me.” Flanders awaits decision from eleven schools in March and April. Unlike most Seniors, who fear the waiting period for application results almost more than the application process, Flanders remains calm. “I’m not having nightmares about not getting into college, and then having to take a gap year, like some of my friends,” Flanders said. Flanders hopes to study law and environmental policy in college.