发表于 2011/02/08 23:11

北美华人的“爬长春藤”经验【无老师力荐】

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摘要: 下面ZT一些我上子女坛以来随手抓到的爬藤文章。正值儿子报考大学,坐下来一一重新读...

2016无老师暑假托福走读班

下面ZT一些我上子女坛以来随手抓到的爬藤文章。正值儿子报考大学,坐下来一一重新读过,感受又大大地不同。如果您的孩子也在申请大学,您又有耐心把他们连续地读完,一定能从中找到很多一致性的答案。很遗憾,没有记下所有作者的网名,但他们的贡献,永远地留在了这里。


1
下面很多人都说得很中肯。

2如果上藤校对您非常重要,就要把孩子培养成藤校想要的人

3申请名校什么最重要?

4How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay by Kathleen Kingsbury

5也谈上名校的经验

6申请大学面试问答大全针对耶鲁,其它学校也可参考

7也谈名校录取

8哈佛 要什麽样的学生

9谢谢大家对我的关于申请材料组织和整理的4点建议的讨论。我打字较慢,有些事没说清楚。现在再补充说明一下。

10高燕定:综合素质的标准公式”——大学申请秘密

11随便讲几句哈(儿子被 HarvardMITDukeDartmouth Chicago录取)

12上名校说难不难, 说不难也难

13女儿靠两点:品德优秀 + 全面发展进了H

14最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 (1)


1
下面很多人都说得很中肯。

你的女儿的成绩应该够了,但申请材料要重新整理一下。我的建议如下:

1.你女儿的申请材料中重点不突出,她报了太多的SAT2,有些得分并不是太高。你最多只能选3到4门与你女儿将来所学的专业有关且得分高的科目填到报名表中。750分以下的不要再提及。否则,无法看出她的passion and commitment.

2.Essay在申请中是非常重要的,很多人都忽略了这一关。正像坛子里人说的,Essay不是Show off,而是要让审评官读了你的文章后,马上就能感觉和理解你是一个什么样的人,尤其你有没有passion以及你的passion是什么。当初我女儿写申请Essay时,我反复跟她强调,一定要清楚地告诉别人:我是什么人(who am I)。她第一篇的Essay写得很有文采,她非常得意。我毫不留情地把它枪毙掉,一定要她重写。她后来的Esssay她的升学指导老师看了说,写得很流畅有趣并是一气呵成,读完了还想再读一遍。

文章要写得有趣,能让读得人觉得轻松,并眼睛发亮留下深刻印象才是好文章。尽量避免写大众题材,书店里有很多这样的书可参考。你可以用一个故事或场景起 头,然后强调自己的感受和想法,并可以不露痕迹地写出自己与众不同的亮点。你女儿写作水平好,要让她好好思考她的与众不同的特长或特殊的感受是什么,然后 好好发挥她的写作能力就行。

3. 很多公立学校的学生得奖很多,但有些是小奖,无足轻重,所以此时的排列很重要。全国大小奖,州大小奖,地区大小奖,等等,这些奖中还要看哪些奖与申请人所选专业有关,有关的排前面,无关的排后面。如果得奖多,那些小奖特别是9年级时的小奖,就不必提了。

4. 俱乐部及各种学生组织,不要填得太多。如果参加了三年还没当上主席之类的,就不要填上去。但体育活动可以年年填,最好能从一般队员最后变成主力队员。因为从这些活动中可以看出你的commitment和能力。这些都是我女儿的升学指导对学生的忠告。

总之,如果申请人各方面都很强,就要把材料组织得条理清楚,重点突出,让读材料的人容易阅读,并印象深刻,就不会在第一轮被淘汰。如果你再有与众不同的亮点,那你的录取可能性就大大地增加了。

2如果上藤校对您非常重要,就要把孩子培养成藤校想要的人

来源: tiger916

这一年来总是有相熟或不相熟的人来问大女儿是如何考上HPM的,需要做些什么样的事。很多人觉得我可以开个方子,他们照单抓药如法炮制(学校排名,SAT, 钢琴, 各种比赛…)。其实我连自己后面两个孩子能上什么大学也拿不准,虽然他们的天资并不比姐姐差。

周围的中国孩子里有很多绝顶聪明的,父母也是全力地推和攀比。一句憋在心里很久的话不敢说(怕挨骂):“最重要的是从小教孩子做个好人”。对人友好,与人为善,关心社会,奉献集体。

我的女儿有很多缺点,有些缺点还很严重,但她是一个好孩子,私心很少,能为别人着想,也能牺牲自己的利益帮助朋友和团队。我们经常看到她在比赛时为了帮助 团队,自己和比较差的队员配组或参加没人愿干的项目,也有好几次退出了不同领导位置的竞选让给其他朋友。我们也担心这样会降低她自己的名次,影响她的大学 申请,可她很坚决地认为应该这样做,我们就全力支持她的决定,心里也很为她骄傲。

她在申请 H 的 EA 以前找 Conselor 咨询,自己的 SAT 不到 2300, 也没什么全国性的竞赛名次,是否要申请。Conselor 坚决要她申请,并说根据自己多年经验,“你就是 H 要找的那类学生”。代表 H 给她面试的教授在她被录取后也对我说;“这几年面试的学生中,只有她知道我们要的是什么,也只有她一个人进去了”。

各个名校的录取官员都说他们要反复地读申请材料,集体审阅并讨论,直至投票,他们是要从一大堆成绩后面,看出这些学生究竟具备什么样的 personal quality.这不光是为学校今后的捐款来源着想,更是因为名校要培养的是社会精英和领袖。另外,名校要收不同特点的人,大科学家要有,社会活动家也要有。就算你只在那儿当个普通的甚至低于平均的学生,今后也只从事一般工作,他们也希望你是“happy bottom 25%”,积极乐观向上,不嫉恨不苦涩,毕业后仍愿意为学校做贡献。

我们亚裔孩子要在 Personal quality 上多下功夫,这是为了一生的长远目标,不要把名校当唯一目标,更不要光想上了藤就能多挣多少钱。

3申请名校什么最重要?(一)

名校的申请材料通常包括下面你的内容

- 高中所学课程的课程表和成绩单 (Transcript)
- 申请作文 (Essay)
- 参加的课外活动 (Extracurricular Activities, Extracurriculars)
- 老师和学生顾问的推荐信 (Teacher/Student Counselor Recommendation Letters)
- 标准考试(SAT,ACT)的成绩 (Standardized Test Scores)
- 面试 (Interview)

当我们谈到这些因素时可能会觉得样样都重要,缺一不可。但是所有这些中有没有最重要的呢?它是什么呢?从我们排列的顺序上你也可以看出 – 你申请材料中的最重要部分就是你的高中所学课程的成绩单。

耶鲁大学在其网站上有关申请和录取的问答中谈到这点时说得非常明确。为了强调,我们将英文原文摘录并翻译如下:

耶鲁首先是一个学术机构,因此申请人的学术能力是我们的第一考虑。申请材料中最重要的单一文件就是高中成绩单,因为它告诉我们申请人一个时期以来在学术动机和学术成绩的丰富信息。我们寻找那些在高中一贯选择(课目)广范具有挑战性的课程并且学得很好的学生。(Yale is above all an academic institution, and thus academic strength is our first consideration in evaluating any candidate. The single most important document in the application is the high school transcript, which tells us a great deal about a student’s academic motivation and performance over time. We look for students who have consistently taken a broad range of challenging courses in high school and done well in them.)

可见HYPSM这些名校是把学生的高中学习成绩放在第一位的。这个因素对评价一个学生非常关键。首先从你所选的课程来 看,如果你的学校开了很多AP课程,你就应当多选一些AP,当然不是说需要门门都选,或者说越多越好。但是作为一个有能力而又愿意挑战自己的学生,选择相 当数量的AP课程几乎是必须的。而且你应当选择你感兴趣,能够学好的最难的课程。你如果其他活动太多,负担过重,也可以选学一点容易的课程,但那应当只是 少数。录取官员不仅会从你的选课来看你的学习能力,而且也会从中来评价你的学习动力。可以从中看你是否主动学习,是否愿意挑战你自己。

选择AP课程还能够在另外一个很重要的方面来证明你自己,那就是你是否能够积极地利用学校为你提供的资源。我们知道,HYPSM等 名校都以他们能够为学生提供大量的学术、社会资源为骄傲。这些资源包括内容广泛、不同难度的课程、小的教授学生比例、图书馆内浩瀚的藏书、拥有先进设备的 实验室和在不同领域有影响力的人物经常来学校讲学的机会等等。这些名校期待未来的学生能够积极选修这些课程和参加这些活动,以充分利用这些资源。如果一个 学生进入了这些学校而又不去利用这些资源,在他们看来是一种浪费,当然也就会把入学的机会提供给别人了。耶鲁大学在其网站上专门谈到这一点,即如何充分利 用他们丰富的资源。而你在高中的学习(其中也包括选择AP课程)、社会活动将是录取官员在这方面对你进行评价的一个重要依据。如果你的学校没有开授AP 课,那你就可以“心安理得”的只学普通课程了。当然,在这种情况下,你可能就应当在其他领域来挑战自己。比如可以在附近的社区学院去选一些你感兴趣的课程 等等。但决不是为选课而选课,而是由你的兴趣和激情来决定。如果仅仅是按部就班、随大流就很难表现出你的不同了。

一个经常被问到的问题是:AP课得B和普通课得A,哪个更好呢?答案是AP课得A最好。虽然这听起来好象是“玩脑筋急转弯”,但是实际情况就是这样。选定 了你所要学的课程,当然下一步就是要学好这些课程,争取取得最好的成绩。成绩单成为最重要的原因还因为它是你高中前三年半的成绩的总的反映,而不象 SAT、ACT等标准考试,考好了一次就解决问题,他们的不同有点象跑马拉松和跑百米赛。说实话,要把整个高中的GPA保持在很高的水平并非易事。它要求 你的成绩一直都要好。既不能一学期好,另一学期不好;也不能有几门课好,另几门课差。当然这并不是说所有的课都必须得A,有一些B也是可以的,但不能太 多。C则最好没有。而且录取官员也会把你与你的同学相比较,优中选优。因此,我们觉得为了使HYPSM能郑重考虑你的申请,你的GPA在你的年级中至少应该达到前5%吧。有一篇哈佛Crimson的文章中提到:69%的哈佛学生可能是他们学校的第一名(http://www.thecrimson.com/myfirstyear09.aspx)。我们所在的高中虽然这几年取消了直接排名而改以百分比来排,但今年上哈佛的几位学生的高中成绩都是在前1%的水平。这些都直接反映了高中成绩的重要性。

有人一定会问,不是大家都说美国大学不太讲究学习成绩,而是更加看重领导能力、课外活动、社会服务等活动吗?这话有些道理,这里所提到的因素也都很重要。 但这些因素都是在学生有优良的学习成绩的基础上才来谈论的。现在存在的一个误区是,大家都去追求这些因素而反而忽略了高中成绩这一最重要的因素,从而导致 你的入学申请本末倒置。其实,这其中的道理非常简单:由于优秀的申请者众多,而录取的人数太少,在成绩好的申请人中就能够选出足够的、同样具有其它不同优 秀品质的学生。因此,可能除了我们在上一篇文章中提到的“不同寻常”的一类学生中的一部分,优异的高中成绩也就成了名校选择学生的第一条件。

哈佛等名校寻找什么样的学生?这个问题可能只有这些学校的录取官员最有权威来回答。我们以哈佛为例,来看看哈佛主管招生录取的院长William R. Fitzsimmons怎么说的吧。Fitzsimmons今年一月在接受《On Harvard Time》的采访,谈到哈佛录取的学生时说(大意):每年哈佛录取的2100个学生中,有200-300 个是在某一个或几个方面,如音乐、社会服务等领域具有非同寻常的,全国或国际水平的杰出成就的学生。还有200-300个是在学术上具有非同寻常的,全国 或国际水平的杰出成就的学生。而剩下的学生则是各个方面,学习上、课外活动、性格和个人品质都很好、全面发展的普通学生。每个学生都有他/她不同的人生故 事。其实,HYPSM(Harvard , Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities and MIT) 和其它排名前20的名校录取条件也相差无几,只是侧重点可能会有所不同罢了。

可以看到,除了少数在某一个或几个方面特别突出的学生,HYPSM录取的大部分都是比较全面发展加上有自己独特特点的 普通学生。全面发展在这里就是有优秀的高中成绩(GPA)、很好的标准考试(SAT、ACT)成绩、参加学校的各种课外活动、等等。我们觉得全面发展使你 具备申请名校的基本条件, 也使你能够迅速进入录取官员的视线。但是你对某些领域的激情(passion)加上你自己独特的特点才会决定你是否能够最终被 录取。你对你周围的人和社会产生正面的影响(positive impact)的能力、你的个人品质、兴趣、爱好的与众不同等等,将对录取与否起重要的作用。这次在哈佛见到了一些同学,真是觉得个个都不一样,每一个人 都有他/她独特的特点。有国际奥林匹克化学竞赛的冠军,也有读完了音乐学院又来上大学的青年钢琴家。这些就属于那400-600个非同寻常的学生吧。而更 多的是很好奇、学习好且有多项才能(音乐,绘画,体育,社会服务等)又很有趣的普通学生。

我们很多华裔学生都具有申请HYPSM的基本条件,应当积极地申请这些名校。不要因为听说必须要什么特别的条件产生畏 难情绪而主动放弃。当然,申请名校的竞争也很激烈,仅仅具有这些条件可能还不够,还需要发展和发掘一些与众不同的亮点。你如果是今年就要申请大学的学生, 可能会觉得有些事情无法去做了,有点太晚了。但这也没有关系。现在要做的就是考虑如何将自己的优势、自己的passion和特点在你的申请材料、特别是你 的作文中充分地表现出来。充分准备的申请材料和独特的作文能使你在众多的申请者中脱颖而出。这些都属于申请入学方面的技巧,我们将在以后的文章中谈到。如 果你刚上高中,你则拥有充分的时间来规划你的高中生活,在认真学习的基础上发展自己的兴趣和爱好就是你的着重点,这使得你在各个方面都能健康成长。进入名 校不是目的,而是结果。只要你对世界充满了好奇心(curiosity),在你喜欢的事情上倾注你的激情(passion),在学习、课外活动、社会服 务、个人品质等方面不断地挑战自己,超越自己。这就会使你自己成为一个更好的人(be a better person)。而你在不断完善自我,在对你周围的人、社区和社会做出贡献的同时,被名校录取也就成了自然而然,水到渠成的事情。

哈佛负责录取招生的院长William Fitzsimmons接受采访的链结:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSUcwGMwc2E

申请名校什么最重要?(二)

前面我们已经谈了成绩单(Transcript)在申请入学的重要性。除了成绩这种看得见、 摸得着的“硬指标”,在学生个人品质和性格方面什么最重要呢?我们觉得最重要的是你的好奇心或求知欲(Intellectual curiosity)。几乎每个大学的招生网页和我们听过的所有招生官员都讲到这个问题。包括最近奥巴马总统在新学年开学时对所有学生的讲话中也都强调这 点。众所周知,正是人类对世界的好奇使得我们不断探索新的世界,从而推动人类社会的发展。在这些名校看来,一个充满好奇心的学生,首先就有了学习的动力, 加上学校为你提供的优良的学习环境和丰富的资源,就会使你如虎添翼, 你也就具备了在大学四年成功的基本条件。我们都听说过:兴趣是最好的老师。当一个人对某一件事充满兴趣和好奇的时候,他就会自己主动地去发现、学习其中的 东西,基本不用老师或家长去推动。可能家长要做的也就是帮助创造一些条件即可。

好奇心可以表现在很多方面。在学习方面,比如你怎么去解决学习中的问题,包括你与老师和同学在课堂内外所讨论的问题和方式等等,你的好奇心都会表现出来。 你的好奇心也可以表现在你平时爱好读什么书籍。比如去年哈佛的申请中,你就可以选择列出你过去一年内所读书籍(课内和课外)的目录,而不必去写作文。可见 哈佛认为他们能从你所读的书目中就能判断出你的一些重要特质。而很多经验丰富的老师会很注意去观察,发掘学生这方面的特点,最后也会在给你的推荐信中表示 出来。Michelle的一个老师在给她的推荐信中就专门写到“…Michelle对数学的热爱(我认为)是源于她对世界的好奇,而不仅仅是为了得到好的 成绩和申请大学…”这样的评价写在推荐信中就很有分量了。

在课外活动的事情上其实也是如此,你应该放心地去做你喜欢做的事情。而且你所喜爱的不一定非要是什么听起来很了不起、很时髦的东西。甚至可以是在大家看来 与学习、申请大学关系不大的东西。也许这反而更能够反映出你的好奇心。Michelle刚上初中就迷上了Photoshop,对其变化多端的功能充满了好 奇。每天放学回家后都要在上面花不少时间,慢慢成了Photoshop的“小专家”。并逐渐开始在网上为自己和他人设计和创造各式各样的图像。后来她在面 试时也把她的一些作品给大学的面试官员看,大家都对此产生了浓厚的兴趣,也对她的好奇心赞赏有加。她的一篇作文就是写的是她如何对Photoshop着迷 以及进一步论述改编和原创的关系,而耶鲁的录取官员看后对此非常欣赏。

而相反的例子是如果学生本人对有些事情不感兴趣,甚至有抵触情绪,无论家长如何推动,恐怕结果都只是事倍功半,还可能搞得家长和子女之间都不愉快。由于学 生对此没有兴趣,当然也很难学得很好,最终的水平对申请大学可能也帮助不大。这方面我们不少华人家长在强推子女练习钢琴、小提琴等乐器方面恐怕都深有体 会。

还有一个非常重要的东西就是你的激情(Passion)。无论是在学校还是在课外,你的激情在什么地方?你对什么东西 最感兴趣而愿意为之花费你的时间和精力?你的激情和你的好奇心也是相辅相成的。如果说好奇心是名校要求学生应具有的、较为普遍的特质,那你对某一个或几个 领域的兴趣和激情则可能是你区别于他人、而最终决定你是否(make or break)被录取的关键因素。在申请人众多而且都很优秀的情况下,录取官员对你的最终印象也可能来自对你这方面的了解。Michelle对不同的语言一 直都很感兴趣,每当别人讲话她听不懂的时候,她就很想知道他们讲的是什么语言,并想知道其中的意思。Michelle在进入高中后,因为很喜欢看日本电视 剧,看字幕很麻烦而且有时觉得翻译也不到位,所以就想去学日语。但是我们所在的高中并没有开设日语课,她最后终于在我们这里的一个社区学院找到了合适的日 语课程,并且即使在她自己课程已经很繁重的学期也在那里学习,而没有放弃。该学院对Michelle能去上课很欢迎,还为她免去了学费。而后来 Michelle的日语也有了不小的进步,参加SAT II专科考试还得了790分。我们(家长)今年四月去哈佛参加为录取学生举办的介绍会时,没想到负责我们地区的录取官员在刚刚见面、介 绍后就对我们说:“Michelle对语言的passion使我印象深刻,她还去社区学院学日语…”。在我们看来并不觉得有什么了不起的事情,而录取官员 却从中看到了他们认为很重要的东西,即我们前面讲到的:你对事情的好奇、热爱和专注以及如何善于去利用资源来帮助实现你的目标。

这里我们想要强调的是,当Michelle去做这些事情的时候,并没有特别想到这是申请大学的什么重要条件,其推动力其实就是她的好奇心和兴趣所在。而这些品质恰好是名校所寻求的,因而最后被录取也就水到渠成了。所以我们在这个方面对大家的建议很简单:Follow your passion, live your passion! 你的兴趣和热情可能是自然科学、音乐、绘画、 体育,也可以是政治、演讲、辩论、历史等等,不必去模仿别人。即使你的兴趣好像不是什么“主流”也不用担心,也许正是你对某一特定领域的热爱造成你与他人的不同,而正是每个不同的学生组成了这些名校的班级。

4How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay
by Kathleen Kingsbury

With early application deadlines upon us, guidance counselors, professors, and admissions consultants slipped Kathleen Kingsbury seven essays that helped get kids into top schools last year—and she examines exactly what they did right.

Scoring the winning touchdown. Volunteering for blood drives or building houses. What you learned about poverty on your $9,000 trip to Africa.

These are a few topics on independent consultant Arun Ponnusamy’s list of what not to write about in your college application essay. (A few more: Don’t write about mom and dad’s divorce, and no general philosophizing—you’re 17, get over yourself.) Admissions season is under way, and with early applications deadlines starting November 1, you’ve only got a few more days to polish your make-or-break essay. Straight As and stellar SAT scores won’t be enough. In a year where 10 brilliant kids are vying for every one slot at your average Ivy League school (yes, that statistic is accurate), the personal essay has become a tipping point that can turn a deferral into an acceptance letter.

So The Daily Beast tracked down seven college admissions essays that did work—seven essays that helped get the kids who wrote them into one of the country’s top schools. The essays were slipped to us by college professors, high-school guidance counselors, independent admissions consultants, and even staffers at student newspapers. For confidentiality reasons, admissions officers can’t talk about these essays expressly, so we chose essays that demonstrate the most salient principles to abide by when writing them. (Scroll down to read the essays, unedited and in full.)

You’ll need the help: Competition at these schools is fiercer than ever. For every kid who’s hung prayer flags on a mountain summit in Tibet, there are a dozen others who’ve studied a Bantu language in Rwanda, worked with Guatemalan orphans, cooked with a celebrity chef, or been on reality TV. “To be honest,” says Ponnusamy, “if you’re thinking about the most selective of schools in the country and the most interesting thing in your life is your parents’ divorce, you’re not going to get in anyway.”

But even if your life hasn’t been filled with experiences worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, you can salvage an essay about a ho-hum subject by having a novelist’s eye for detail. For Greg Roberts, the admissions dean at University of Virginia, one of the most memorable essays he read was about a single at-bat in a high-school baseball game. The applicant wasn’t the star of the team, Roberts remembers, and didn’t even like playing baseball much. “But he talked about being nervous and excited at the same time, about how the freshly cut grass reminded him of his grandfather,” Roberts says. “I just felt like I knew him.”

Roberts worries that students tend to be too conservative with essays and are afraid to take risks. “There are no wrong answers here, and the last thing you want is a dry or boring essay,” he says. “We have 22,000 applications, so it’s easy to blend into the crowd.”

• Kathleen Kingsbury: The Best College Food

• Kathleen Kingsbury: How to Choose a College RoommateThis year that may mean students want to reconsider before giving their take on the recent financial meltdown or the national health-care debate. At California’s Pomona College, the admissions staff anticipates an influx of essays on the economy, similar to what they saw post-September 11, 2001, when nearly half the applications essays dealt with the terrorist attacks.

“But it’s a different story if you watched the towers collapse from science class at [New York City’s] Stuyvesant High School than if you live on a farm in Iowa,” Pomona’s admissions dean Bruce Poch says. “Families are going through hell right now, and it’s the very personal experiences that will resonate the most.” Then again, Poch adds, “Sympathy isn’t the only reason we let kids in.”

Despite what admissions guidebooks tell you, there’s no surefire formula to the college essay. Poch confesses even a small error or two will not necessarily kill your chances of getting in—as long as it’s not on purpose. “I once heard one [essay-writing] professional brag about slipping in mistakes to throw off admissions officers,” he says. “That’s just disgusting.”

Rule #1: When Tackling a Global Issue, Make it Personal

Brown Freshman Nawal Traish could have chosen to write about U.S. relations with Libya or general unrest in the Muslim world. Instead, she speaks to her personal relationship with Libya, her father’s homeland, and her own understanding of her Islamic faith. “It’s a mistake for students to think that they have to come up with any deep or life-altering topic,” says University of Virginia’s Greg Roberts, who expects to read essays this year on Afghanistan, health care, and other hot political issues. Instead, Roberts advises, “It’s OK to take on serious topics, but tell us how it relates directly back to you.” (Click here to read Nawal’s essay.)

Rule #2: Show That You Have Some Perspective

Hallie Jordan knew not to pretend she’d had a hard-knock life with no options. If you’re a white, middle-class kid, it never hurts to show that you realize how lucky you are—and that you sought out diversity. “I remember in the days after [Hurricane] Katrina, I had an otherwise thoughtful and engaged kid sitting across from me bemoaning how the kids in New Orleans were ‘going to have awesome essays,’” says Ponnusamy. “This sense amongst upper-middle-class kids that ‘nothing bad has ever happened to me’ is always amusing. I don’t care who it is, they all have 750 words of something compelling to say to an admissions officer.” He adds, “They need to relax, think about what means a lot to them or gets them fired up, and then write about it.” (Click here to read Hallie’s essay.)

Rule #3: Essays Succeed or Fail in the Details

The “hand-cranked” ice cream. The Richard Serra installation. The baby clothes she cut up and made into a quilt. The essay that got Isabel Polon into Yale swells with appealing and insightful details that show her meticulous nature. “If the essay mentions you going to dinner, I want to know what you were eating,” says Ponnusamy. Adds UVA’s Roberts: “A standout essay starts with good writing. Be as deive as possible about the moment you’re writing—we want to see it, smell it, touch it.” (Click here to read Isabel’s essay.)

Rule #4: Make Sure You’re the Hero of the Story

By emphasizing her own personal challenges and then showing how she wouldn’t allow them to subsume her, Hannah Edwards was able to make herself look good without bragging. “It’s fine to talk about your dad being a coke fiend or your stint in rehab with your favorite WB crush,” Ponnusamy says, “but unless you end up as the ‘hero’ in the essay, you will have done nothing to help you and it’s the one place you’re guaranteed to have the opportunity to speak in the first-person.” (Click here to read Hannah’s essay.)

Rule #5: Make Your Intellectual Curiosity Clear

Rahul Kishore wanted Cornell to know how obsessively devoted he was to science, and his essay describes in great detail his fascination. “Talking about something meaningful can make you more likeable,” says independent college consultant Stephen Friedfeld, “but it has to be executed to demonstrate your academic rigor.” (Click here to read Rahul’s essay.)

Rule #6: Know Your Audience

Morgan Doff wasn’t applying to a Christian school or one in an area that might take offensive to her lack of interest in religion, so she put it right out there on the page. “Students regularly conjure up who admissions officers are, what they look like and what they’re interested in,” says Pomona’s Bruce Poch. “We purposely have a diverse staff with a variety of interests and backgrounds.” That said, had Morgan been applying to, say, a school in the Deep South, she might have chosen her words more carefully. (Click here to read Morgan’s essay.)

Rule #7: Don’t Be Afraid to Show You’re Not Perfect

Abigail Hook was applying to Harvard—the one school you don’t want to tilt your hand near. And yet she chose to write her essay about giving up on ballet, rather than persevering once she’d tired of it. “It’s OK to let down your guard, not be safe and sanitized,” says Poch. “It can allow us to relate to you as a real human being. (Click here to read Abigail’s essay.)

Nawal Traish
Brown University
Class of 2013

One glance out the window, where palm trees swayed as cars sped by, and I could have been at LAX. But when my gaze shifted to meet that of Muammar al Gadhafi behind his signature aviator sunglasses, I knew I was more than a few smoggy miles from Tinseltown. The larger-than-life portrait of the Libyan dictator sent chills down my spine, and I almost didn’t hear my older sister telling me to follow her through the customs line in her broken Arabic. Fumbling for a safety pin, I quickly converted my neck scarf into a traditional headscarf, unaware that my views on diversity would soon undergo a similar transformation as I assimilated into Libyan culture for two weeks.

It was my first time entering the country my father fled thirty years before due to political upheaval involving the man staring at me from the wall, and while I had met my paternal relatives as a child, I was apprehensive about doing so in their own country now that I had matured into a very American teenage girl. My siblings and I were raised as Muslims, but we adhere selectively to the various practices—fasting during Ramadan but not praying five times a day, attending the mosque but not covering our heads in public, and I sometimes feel guilty about wanting to handpick from both worlds—an American lifestyle but Islamic beliefs—because they are often seen as irreconcilable.

From the moment we touched down on Libyan sand, I saw that others didn’t have the same luxury of separating lifestyle from beliefs if they so wished. The call to prayer every morning at 4:30 left me sleep-deprived but more in awe at the homogeneity of the country’s devotion; the haunting Arabic wail penetrated the pre-dawn sky from minarets at every corner the same way McDonald’s jingles infiltrate American living rooms. The Mediterranean heat was oppressive under long-sleeve shirts and pants in early August, when I’m used to wearing shorts and T-shirts, but the fact that everyone else was donning the same conservative dress made me feel like I was part of something larger than myself and more important than the latest Pac-Sun fashions. However, as I constantly adjusted my head cover, I seriously questioned the rationale behind some of the cultural and religious practices I witnessed. I deeply admired the connection to their religion that my relatives showed, stopping to prostrate in prayer even at the beach, but also wondered whether the internal belief of five million Libyans could possibly be as parallel as their outward expressions of it.

Being in Libya impressed upon me that it is often such circumstantial, unchosen factors as place of birth that largely determine the paradigms by which we live our lives. As much as I enjoyed the exotic experience of being in North Africa and the not-so-exotic experience of reconnecting with my family, my time in Libya paradoxically strengthened the latter half of my Arab-American identity. I had taken for granted the fact that we are free to practice Islam the way we want here in the U.S. next to neighbors lighting menorahs and friends who are atheists, and upon my return to Boston I found myself immediately appreciating this diversity at a new level, starting with the group of strangers with whom we waited at baggage claim. We all shared frustration and eyes peeled for our suitcases, but fortunately, not much else. As I pursue my passions of philosophy and theology as an undergraduate, I will approach with a more open mind the vast array of angles from which people view the world now that I have experienced life in a country so different from the one I call home, yet one that has inevitably shaped my own perspectives as I’ve grown up.

Hallie Jordan
Rice University
Class of 2012

Standing on the second floor hall of my high school, I watch my fellow students swarm into the campus as the bell rings for the passing period. Leaning against the railing, observing, I reflect on how my life might be different had I chosen to attend a different high school. The scene below me feels like a little slice of the real world. A couple walks by and my ear quickly notices that they speak in Korean. I spot my Ethiopian friend Ike, almost dancing, as he moves through the crowd on the floor below me; his real name is so long no one can pronounce it. Later, my best friend will present me with some homemade Mexican Christmas ponche full of sugarcane to chew on. I reluctantly stop people watching and proceed to class. It always nice to stop and imagine all the different cultures and backgrounds can be found at my small school of barely 2,000 people. Everyone, I have realized, has their own distinct way of life defined by various situations from trying to succeed as a first generation immigrant to working to help their family make ends meet each month. There is nothing sheltered about Spring Woods High School.

Unlike many of my friends, I am a “privileged child.” I was born an American citizen. My parents have steady jobs. I live in a neighborhood zoned, if only barely, to a school called Memorial High School—the shiny, rich abundant school of the district. From my early childhood my parents had planned on me attending this high school, as supposedly it provides one of the best public school educations in Houston. At the end of 8th grade, a pivotal moment presented itself: I had to decide between the touted Memorial High School with all its benefits and clout or the “ghetto” Spring Woods where most of my closest friends were going. After much debate I finally settled on Spring Woods. Coming from a very small charter middle school, high school was rather shocking. I did not like it, and I blamed my unhappiness on my school—I thought I had made the “wrong decision.” At the beginning of the second semester, I choose to switch to the school I was supposed to go to—feeling that I would receive a “better” education.

On my first day I was astounded by the other kids. They all looked and acted alike. Almost all had the same clothing, hair styles, necklaces, flip-flops and backpacks with their names monographed on them. Nearly all of them also had iPods, this was almost four years ago when it was not so common to see iPods everywhere. I was amazed at how they treated their iPods so carelessly, when I have a friend who carefully saved her lunch money for months just to be able to buy one. Needless to say, she is very protective of it. Sitting in the cafeteria, I felt like I was back in fifth grade. Everyone brought nice neat little lunches, packet perfectly in expensive lunch boxes. Mothers stood at the lunch line selling cookies to raise money for various organizations, as stay at home moms they had nothing else to do with their time. Buying a school lunch, I found, was something only the “reject” kids did. I lasted only a week at this place. Suddenly I missed everything from Spring Woods, even its “ghetto” identity. I missed the teachers who taught about ideas instead of forcing us to merely memorize. I missed the general accepting feeling that comes from such a heterogeneous mixture of people. There are no “reject” kids at Spring Woods. I could now see that though.

Isabel Polon
Yale
Class of 2011

In kindergarten, I was the only kid who knew milk didn’t originate in the supermarket. This I attribute to my time at Emandal, a family-run farm that has opened its gates each summer since 1908 to those seeking an alternative vacation.

For the past 13 years my family has made the pilgrimage to Willits, California, to spend the second week of August at Emandal. What inspires a family to spend their hard-earned cash picking vegetables or milking cows while residing in prehistoric cabins without indoor plumbing? Well, only at Emandal can I husk corn at 5 p.m. to find it steaming on the dinner table at 6:30. Nowhere else do 13-year-old boys agree to square dance with their mothers or take the time to realize the solitude in knitting. It’s the only place where the national college debate champion enjoys the company of his oldest friend, a videogame-dependent junior college student who subsists on red meat, Coca-Cola and Red Vines. It’s where Berkeley yuppies and working class Oaklanders bake Snickerdoddles while discussing who’s gotten pregnant or divorced since last summer. At Emandal there are no social boundaries, no class distinctions. Any cabin’s the same as the one next-door.

It’s the satisfaction I came to associate with Emandal’s hands-on reality that inspired me to mark “agriculture” as my freshman PSAT preferred major. Following months of bombardment with pamphlets from Iowa State, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to “live off the land.” Without a local bookstore, Pad-Thai or a Richard Serra installation, my life would definitely be lacking some favored flourishes. But even in LA, Emandal has developed into a sort of Jiminy Cricket I interplay with daily. At Emandal, if there’s extra milk we drink hot chocolate. If fried chicken remains from dinner last night, you can count on it mysteriously resurfacing as Chicken Curry at lunch.

My boyfriend refers to me as “the doggy-bag-date.” I print rough drafts on the reverse side of harp music from last year’s winter concert. When my mother threatened to give away my baby clothes, I cut them up and made my sister a quilt for her birthday. Emandal’s compost lifestyle has caused me to realize creative forms of recycling beyond cans and cereal boxes, and embrace resourcefulness in every pursuit.

But the best part of Emandal is the food. With fresh bread at every meal, heirloom tomatoes the size of my head, hand-cranked ice cream over pie made from Emandal’s wild blackberries, no one refrains from unbuttoning their pants after dinner. But it’s the ideology behind the menu that makes it all the more appealing: the tangible connection with the food you eat. Long before the farmer’s market fad, my family went religiously each Saturday. We exchange CDs with Joel the carrot guy and the Japanese greens lady saves us the last bag of cucumbers. It’s a unique satisfaction and an exceedingly rare connection to be able to shake the hand of the person who grows your food, and in effect, “grew you”.

In my 13th year, when I had reached the stage where crucifixion was preferable to being seen with my parents, they asked whether I still wanted to go to Emandal. Thank goodness something inside of me was still smart enough to say yes. For it is there I have deduced what’s essential to harmonious living with our earth and all kinds of folks, erudition I can attribute only to Emandal.

Hannah Edwards
UC-Berkeley
Class of 2013

“Beautiful. B to the back, b to the back. So b first. beautiful. Next, it’s that French thing. Gosh … Uea, no e … a … u. Eau. So beau. Beautiful. Ti. That’s easy. Beauti. Beautiful. Full. No not full: ful. They chop that l off, so b-eau-ti-ful.”

I’ve just spent 30 seconds agonizing over how to spell one of the more basic words in the English language and a good part of that time trying to remember how to write the letter b. That sequence is partially a flash back to a fourth grade spelling test, but honestly, it’s a thought process I will have to go through about a hundred times this year with equally basic words because I am, and always will be, dyslexic.

I have never been able to spell, but it wasn’t until 4th grade that I found out the, ironically hard to spell, word for my condition. When everyone did realize what was going on and why it was that I got Cs in spelling, I was packed off to resource room (i.e. Special Ed) to learn how to write pretty.

At first I liked it. Resource room gave me an excuse not to do well in spelling, and it let me spend class time doing silly spelling exercises. It let me avoid my problem and at the same time pretend I was doing something to correct it, but in all honesty it was just a waste of time. I didn’t want to recognize its futility at first, but eventually I couldn’t ignore it and had to come to terms with the fact that resource room was aspirin for a broken arm: It made things seem a bit better, but it did nothing to fix the problem. When I came to terms with this I convinced my mother to take me out of resource room and that I could take responsibility for my own problem, and that is exactly what I did, and have done ever since.

I was freed from resource room on the condition that I get A’s on every other spelling test that year, which I did. Since then I have realized that I can never allow myself to live life in a metaphorical resource room. I must take accountability and responsibility for myself, and not accept special treatment where there is anyway I can avoid it. This philosophy was tested last year when I was signing up for the SAT.

My mother was handing over her credit card when she asked me if I thought extra time would be useful on the SAT.

“Well, yeah,” I said smiling as I took her credit card, “that essay is insane, 25 minutes makes for some nasty results.”

“Why don’t you apply to get some extra time? If it will help you should,” she suggested, “you’re eligible.”

“No. It’s an artificial compensation that would only last as long as schools are forced to provide it; the real world can’t make those kind of concessions so I can’t take that crutch.”

My mother offered no resistance to my stance and I typed in her AmEx number while I reflected on the implications of my denial. I have spent a lot of time agonizing over how to spell the simplest words, and I doubt anyone has quite attained my level of red underlines in a word document, but that just means checking the dictionary and an age spent poring over SpellCheck. I have never taken extra time or other benefits on standardized tests and I never will, because that is not how I want to succeed. I want to sink or swim on my own and not use water wings to get through the world. I don’t want to do well for someone with dyslexia; I want to do well period. At this point my inability to spell is more of a punchline to my friends’ jokes than a disability and I am determined to keep it that way, because I have worked too hard to let something so trivial in the grand scheme define me.

Rahul Kishore
Cornell University
Class of 2012

Complexity. Life is complex all the way down to the atomic level. Organ systems comprised of bits of tissue, formed by cells, made up of organelles, formed by carbon compounds. Throughout high school, I have been fascinated by the complexity of life. The relationships between micro organism and macro organism, and how nature, by trial and error, has created structures that allow us to hear, feel, and see.

My freshman biology teacher inspired me to think of the human body not simply as a single structure, but rather the mesh of different systems, working together to produce life. The human body, I realized, is beautiful in its complexity and cohesiveness. An organism was no longer just an animal, it was a complex machine comprised of millions of parts. I saw vivid pictures of organ systems neatly packed into organisms to meet their function.

I pursued my passion for science outside of textbooks. I shadowed the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, standing next to him as he performed a triple bypass. Most of the operating room was consumed by the heart and lung machine, a device designed to replace the body’s own heart and lungs during a surgery while both organs are temporarily shut down. The machine is infinitely larger than the actual organs, giving me a greater appreciation for how much each organ is expected to do. Since my experience in the operating room, I have volunteered at Stanford University Medical Center. During my first summer, a pathologist showed me a seemingly empty petri dish, swabbed it with a QTip and made a slide and put it under the microscope. The images I saw were amazing—thousands of microscopic organisms, moving together in large colonies. I realized that life could be as simple and small as a bacterium or as large and complex as a human being.

“Any Person, Any Study” is what I have been told by alumni from Cornell. The famous quote by Erza Cornell best describes the opportunities that Cornell provides. But for me, “Any Person, Any Study” means something very different. Cornell University has a long academic tradition of teaching the young and hopeful minds of a new generation the beauty of education. Cornell graduates question, they analyze, they comprehend.

Cornell for me is something more than just a university or an opportunity to further my understanding of Biology. Cornell is an opportunity to realize truths about the world, and about every field of learning. I see Cornell as a chance to expand the horizons of my thought, to think about the world as a bigger place, to think about its problems in a logical way, and see life as an opportunity to understand the world around us. A Cornell education provides a basis in many things, the ability to draw conclusions from Locke, Kant, or Smith, and use these ideas in conjunction with an in depth knowledge of one topic to excel in a field. Cornell will provide me the opportunity to understand Biology in an uncommon way. Cornell is a place to discover a new way of thinking, and also a place to find passion for a study. I want to learn about Biology beyond a textbook. I want to make those discoveries at Cornell.

Morgan Doff
Reed College
Class of 2010

“Morgan, say it slower and pronounce each word.”

I breathed deeply and began again. “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, / Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch, / If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you . . .”

When I was 6 years old, I had a slight speech impediment that made me far too shy to read aloud in front of my peers. My father immediately decided the only way for me to overcome my fear would be to practice reading out loud. Every day, my father and I sat together, and I read to him. After a few days of children’s books, my father—sick of listening to fairytales—gave me a book of poems. I read Kipling’s “If” over and over to him, and it become my favorite poem. I was incredibly grateful to him for not only helping me to overcome my fear of public reading but also for instilling in me a love of reading and words.

This love was consuming and when I was 12, I saw another child wearing a bracelet that read, “WWJD.” Excited, I asked if it referred in some way to JD Salinger, and if so, did the bracelet pertain to one character in particular? Maybe Holden? Franny? The other child just looked at me baffled and said, “It means, ‘What Would Jesus Do.’” I turned away sheepishly, as apparently my knowledge of literature had surpassed my awareness of religious catchphrases.

However, occurrences like these didn’t deter me from a zealous approach to reading. The more I learned to appreciate the beauty in a beginning, middle, and end of a story, the more I felt a desire to create my own. Now, I’m a storyteller—a far departure from my days of near silence. I like to play with words. I love knowing that everyone is listening to my story. In my writing, I’m honest; I don’t hide anything; I don’t want it to be guarded. I want my stories to demonstrate imperfection, because I believe it makes my writing more realistic. When I read words with a similarly imperfect tone, I feel comforted, knowing that someone else has felt the same way I have.

In my writing, I strive to infuse another kind of comfort as well—the reassuring feeling that comes when someone overhears what you are saying and agrees with you. I was once in a hotel elevator in France, complaining to my sister about how I had gotten lost earlier that day, and recounting wandering aimlessly in Paris and not speaking the native language. I was shocked when suddenly, a beautiful woman on the elevator said, “Pas le bien-aimé d’inquiétude, je me suis perdu une fois dans Amérique, je sais la sensation.”

I began to cry, because I knew she was trying to be helpful, and at the sight of my tears, the woman quickly said in perfect English, “Don’t worry sweetheart, I once got lost in America. I know the feeling.” To this day, I still clearly remember the feeling of relief that the stranger’s words gave me. I knew that I wasn’t the only person to ever feel overwhelmed in a foreign place or situation. I strive to capture that feeling—the soothing sense of comfort that the stranger gave me—in my writing.

I still sit and read aloud to my father. We sit on the same burgundy velvet sofa, my father on the left, and I as close to him as possible. The only differences are that now, he complains that I’m “too big to sit on his lap,” and that we no longer read fairytales or Kipling, but my stories instead.

Abigail Hook
Harvard University Class of 2013

This past summer I was poised to jump. I was sure. I had convinced not only myself, but everyone around me that I was done. Come end of summer, I would pack away hundreds of pointe shoes in dejected cardboard boxes and they would instantly transform into unwanted memorabilia, identified only by a careless scrawl of Sharpie. My sweat and dedication were to be laid aside. I was through with pain, through with foot surgeries and obsessions and disappointments, and saying goodbye to a lifelong pursuit of ballet would be no exception. After the usual last six weeks of intensive summer training, my adieus were to be quick and painless; I would make sure of it.

And then Serenade happened to me.

Having made up my mind, I loyally warded off anything that might jeopardize my decision. My usual passion and enthusiastic spark were gone, replaced by a deep longing to understand why exactly I had ever fallen in love with this painful profession and an intense need for stability when my world was moving out from beneath my sore feet. Serenade took the remains of me, a frustrated and tired dancer whose only instinct was to fight, and gently illuminated the silver lining in my painful disaster.

My first exposure to the piece came from the splintery wood cabinet in the corner of the studio. I never liked using the sound system. Growing up in an intensely musical family who preferred to sing the nightly prayer, recordings frustrated me. Tonight the ribbons on my pointe shoes were as frayed as my sanity, and I was trying desperately to get motivated. Ballet had taught me from an early age that pain is only in the mind, and motivation is only a matter of psychological tricks. This ideology was working well for me, until I heard it. My sense of stoicism was instantly shattered. Something was amiss. I had witnessed my fair share of beautiful music and never cried. Yet Serenade for Strings in C Major sounded nothing like the Nutcracker or Swan Lake. The music was weeping and soaring and tired and energetic and everything, everything I was feeling. And that made all the difference. Serenade reminded me that beauty existed in the “why” of my pursuit of perfection; why I had done this—this crazy-overworked dream of a thing—and why I knew I would treasure it for the rest of my life.

Then I started dancing. George Balanchine somehow has captured the ephemeral, tragic side of beauty that Serenade sang of and transformed it into living art, and for a few weeks, I was his medium. For the first time I could remember I was looking forward to rehearsal at the end of eight-hour days; to those first few measures of music in which 17 girls simply stood, each hand raised to heaven, eyes searching through divine stratosphere, their light blue tulle—angelic. As the curtain rose opening night, the audience let out a murmur—a subtle appreciation for beauty in the raw. For weeks afterward I would enthusiastically lend my iPod to friends, brightly anticipating that they too would experience a revelation. I was mildly disappointed. For the most part they would smile sympathetically and say, “Oh yes, isn’t it beautiful?” and move on.

But then I realized, amidst my confusion, that the reassurance, the hope that I hadn’t just wasted my childhood, was something I so uniquely needed. Yes the music and choreography were genius, but Serenade’s magic lay in the ability it had to nudge me from frustrated to appreciative, from grief to celebration.

Perhaps Balanchine had seen this doubt, this questioning in a student before. Or perhaps this is how art works: One will never understand the power it has for the individual but not his neighbor, for the dancer but not the audience member, for the mother but not the daughter. I do know the experience of becoming that music—what seemed my story this summer—was paramount in my understanding of the person ballet has made me, and even when it came time to hang up my pointe shoes in exchange for a college education, Serenade reminded me of the power of pursuing a dream and the gifts that come with saying goodbye.

5也谈上名校的经验

来源: dudaan 于 06-03-28 09:32:43 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [转至博客] [给我悄悄话]

这两天看了不少关于上名校的帖子。自从我儿子被哈佛和MIT同时录取以后,几年来不少周围的朋友来问“经验”。我指点过四个孩子及其家长,后来这四个孩子分别上了哈佛、MIT、达特茅斯、威廉姆斯,够牛的吧?我觉得RespectYou的帖子说得很好,只想做点儿补充。
第一,美国也有重点高中。
名校的招生负责人员每个人负责一个地区,重点当然放在这个地区的好的高中上,不一定是私立的。加州的一个学校同一届有八个学生进MIT,麻州的一个学校每 年有二十左右学生进哈佛。这两个学校都是公校。这些学校实际上就相当于中国的重点学校。当然,为了照顾面儿,也得从非重点录取几个。
第二,名校优先录取什么样的学生?
这是一位名校的招生负责人亲口对我说的。第一优先:在国际获全国重大比赛获奖或者有类似优异成绩的高中生。只要符合这个条件,别的方面根本就不用管了。第 二优先:在州一级的不同领域的比赛中名列前茅,在不同的方面都显示出特殊才能的学生。这类学生在录取的时候要考虑平常的成绩。完了以后才是学习成绩好同时 积极参加各种文体活动的比较全面的学生。

来源: dudaan 于 06-03-28 09:33:45 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [转至博客] [给我悄悄话]

接着说。我有个例子可以说明上面那位女士说的的确有道理。2005年中国中央电视台邀请了美国十二位总统奖获得者和中国优秀高中生对话,拍摄时我在场,有 十位在北京学中文的哈佛学生去看热闹。中央台节目制作人把得总统奖的美国高中生奉为神明,问哈佛学生你们有没有得过总统奖的?结果,有三个人得过,另外有 一个人得过英王奖,是从著名的伊顿公校来的,一个人得过英特奖,两个人得过一个我不太熟悉的全国性大奖,据说不比总统奖差,还有两个人分别参加过钢琴和小 提琴的国际大赛。可以这样说,在哈佛随便找几个学生一定发现得过全国性大奖的。
(未完待续)

来源: dudaan 于 06-03-28 09:34:23 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [转至博客] [给我悄悄话]

第三,千人一面?
这是另一位在名校招生办公室工作的人对我说的。他给华裔的申请人画了一张像:
学习成绩特别好,GPA非常高。
SAT满分或者接近满分。
数学呱呱叫。
英文也很好,但是常常缺乏自己的风格,创造力和幽默感。
特长:钢琴或者小提琴
体育:有一些参与但很难拿到名次。
政治:比较冷漠。
这张画像值得深思,如果能突破就不一样了。
(未完待续,得上班了,晚上再接着说)

来源: dudaan 于 06-03-28 09:35:20 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [转至博客] [给我悄悄话]

抓功夫再写几句。对不起刚才写了些错字。应该是国际或全国,结果写成国际获全国了。
第四,不可忽视面试。一些名校要请校友跟申请人面谈,这个环节非常重要。考你的口头沟通能力,应变能力,幽默感等等。我听过一个故事,某私立高中成绩第一 的学生同时也是足球队长和校报主编,非常突出(不是华裔)。西部一所一流大学为了抢人竟给她买了机票去加州面试。一般来说这就等于是要你了。但是结果没要 她,东部几个大学也不要。肯定是面谈出问题了。我猜测(只是猜)这个女孩太狂了。华裔学生正好相反,太害羞。得好好准备好好训练。

第五,入校作文
中国高考作文要当堂写,美国却可以长时间准备。听说有弄虚作假的,找高手代笔,这是万万使不得的。这篇文章除了看英文的驾驭能力外,还要看出你的个性,你 的心态等等,一定要让孩子自己写,连找人修改都不行,只能提出修改的意见,再让孩子自己改,写出真实的自我。文章必须有趣,因为看文章的人一天看好多篇, 看着看着就要睡着了,你的文章得让他眼睛一亮,津津有味地看下去。千万别写什么“我为什么喜欢学习”之类的东西。有个被哈佛录取的华裔学生写的是小时候和 一只公鸡打架的故事,一些非华裔学生写的就更离奇了。

来源: dudaan 于 06-03-28 09:36:57 [档案] [博客] [旧帖] [转至博客] [给我悄悄话]

感谢大家的鼓励,最后一个问题也是最重要的就是,家长再怎么着急也没用,得靠孩子自己。培养孩子的信心非常重要,告诉他们上名校并非高不可攀。不要逼孩子 一天到晚学习(听说有些”成功“家长为了督促孩子学习家里连电视都不能有,太荒唐了〕。相反要鼓励他们参加能产生”亮点“的文体活动和社会活动。孩子想挣 钱,家长立刻制止,说你得好好学习。错了,应当鼓励,赚钱好啊,可是与其到麦当劳当服务员不如干点儿更有意义,钱也挣得多的事情,比方说帮公司编个程,设 计个网页什么的。我孩子每个暑假都去挣钱,他也从来没上过任何SAT补习班或者其他任何补习班,然而他做的所有事情都能让招生的人眼睛一亮。

6申请大学面试问答大全针对耶鲁,其它学校也可参考

又到申请大学季节,看到家长在问面试问题,重登此帖,希望对高中毕业生有所帮助,祝大家心想事成!内容偏长,面面俱到,好处是E文,可直接转给孩子看。

Q/A on Yale interview (compiled from College Confidential)
___________

I am a longtime alumni interviewer for Yale. The only information interviewers should (and do in the vast majority of cases) receive is name, hs, address, phone, email, whether you applied EA or RD, whether you interviewed on campus and what you put for your intended major. People seemed to be confused and have questions and I wanted to show the Yale spirit and help out.
Let me try to answer all your question.

1. How important is the interview? Since I’m not on the admissions committee, I can’t say for certain. My sense is that a really lousy interview report will cause the admissions officers to look more carefully at your application before accepting you or send you to the reject pile more quickly if you were already tending in that direction. I know of at least one applicant who got in even though his interviewer had a very poor impression of him. If your interviewer loves you, that might verify everything else that’s great in your file and be the last nudge you need to be in the admit pile. That being said, lots of applicants with ecstatic reviews don’t get in. The interview doesn’t make or break you. It is by far the least important part of the application process, but it may be the thing that pushes an applicant over the edge into the reject or admit pile.

2. What does the admissions office get out of an interview report that they don’t see on paper? A good interviewer can really read an applicant. There have been lots of applicants who have said in response to my “Why Yale?” question, “Because it’s prestigious.” When probed, they don’t know squat about the school and don’t even seem to have read basic literature provided by Yale. You can tell who has genuinely thought about the college and whether it’s a good fit. You can also tell whether someone is intellectual. When I ask, “What is your favorite class?” and the student says they like class X because they get good grades in it easily and, upon further questioning, don’t reveal any actual academic interest in the subject, that looks bad. Interviewers may also be able to tell what extracurriculars have been inflated or are largely parent-initiated. There are also people who have behave poorly at interviews. I’ve had a couple of extremely arrogant, entitled students and a couple of people who didn’t appear to live on planet earth (don’t want to reveal details, but you wouldn’t believe them anyway). I don’t judge people negatively because they are liberal or conservative, quiet or gregarious, etc. Although I’m sure some people are smart enough to snow me, I think I’m a pretty good judge of character and can add another dimension to the applicant’s file.

3. Out of all the people you have interviewed, what is the usual score on the 1-9 scale? How many 8-9′s or 1-2′s have you had? Interviewers rank students on a scale of 1-9. On Yale’s scale, A 5 is for a reasonable interview with neutral result and a 9 is given to a person who is 1 in 100 in the Yale pool. Because of the rankings distinguish between good, really good and exceptional, not all “good” interviews are created equal. Instructions to interviewers note that anything below a 5 automatically raises red flags for admissions officers. I give out mainly 5s and 6s with a scattering of 4s and 7s. I think a 9 is for a once-in-an-interviewing-lifetime candidate. I doubt I’ve ever given more than a couple of 8s. My bet is that less experienced interviewers give out higher scores. If you interview lots of kids every year over several years, you get a sense of how competitive the applicant pool really is. If you’re doing your first couple of interviews, you compare the kids to what it took to get into Yale when you were there, not realistically assessing how much tougher things are today. Because you have to back up your score with a written report, I think the admissions officers can tell where people are being too stingy or too generous.

4. Do you suggest bringing a resume to the interview? I think it’s nice to bring a resume so your interviewer can refer back to it when he/she writes your report. Your resume should include extracurricular activities, jobs, academic interests, etc. Interviewers are not supposed to have your GPA and SAT, but not all interviewers know this rule, so it’s hard to know whether you should include those. Yale doesn’t want interviewers to be swayed by high or low numbers.

5. How should we dress for the interview? I think khakis and a collared shirt are good for boys and a nice pair of pants or skirt with a conservative top for girls. Girls should not wear revealing clothes, especially if the interview takes place in an office. That means no exposed midriffs, no exposed bra straps, no cleavage. It sounds obvious, but it isn’t. I think that regardless of where an interview is that you should not be more casual than the equivalent of khakis and a collared shirt. If your interviewer explicitly says, please be casual and feel free to wear jeans, then it’s OK. If not, play it safe and dress up a little. Unless your interviewer says to be casual, I’d dress up. As you can see from my comments in this thread and others, dressing up doesn’t mean anything really dressy. What you wear shouldn’t matter, but you never know how it plays out on a subconscious level and you don’t want to be thought of as not taking the interview seriously or, in the case of revealing or otherwise inappropriate clothes, lacking common sense.

6. I have an interview at starbucks. would a collared shirt and khakis be too much? A collared shirt and khakis would not be too much at a Starbucks. What if your interviewer is coming from a meeting and has a suit on? Wouldn’t you feel weird in jeans and a t-shirt?

7. Could you give us a few examples of questions you’ve asked before? From your experience, do you prefer it when the interviewee guides the conversation or just sits back and answers the questions you’ve pre-selected? Tell me about your most important extracurricular activity. What is your favorite class and why? What are some of your favorite books? I ask really generic, predictable questions and follow up on whatever the student says, so each interview is really different.

I would NOT like it if the interviewee tried to control and direct the interview. It’s fine to be confident and to have things that you want to discuss but it’s not your place to guide the conversation. Your best bet would be to let the interviewer do his/her thing in the beginning. I ask applicants if there is anything they want to discuss mid-way through the interview, so they can take over and direct things at that point if they want to.

I do discuss pop culture and stuff that isn’t traditional interview conversation if the conversation veers that way; I don’t think the interview has to be serious.

8. I feel that i would mesh with the people at yale more than Harvard. the only drawback is it’s not in Boston? New Haven is not a drawback. Not being in a major city means that the on-campus social life is exceptionally vibrant as opposed to bars and clubs in the city being the social focus.

9. What the interviewer writes in the report? Depends on the interviewer. I try to back up the adjectives I used to describe the applicant–intellectually curious, arrogant, etc–with examples of what they said during the interview. I usually include a sentence or two indicating why the person wants to attend Yale, but I’m sure not everyone does that.

10. I’m sort of uncomfortable with giving my list of schools (I’m applying to 9 others, and it’s sort of awkward to just rattle off the whole list), so what should I do if my interviewer asks where else I’m applying? Yale interviewers are told not to ask what other schools you’re applying to. I’m not saying some don’t ask it anyway, but they’re not supposed to. If you do get asked, no need to rattle off the whole list. Your “some other schools in the NE” is probably fine.

11. if someone you interviewed googled you and told you, how would you react and feel?During two interviews it was obvious the applicants had googled me. I thought it was weird. It’s fine to google the person so you have a sense of who they are, but letting them know you did it can feel stalker-y.

12. Can you describe an interview write-up? My report all depends on the interview. I comment on the person’s personality, their intellectual depth, their engagement in their extracurriculars (not whether they’ve given me a laundry list but whether they seemed genuinely interested and committed to their ECs), whether they seem to have valid reasons for their interest in Yale, and whatever random stuff came up.

13. What were the most common questions? academic interests, extracurriculars interests, why Yale, then bounce off those answers. Every interviewer is different.

14. What can the interviewee do to bump it up, and what have you seen that bumps it down to 4? First, an interviewers don’t have any info from Yale about GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, etc. This means that it’s not like the person looks like an 8 on paper and the interview brings him or her down. You may understand this, but I wanted to clarify to make sure.

I can’t think of nonobvious ways people hurt themselves. The people who have really killed themselves have been unabashedly arrogant or had bizarre social skills. People who have done zero research (like not knowing about the
residential college system) may not get marked down, but I will note it in my report. Flagrantly inappropriate attire (mainly girls who dress VERY provocatively) may earn a mark down for lacking common sense. One sentence or one word answers to every question are a problem. But that’s all obvious stuff, right?You can’t be anyone other than who you are in an interview and it’s either going to strike a high, low, or middling chord with the interviewer. Here’s another one, albeit rare: interviewees who don’t even feign interest. Two years ago, I interviewed an accomplished young woman who had gotten likely letters from both Yale and Harvard. It was eminently clear that H was her goal — I almost asked her why she bothered to take up my time.

15. If asked why Yale, I have a number of reasons, but should I still bother mentioning the common ones? Ex: I LOVE the residential college system, as I like the idea of being an individual and having a larger, communal identity. But, they probably get a million people saying that, so should I still bring it up? Common answers to “Why Yale” are fine. The residential colleges are a huge draw and it makes sense to include them if they excite you.

16. Is it okay to ask for a minute to think? Or would that look poorly upon me that I can’t just spit out answers to questions? The interviewer shouldn’t ask you very tough questions. It’s fine to take a second to collect your thoughts, but I would find it odd if I asked, “Tell me about your favorite extracurricular activity” and the applicant really took a whole minute to formulate a response. The interviewer will lead the interview, probably asking you a series of questions, then asking you if you have questions for him/her. You are not responsible for setting the tone or the pace of the interview. The best thing you can do is to think up one or two questions to ask the interviewer so there isn’t the awkward moment when the interviewee has no questions and feels stupid.

17. If my interview lasted only 20 minutes, is this a sign that it didn’t go well? It all depends on the interviewer’s style. 20 minutes would be a sign of a bad interview with me, but other interviewers may have a shorter list of questions and a more direct style than I do. What’s done is done and the interview is by far the least important part of your application. I’ve had applicants with terrible interviews get in, so it won’t kill you if the rest of your package is strong.
___________

Yale Interviewer’s Observations (from CC)
Here is another Yale interviewer’s comments from College Confidential.

I interviewed high school seniors for four years on behalf of the Yale Alumni Schools Committee. No applicant need lose a moment’s sleep over these interviews. They play a minor part in the Admissions Committee’s decisions. If Admissions has its eye on a great soccer player or a talented violinist, a lackluster interview makes no difference. It works both ways: If the interviewer finds that a candidate with lopsided test scores (some very high, some not very) turns out in person to have exceptional charm, insight, imagination and perseverance — way beyond the average Yale applicant — it doesn’t make much difference to Admissions.

Some factors that do affect your chances, all other things (grades, test scores) being equal:

1. How many kids from your school or your geographic region applied to Yale this year?(The fewer the better for you. Yale makes room for a certain number of Andover grads, for example, but will save room for the corn-fed debating genius from Kansas, the politics and theater geek from Portland and the peripatetic U.S. diplomat’s daughter who never attended school on American soil.)

2. How many students with your particular scholarly and/or extra-curricular strengths applied? (Again, the fewer the better for you.).

3. How many kids with your ethnic background applied? (The more under-represented your ethnic group, the better for you.)

4. Are you a recruitment-quality athlete or musician? (If so, your chances skyrocket.)

5. Are your parents eminent in their field? (Also a big boost to your chances.)

As best I could discern, the candidates I interviewed who were eventually accepted had two or more of these factors going for them.

7也谈名校录取

Respectyou and Dudaan 的文都提供了很多很有用的information. 同意Dudaan关于公校的观点,很多公校也是ivy feeder school. 当然总体上公校争不过私校。曾看到过一篇文章,以 98 到01 四年中学校送到HPY的学生的百分比为准,给高中排了名,印象中前100名中,只有6所公校,而这六所公校分别排在26,59, 71,以及更后面 。这篇文章有点老了,且只给了HPY的数据,若加上SM,恐怕排名会有所变化。有人感兴趣,我可把这个排名贴上来 很欣赏 Respectyou陪养女儿的方法。Respectyou的女儿上了哈佛,除了她各方面优异的成就之外,她自身的素质和性格起很大的作用。
每年报考哈佛的学生中,各方面出类拔萃的人太多了,为什么有人上了,有人没上,我觉得不仅仅是个做没做义工的问题。名校非常看中学生的素质,品格和性格, 他们所考虑的是,这个学生上了我这个学校是否能成功,他将来走上社会是否能成功。所以他们很在意那些高分阿,奖杯啊后面的东西,想知道是什么使这个学生取 得了这么优异的成绩。从学生的essay, interview, recommendation 中,他们能很容易地看到你是什么样的人,是聪明的,还是勤奋的,是幽默的,还是boring的。yale管
我们这地区招生的人在给我儿子的信(是录取后的另一封信)中写到:“Your confidence and determination shined through your entire applications!”不知她是否对别人也说了同样的话,对我儿子而言,她说得太对了,想一想,这两点正是儿子身上最显著的特点。每个孩子都有特点,做父母的就是要观察孩子的特点,帮助孩子把特点变成成就,在大学申请中把特点自然地真实地表现出来。
Dunaan提到了千面人的问题,要想不做千面人,很难。孩子就是数学好,可又没好到能参加USMO的程度,怎么办?(参加了,又怎样,照样会被哈佛,MIT reject)孩子就是爱弹琴,没有运动才华,怎么办?能够另劈蹊径很好。就是做千面人,也不是上不了名校。大家都弹琴,都拿奖,但拿奖跟拿奖是不一样的,拿奖后面的付出是不一样的,拿奖后的感觉是不一样的。我想录取不录取有时就在这细微的差别。

8哈佛 要什麽样的学生

在美国,申请大学有一套繁杂的程序,和以标准考试成绩定案的亚洲国家有很大不同。美国学生不仅也要考标准考试,还需同时顾好高中在校平均成绩、积极参与校 内外活动,与准备无数申请文件等。即使如此,学校的录取标准对一般人来说仍是个谜。每年许多优秀的学生被理想学校拒於门外,却不得而知被拒的理由,更多的 家长为孩子的努力感到惋惜,有些则对申请大学的准备方向越来越无所适从。他们想知道,到底名校的录取标准为何?哪些是他们认为最重要的条件?而什麽样的申 请者才是他们的理想候选人?

纽约时报日前与哈佛大学合作,开放纽时读者提出有关申请(哈佛)大学的疑问,由长期担任哈佛大学招生与财务补助办公室主任的费兹西蒙斯(William R. Fitzsimmons)负责解答。以下为问答摘要。

入学标准

费兹西蒙斯开门见山表示,哈佛大学的招生目标就是网罗最优秀的学生。很多人认为「优秀」取决於标准考试成绩、在校平均成绩与班级排名等,他认为这是合情理 的联想,实际应用起来也可替学校省去很多麻烦。但他说,哈佛在这些客观衡量标准之外,同时应用了更为复杂的系统来判断申请者是否适合哈佛。

费兹西蒙斯说∶「学生智能上的创作力、人格风范与执行良好判断的能力,在录取过程中扮演关键角色,这些特质无法从标准测验的分数看出来,只能透过学生的课 外活动、老师与辅导老师的推荐信,与他们和校友或职员的面谈中才能得知。」同时,费兹西蒙斯也指出,招生办公室的成员很明白手上持有的资讯并不完全,因此 他们评量申请者的时候总是非常小心谨慎。他认为,「录取的决策过程与其说是一种科学,反而更像是一门艺术」。

光是审核申请者条件的过程,就历经层层关卡。费兹西蒙斯解释,审核申请文件的哈佛招生官员通常以地区划分,负责审核特定地区送交的申请文件。他们会记录所 有资料,联络申请者与学校以补齐不足的部分,并针对申请者的优缺点标注评语。有些申请者最多被四位不同官员审核,每位官员都会查核资料内容是否正确,并提 出额外的注解。

此外,由教师组成的招生与财务补助单位中又有一个常务委员会,负责制定与执行招生与财务辅助的相关政策。常务委员会的成员也会审核较具代表性的申请者,例如在学术上有特别突出表现的、艺术方面展现特别创造力的,或针对招生政策提出疑问。

在常务委员会制定的大纲下,另一组招生委员会负责作出每位申请者的录取决策。招生委员会的成员包括常务委员会再加上另外35名左右的招生与财务补助办公室 职员。作决策时,招生委员会成员依地区分为20个小组,每个小组通常包括四至五名成员,外加一位资深招生官员与一位教师。每个小组也负责约同等数量的申请 者。

当所有申请者的文件都被仔细读过,而招生委员会小组也开始进行正式审核,地区性的招生官员负责跟小组成员概述每位申请者的优缺点。接著小组成员便依此讨论 申请者条件,并采多数表决方式决定是否向上推荐给招生委员会全员。但表决没过也并不表示申请者全无希望,如果获得某些成员的大力支持,仍可能被提出让其他 小组来作比较。

接下来,小组成员便把它们的审核结果提交至全体委员会,任何成员在阅读或聆听简报时,都可提出问题,或要求重新审查申请者资料。许多申请者都曾在全体委员 会中重新被提出审核,而不论是全体委员会或是小组讨论,最多花一小时时间讨论单独申请者。小组提交的所有申请者都会在全体会员会议中提出讨论,因此相互之 间的比较不受地区限制。

费兹西蒙斯说,哈佛采取这麽严谨的比较过程,是希望能深思熟虑并公平的作出决定。虽然整个过程耗费大量人力,但他们因此对最後的决策有很多弹性,甚至到了要寄出通知信函的当天,招生委员会都还有可能临时改变决定。

在哈佛看重的申请者条件中,有一项可能会令父母出乎意料。费兹西蒙斯表示,许多哈佛的校友认为,大学里的同侪在他们的求学经验中扮演非常重要的角色。哈佛 的学生不只在课堂上学习,透过与寝室室友的互动、在饭厅、教室、研究小组、课外活动与宿舍中特别活跃的负责人的互动,都是丰富哈佛经验的要素。换句话说, 「人」可能是哈佛经验里最难能可贵的部分。因此当哈佛在找寻理想的候选人时,特别留意那些有潜力成为「教育者」的学生,意即那些能激发同侪或教师新想法的 学生。

费兹西蒙斯表示,许多被哈佛录取的学生可能在学术或课外活动中拥有不凡的成就,但大多数被录取的学生倾向多才多艺,他认为在各方面都投注相当精力,并获得不等成就的学生,在大学甚至往後人生都更有机会以同样态度持续取得荣耀。

测验成绩

标准测验如SAT与ACT的成绩,在招生官员的决策中到底占有多少分量?这不只是华人家长关心的议题,许多美国家长也在这次纽约时报举办的问答中提出相同疑问。

费兹西蒙斯表示,标准测验成绩的确有助哈佛找到理想候选人,但申请者的其他条件,包括高中平均分数、老师的推荐信与学生的个人特质等,也都扮演相当重要的 角色。全国大学入学谘询协会(NACAC)的委员会曾根据研究资料指出,具有经济优势或上严格学校的学生,通常会在标准测验取得比较好的成绩。费兹西蒙斯 说,各大学的招生办公室官员都很清楚这个趋势,他们也都尽力去衡量出那些没有先天优势的学生的学术表现潜力。

若真要排出客观条件的先後次序,费兹西蒙斯认为AP tests与International Baccalaureate Exams的成绩最具指标性,紧接著是大学理事会的学科测验,再来是高中的平均成绩,最後才看SAT与ACT成绩。不过他提醒,SAT与ACT中的写作测 验,与大学理事会的学科测验具有约莫同等的重要性。单SAT成绩来说,费兹西蒙斯认为除非分数特别高或特别低,否则50-100分的差异几乎对决策过程没 有影响。即使有影响,也会同时与其他好几种条件放在一起综合考量。

课外活动

费兹西蒙斯说,哈佛每年录取约2100名新生,校方期望他们全都具备突出的个人特质,能在大学四年与同学互相影响与学习,并於毕业後在各地发挥正向的影响力。换句话说,哈佛寻求的是「全才」,他们在学业、课外活动与个人特质上都有杰出表现。

不过费兹西蒙斯提醒,多数学生是全才,但每年录取的学生当中也有数百名是在学业上取得超乎水准的成就,被哈佛校方视为同辈中最有潜力的学术新星。这些学生 都有非凡的学习精神与求知欲望,并提供学术上实际的成果证明自己胜出同辈的条件。费兹西蒙斯不讳言∶「这些学生通常也有杰出的课外表现,但招生委员会更看 重的可能是他们不凡的学术成就。」

录取的学生当中,也有另外数百名是在课外活动取得特出表现。费兹西蒙斯表示,这些学生与学术表现特出的学生一样,都是因为他们的人格特质促成他们的成就。 他们自律学习,对自己感兴趣的事物全心投入。这些学生进入大学,可能选择继续发展该活动,或选择别种全新的爱好,但他们具备的人格特质将持续帮助他们获得 成就,即使出社会也不例外。

有些人可能想知道,课外活动涵盖范围很广,到底哪些「课外活动」才算数?费兹西蒙斯说,事实上,哈佛对学生从事的任何活动都会感兴趣。除了一般学校的课外 活动或运动项目外,也可以是学生全心投入社区、工作或是家庭的任何经验。他举例,像许多学生花很多时间帮忙照顾家庭成员,或需要靠打工方式帮父母维持家 计;也有很多学生负担不起昂贵的才艺费用,因此无法学习任何乐器,或参加运动社团等。当招生委员会审核申请文件时,都会把这些因素考量在内,他们更关心 的,是学生如何有效运用他们既有的资源。

「课外活动不需要是很异国情调的项目,大部分也都不是那样的,活动的实质内容才是我们看重的东西。」费兹西蒙斯相信,每天都充分利用机会的学生,到了大学也还是一样会这麽做,不论从事学术或课外活动,同样道理都完全适用。

财务补助

哈佛大学与其他私立名校是许多人的理想目标,但昂贵的学费也让不少家长忧心,尤其是中产家庭收入水准不容易得到足够补助金,支付学杂费让他们感到特别吃力。

对此问题,费兹西蒙斯强调∶「前途无量的学生绝不应让财务困难阻碍他们选择就读理想学校。」他表示,哈佛的财务补助(Financial Aid)政策在这几年来作了很多改变,不断致力让各个经济阶层的家庭都能负担得起哈佛教育。单就今年而言,大学部的财务补助计画就高达1亿4500万元,是哈佛有史以来最宽裕的补助计画额度。跟去年相比,该额度增加7%;跟十年前相比,更整整增加了1.67倍。

费兹西蒙斯说,哈佛仅依学生的家庭收入提拨财务补助,他们申请财务补助并不会影响被录取的机会。依哈佛大学目前的补助金计算方式,收入介於12万与18万 元的家庭,只需拿出10%的收入支付学费;收入12万元以下的家庭,学费支出则从收入10%开始递减,收入越低,应付的学费就越少。费兹西蒙斯举例,收入 15万左右的家庭,每年只需花1万5000元左右支付一个孩子读哈佛的学费。收入6万元或以下的家庭则学费全免。

除此之外,哈佛也提供学生贷款,但通常校方在计算学生的财务补助方案时,都尽量避免让学生负担债务,如真有需要,透过要求校方仍会提供。同时依照哈佛最新的政策,房屋的净值已不被计入家庭的付款能力,这项改变平均一年为家庭省下约4000元学费。

老师推荐信

费兹西蒙斯说,推荐信对於哈佛或其他高度竞争的学校来说,绝对在审核过程中具有相当重要的分量。透过推荐信函,委员会成员才能逐渐拼凑出学生在客观条件之 外如人格、领导力、求知欲、创造力与对学习的热忱等个人特质。再加上申请论文、面谈与其他申请程序,推荐信能让委员会成员看到申请者在大学或未来发挥个人 影响力的潜力。

不过费兹西蒙斯也指出,美国高中内的升学辅导老师比例分配极度不均,许多资源较少的地区,老师也往往需应付数目庞大的学生,使他们很难有时间真正去熟悉每位学生,自然影响到推荐信的说服力。

当学生缺乏辅导老师的推荐信,或推荐信函提供的资讯不足,委员会便转而依赖其他的客观资讯作衡量。如果校方需要更多资讯来协助决策判断,他们会联系辅导老 师,或请学生要求老师提供更多说明。在最糟的情况下,辅导老师与老师皆对学生不够了解,无法提供有力的说明,费兹西蒙斯建议,学生依然应该取得他们的推荐 信,但同时可寻求其他足够了解自己的人协助,例如课外活动的指导者、打工的雇主、社区组织的领导人,或教会牧师等。如果学校的推荐信已足够提供有力资讯, 他不建议学生再送交太多额外的推荐信函。「额外的推荐信是否发挥作用,跟撰写者的职业或地位无关,而是取决於他对你的了解程度。」

费兹西蒙斯说,他们近年来读过最棒的推荐信,是由一所学校的管理员写的。该校的老师与辅导老师工作量超过负荷,而管理员的这封推荐信恰好弥补了他们没有照 顾到的内容。这名学生参加学校的工作计划,必须在大夥儿都疲惫的课後时间,处於相当艰难的环境下完成工作事项。管理员於信中说明学生的作为让他周遭的人都 变得更好,跟学生的其他申请文件内容吻合。日後学生进了哈佛,也的确在校内发挥很多正面的影响力,毕业至今,费兹西蒙斯说他的作为始终与当初推荐信函里描 述的人格特质相互吻合。

申请论文

论文写作在申请决策中的重要性,多数人都不置可否。但不少人提出质疑,在学生撰写论文的过程中,家长应提供多少帮助?

费兹西蒙斯说,很显然的,现在许多学生可能早从中学就开始准备申请大学的论文写作,他们与长辈一同草拟有助提升自我条件的各种经历,然後花上一年或更多的 时间依靠他人的协助修饰论文。有些人则透过网路或专门整理知名论文的刊物,剽窃他人著作的论文;另一些人则乾脆花钱请枪手帮忙从头撰写申请论文。

费兹西蒙斯表示,他们每年都读到许多写的很棒的论文,也经常将论文投影到大萤幕上好让全体委员会成员都能看个仔细。如果某篇论文写的特别突出,他们会请委 员会中的一位教师成员评估该篇文章,或其他写作文本例如短篇故事与诗篇等。判断论文的原创性时,他们会将之与学生的成绩单、推荐信里的内容、学术上的特殊 成就,或甚至与学生SAT或ACT考试里的写作部分互相比较。

简而言之,费兹西蒙斯说,他们找寻的是学生的「一致性」。「如果学生的论文写的很精采,其他申请条件则远远不及,不可能因此被录取。」

他表示,学生在高中时每天辛苦得来的成果,才是更吸引学校的地方。不过论文写作给学生一个好机会,让他们阐述自己所重视的事物,这可能他们无法藉由其他申 请文件表达的东西。费兹西蒙斯说,常会有人建议学生在申请文章中「找到自己的声音」,或是「做自己」,他认为这的确是一个中肯的建议。

不少刊物或网站专门搜集申请大学的论文范本,宣称这些范本可让学生被校方录取。但大学的录取过程本身有太多变数,因果关系很难搞清楚。这些范本来源通常鼓 励学生写一些比较容易被注意到的题目,使他们在撰写文章时反而忽略对自己来说真正重要的事物。有时学生写的「太超过」,或者搔不到痒处,也因此失去让招生 委员会更深入认识他们的好机会。

费兹西蒙斯说,撰写申请论文时,是没有任何「正确答案」的,而且论文本身也只是申请程序的其中一项文件而已。他建议学生应充分利用每个能增进自我与学术上成长的机会,面对大学的申请程序不需太刻意迎合。

公校还是私校?

为了帮孩子挤进私立名校的窄门,许多家长考量是否送孩子就读私立高中,会在申请过程中具有较多优势,他们因此在财务或是其他方面作出很多牺牲;有些则为了让孩子上名声响亮的公立学校,不惜忍受辛苦的通勤;更有些则乾脆支出大笔家用预算好与明星公立学校比邻而居。

费兹西蒙斯说,每年都有许多家长问他∶是否有哪种类型的高中特别受哈佛青睐?哪种学校能提供孩子申请名校最好的基础?面对第一个问题,费兹西蒙斯很直接的 否决。他说,哈佛要招收的是学生,不是学校,因此不论哪种学校出身,都不会在申请过程中具有特殊优势。哈佛更关切的事情,是学生能否充分利用周遭的教育资 源。因为不论身处什麽样的求学环境,唯有会这麽做的学生,才有可能在大学中也持续将哈佛资源作最有效的利用。

费兹西蒙斯表示,在前几个世代中,哈佛与其他同类型大学的学生的确多半出身私校;今年9月份,哈佛新鲜人中则约有七成来自公立高中。他说,其实私立高中与 私立大学的运作方法雷同,他们筹措可观的经费作为财务补助,并积极的招募来自各个经济阶层的优秀学生。基於房地产价格的波动,当今私立高中的学生背景分布 已跟从前大不相同,许多社区里的私立学校比起当地公立高中,可能在学生的经济背景分布上还更多元。

费兹西蒙斯认为,不论公立或私立,都有许多好学校。父母想帮孩子找到最适合他们的教育环境,关键跟选择大学很相似,即视孩子跟哪所学校最相配而定。他表 示,每个孩子的成长步调都非常不同,一体适用是最糟糕的解决方式。即使是同一个孩子,也可能在不同年龄适合不同学校的教学步调。

不过费兹西蒙斯也指出,基於各种原因,许多不同年龄层的杰出学生经常聚集在某所学校。而当该所学校的许多学生进了顶尖大学,到底是因为这些学校的教育品质 很高,还是因为他们的学生素质本来就特别突出?同样的问题其实也适用在哈佛身上。他说,家长仍应了解,哈佛与其他高等教育机构并不特别偏好这些学校的学 生,他们要的是来自各地的杰出学生。

不论父母最终选择为何,他们为孩子的教育作出诸多牺牲,值不值得总是很难定论。有些父母对成果感到满意,有些则不那麽确定。最终,费兹西蒙斯认为还是看学 生自己在人生每个阶段如何追求自我发展,才是最重要的事情。毕竟,条条大路都能完成美国梦,而任何种类的学校教育也都有机会达到相同目的。

9谢谢大家对我的关于申请材料组织和整理的4点建议的讨论。我打字较慢,有些事没说清楚。现在再补充说明一下。

1.Coufused2010 并没有说她女儿那些SAT2的分数是几门或者考了几次,我是假设她考了很多门给的建议。SAT1是一定要填考了几次,而SAT2就只要填最好的成绩那次。 而且,考了四五门SAT2,但最少要报3门,那就把考分低的那两门不要报,也省了你的费用。如果你已经在考试时填送了三个学校,那这3个学校就没办法了, 一定填报了。所以,我女儿当年一共考了四门SAT2, 我没让她填送任何学校,就怕万一考不好,那些学校会有记录。她填报名表时SAT2就写了三门,把西班牙语扔掉了(分数也低才740),同时也跟她报的专业 关系不大。

2.Essay的重要性很多人都不知道,或知道了也不肯说。正像上面分享孩子进耶鲁的经验的mikewu网友说的:『我还想强调一下上面的一个要点:一定要清楚地show:我是什么人(who am I),我为什么要become this kind of person, and the process of the change (no one believes that your D was born to be a super girl). That’s why, a good essay is very personal. Usually, children do not like to share it with others, even parents.After my S being accepted by several top schools, the high school asked him to provide some advices to next year students, he summarized: do your best, be yourself.每个学校只要 the most fitted, not “the best”.』

正是因为很少有人特别是中国家长知道或愿意分享这点,所以凡是好朋友问我孩子应如何申请学校时,我都反复强调Essay的重要性和如何写好Essay。举 一个前些年的例子,有个朋友的孩子在学校的成绩排名在30多名,SAT I是2230分,大多数SAT2都在750左右。她得奖很多,但都是地区小奖,只有写作很好,曾得过地区大奖。看了她的材料,我不认为写作是她的亮点,写 作只是她的强项。她的亮点应该是在法院做义工很长时间,还当了义工组长。我建议她Essay时就写这个经历和感受,当然我还给了关于如何准备申请材料的一 些其他建议。后来,她和她父母都花了很多时间在申请材料的准备上,结果她被MIT录取了,是当年学校毕业生中的一匹黑马,在录取名单排列上一跃进入前5 名。

3. 我不知道Coufused2010的女儿有没有这个问题,但据我了解很多人在填表时,都分不清主次和轻重,以为填得越多越好。尤其是文科好的孩子有这个问 题,所以,我就给出了此建议。我当初看上面提到的孩子的材料时,真搞不清什么是她的强项,读了好几遍才找出来。而且是9号小字,看得我真有点累。将人心比 自心,人家评审官一天要读多少材料,该多累啊,哪有那个耐心去想法找出你的强项和亮点来?为了让自己不要在第一轮评审官读材料时就被淘汰掉,我们是不是应 该把自己的材料弄得好一点,让人家读起来头脑清楚,轻松有趣些啊!所以我建议她用12号字填写,填不下的用附表形式,所有的得奖根据轻重主次和时间重新排 列,不必要的小奖全删掉。

4. Top Schools不仅要看申请人课外活动(包括义工)的多少,而且一定要看领导才能的。我不了解Coufused2010的女儿的具体情况,但这是我女儿填表时,她的升学指导给她的建议。我想,这也许是孩子申请时普遍的问题,我也建议给她了。

在这些建议中,我没有强调成绩的重要性,因为这是孩子们平时和前几年就应该做的准备,现在再说已没用了。现在Coufused2010的女儿唯一能做的就是要好好重新整理申请材料,把亮点和强项突出,让评审官印象深刻,增加录取的把握性。

还有,好大学招生办认为SAT750分与800分区别不大,他们还会看其他很多方面,然后给出综合得分和推荐意见。如果小组中(好像两人一组先读材料)都 推荐了,这孩子就肯定被录取了。如果只有一人推荐,那还会再讨论或拿到大组讨论,等等。所以,成绩分数不是最重要的,在录取中大约只占20%左右。这些都 是我们当初参观了好几所学校,和招生办人开会时,许多家长提问,他们回答后我们自己总结出来的经验。我在这里给的这些建议特别是Essay的建议,也是当 初我读了很多美国书店里的升学参考书后总结出来的经验。这些经验在提高我女儿被录取的把握性中显示了他们的价值。这次女儿能被哈佛商学院和斯坦福商学院同 时录取,更是与她重视Essay的写作有关。当她把申请寄出后,我们就是很有信心地等待这个结果了。所以我曾经多次将这些经验告诉过很多人,至于各人的理 解,那就不是我能知道的了。

10高燕定:综合素质的标准公式”——大学申请秘密

素质教育是近几年的热门话题,具备非凡的综合素质意味着被美国名校录取,甚至伴随着巨额奖学金。这是很多家长对孩子的期望乃至奢望。

什么是素质?是唱歌跳舞、弹琴武术,还是考级证书?
成绩不好的孩子不必悲观,他们也可能是综合素质很高的孩子。能打工,能说会道会写的具有高素质;会“应试”,无疑也是高素质的表现。发挥各自的特长、优点,都可以达到“优秀素质”的目标。某方面不足、不擅长的,可以在其他方面,以其他形式来弥补、平衡。
大学在人生中扮演了很重要的角色,获得理想大学的录取是人生规划中的重要一步。人们一般相信,只有综合素质优秀的学生才可能被美国名校录取。

但是,到底什么样的学生会被看作具有优秀的综合素质?综合素质由哪些“成分”组成?它们的比例又如何?有没有一个定性甚至定量的标准?
在美国,都说报考名牌大学不但学习成绩要好,经常参加社会活动,做义工,还要有领导才能,会写论文,有好的推荐信。

会打球、唱歌跳舞?会弹钢琴、吉他,会拉小提琴?会武术、书法?……要考多少级?参加多少比赛?得多少证书?获什么奖?参加什么活动?领导什么社团?
令许多家长和学生困惑的是,很多孩子竭尽所能,投入所有的精力和时间,最后没有得到满意的结果,没有进入理想的学校。很多人认为,这是由于美国大学录取学生具有很大的随机性,美国著名大学录取学生是没有标准的。也有人认为,所谓优秀素质和综合能力是无法具体表述的。
美国是一个很制度化的国家,凡事都讲规范,都有游戏规则,尽管个中难免有漏洞、偏差。但是,总体而言,还是有规律可循的。

1996年开始,我注意到《普林斯顿评论》与《时代周刊》合编的年刊——《适合你的最佳大学》,此后一直到2002年,我每年都收藏一册。书中最有意 思的部分是指导读者怎样以升学顾问的眼光给自己评估,计算出自己的“录取竞争指数”。我认为,所谓“录取竞争指数”也就是个人的“综合素质”。
《普林斯顿评论》把美国1500多所大学以录取难易程度从60分到99分进行排列。哈佛、耶鲁、普林斯顿等一流名校为99分,最低的学校60分。学生可 以根据计算结果,比照该书列出的各大学的“录取竞争指数”,看看自己与哪些大学匹配,也就是可能被哪些大学录取。《适合你的最佳大学》声称,这个评估法可 以较准确地估算出自己与哪些预想的学校相符。

该刊2002年出了最后一期就不再出版,《普林斯顿评论》现在把这个评估方法放在网站上,为上网者免费进行“评估”,在输入自己的各项指标后,网络会显示 “匹配”的大学清单。不过,网上看不到各项指标的评分方法和标准,也不知道自己的各项指标能够得到多少分,哪项“素质”高,哪项“素质”不够高,难以对自 己各方面进行有效的调整,也无法知道自己的“综合素质”到底是多少。
我将这个评估方法归纳成一个虽然较长但很容易看懂的公式,括号中的数字是每个学生可能得到的分数范围。这个评估学生“整体素质”的总得分也叫作录取竞争指数(以下简称为录取指数)。计算公式如下:

综合素质总分=就读的高中(0~4分)+课程难度(0~21分)+年级排名(-1~3分)+平均成绩(0~16分)+SAT成绩(6~25分)+全国荣誉 学者(0~3分)+申请论文(-3~5分)+推荐信(-2~4分)+课外活动(-5~30分)+种族多元化(-3~5分)+体育活动(8~40分)+超级 录取(40分)+[体育教练点名(5~10分)+家住远处(3分)+父母因素(5~8分)+多元化(3~5分)]

从公式中可以看出,参与“综合素质”评分的项目主要有12项。显然,前面6项主要体现“学业素质”,后面6项体现与学业关系不直接的“其他素质”,在中括 号里的其他4项是大多数人所不会有的附加项目。从表面上看,这个评估法“不公平”的地方实在太多。不过,我认为不妨先遵循美国大学申请的游戏规则,然后再 去思考、议论过程以及结果的公平合理性。
就学业素质而言,就读全美知名的高中和一般的高中的最大差别只有4分。选修课程的难度相差最高达21分,美国高中通常有普通课程、荣誉课程和AP课 程,AP是在高中开设的大学课程,每年5月有一次全国AP统考,成绩达到一定的标准,上大学时可以将学分转到大学。如果在知名度高的高中上学,只选修容易 的基本课程的学生,这一项只能得0分,而上了最多AP课的学生可能得到21分。
此外,全年级成绩排名前25%的学生可得1分。平均成绩80分以上的可得12分,90~95分的可得15分。旧制SAT考试的最高分
是1600(对于新SAT,可以将成绩除以3后再乘以2),SAT考试成绩除以63得到SAT这一项得分,最高的为25分。如获选全国荣誉学者(类似于中国的三好学生)还可以加3分。

从以上可以看出,影响学业素质的最重要的因素,是在校选修难度高的课程和SAT获高分。

就“其他素质”而言,大学申请论文优劣的范围从-3分到5分,相差8分。论文是阐述思想,也是书面表达能力的象征,占有很大的比例是不难理解的。推荐信好坏有6分之差,起的作用很大,有较高的综合素质,才会获得较好的推荐信。

课外活动在“其他素质”里起了很大的作用,算上正负分数,这一项的差别竟有35分之多。值得注意的是,有报酬的工作也算在社会活动这一项里,每周工作20~30小时的学生可以得到22分。
种族多元化这一项,外国学生(比如中国学生)可以加5分,但是,在美的亚裔学生较吃亏,反要倒扣3分。也许是因为亚裔学生学业成绩普遍甚佳,为了体现“多元化”而受到集体“惩罚”。不过,女生报考工学院可以加3分,因为工科缺少女生。

在学校参加不同的体育活动可以大量加分,其范围为8~40分,如果是校主力队员并且投入很多精力的,可以得到13分,全美高中最优秀的运动员,如奥林匹克运动员,可以加40分。
最后是“超常”项,一拿就是40分,不过必须确实很“超常”,比如,获得英特尔科学比赛大奖、担任一部电影大片或系列电视剧的主角。此外,父母是大名人,给大学捐赠巨款也属这一项。

除了以上“综合素质”外,在公式的中括号里,被体育教练点名的学生可以被认为是个人“素质”好,“家住远处”如800公里以外的学生,也会被认为必须具备 较高的“素质”而加分。其他两项,“父母因素”和学校为了学生成分的“多元化”而加的分,都不是依靠学生个人的努力可以达到的。

从以上可以看出来,前面6项“学业素质”的最高总分为72分,后面5项最高分的总和为84分。由此可见,无论是“学业素质”如何优秀,也无论“其他素质”如何了得,都不能得到很高的分数,最高的“综合素质”必须是“学业素质”和多项“其他素质”的相结合才可以获得。

以上指数体现了美国大学招生中对学生个体的特别考虑,虽然无法为所有人理解和接受,但是,它们目前广泛存在于美国大学招生实践中,华人移民家庭中习惯了以 成绩论高低的学生必须改变观念,对以上的评估方法即使不表赞同,也不得不接受。因为它毕竟是美国大学招生现行的“游戏规则”。

我当初看到每周有薪工作20~30小时者,可以得到22分,与满分99分相比,占非常大的比重时,亦曾感到震惊,因为全年级第一名和年级排名中间的学生只 差4分。初看起来实在没有道理,难道学生的主要任务不是念书?要全这样的话,大家都去打工不就得了,还念什么书?但是,认真想一想,要是每天放学以后,还 要去打工,晚上10点才能坐下来念书、写作业,不正说明其有较大的潜力与优良的综合素质吗?打工是让孩子提前走进社会、感受人生的重要一课,能够考验学生 承受现实社会压力的能力和承受超负荷的耐力。一边长期坚持工作,一边还能把书读好,说明学生在体力、精力、智力等方面有很大的潜力,这不是整体素质是什 么?

所以,不妨用这个公式算一算,你可以发现,“提高”素质可能也有很简单的办法。你甚至还会发现,自己的命运掌握在自己的手中。
以往大家对什么是素质,什么是素质教育有争议。从这里我们也许可以得到一定的启发。不仅在“重点”高中学习的学生具有高素质,不在“重点”高中,但是 选修很多最难课程的学生也具有很高的素质;善于“应试”,学习成绩名列前茅,考试能够获高分,也具备高素质,因为“应试”也是一种素质。此外,善于准确地 用书面形式表达思想,能够获得老师的大力推荐,是优秀素质的表现;花大量时间和精力参加社会活动、课外活动,甚至打工,也是优秀素质的表现;少数族裔学 生,因为文化背景和家庭的原因,需要较高的素质,才能完成其他学生同样的学习、工作;花大量时间参加体育活动,成为优秀的运动员,理所当然地也应当被认为 具备极其优秀的素质。

成绩不好的孩子不必悲观,学习成绩不好,也可能具有很高的综合素质。体育运动优秀,能打工,能说会道、能写会画的,都具备相当高的素质。

这个公式表达了利于公平竞争的理念,人才和素质不是单一类型的,大家可以发挥各自的特长,都可以被认为达到了非凡的“优秀素质”。某方面不足、不擅长的,可以用其他形式和内容来补偿、平衡。

从这个评估法分析中,我们可以了解到,美国教育看中的是什么,具备怎样的综合素质的人才可能被认为“优秀”、“高素质”。无论生活在国内还是国外的华人, 无论是家长还是学生,尤其是有心出国留学的孩子和家长,都可以在孩子成长过程中,不断地进行评估,对各方面进行必要的调整,使具备各种各样特长和特点的孩 子都能成为综合素质较高的人才。

不过,应该提醒注意的是,具备较高“综合素质”的学生尽管可以进入好大学,但是,却并不一定都能够实现特定的人生理想和职业目标。比如,“学业素质”不 高,但是由于“其他素质”较高,使得整体“综合素质”提高的学生,如果在大学期间依然无法提高“学业素质”,大学毕业后就难以进入对“学业素质”要求更高 的医学院、法学院,也难以进入理工和商学院读研究生,尽管他们优秀的“综合素质”能够使他们进入理想的大学,但是可能无法实现更高一层的既定的人生目标。

11随便讲几句哈(儿子被 HarvardMITDukeDartmouth Chicago录取)

ibelieu

首先呢,这里有朋友可能觉得藤爸藤妈们对介绍经验热心不够,其实我猜他们很愿意出力公益的,不过大概有些怕担上“吹嘘”的名声吧。 咱考虑再三,觉得自己在园子里从诸位网友那里获益良多,如果能写几句,只要对大家能有丝毫半点的参考意义,也算是对大家的感谢。

特别声明,每个人都是不一样的,每个孩子都是不一样的,以下所说绝对只能算就事论事,不一定有任何的普遍性,至多算给大家参考而已。

登在下面的迷糊猪(mihuzhu)的帖子看了,对比咱家小子,觉得他写得很是到位,就顺着他的条目说说。

迷糊猪说“还是学习最重要,学习成绩好,SAT分高,AP课修的多且分高是必要条件。”可不,申请哈佛的人有近三万,最终招生不到两千,(仅仅是)猜想她 怎么也得用最容易对比衡量的各项分数先设它个最低门槛吧,不然把招生办的都累拐了。 拿咱家小子来说,高中四年只在第一年得过一个B+,其他都是 A,SAT 2360,7门AP满分。 这里最重要的大概是要有强烈的不甘人后的精神。 我曾提醒小子,今后大学的人各个都是人中龙凤,本意是要他不要被挫折吓倒,小 子就一句话:“Bring them on.” 初生牛犊啊!

迷糊猪说“课外活动也要,不过不是非要national或state级的得奖。”这也大概符合咱家小子的情况,他没有得过什么national一级的大奖,无非是为学校在“Harvard/MIT Invitational”等等活动里出些力而已。

但不管选择做什么,要注意显示commitment,做事要能“持之以恒”。 咱家小子高中四年,不管功课多忙,一直坚持在校交响乐队和室内乐项目里拉琴。 去老人院义工的事一直坚持,参加校报,yearbook等的编辑工作也是坚持不懈。

迷糊猪说“leadership也不是非要学生会主席或去非洲救灾,能为大家做事就行。” 这咱也同意。 另外也许可以注意选择有特点的事做,譬如咱家小子上个暑假就是自己到山东的穷山沟里一所抗大中学义务教英文,回来又去了纽约一家金融服务公 司打工,于是义务的和挣钱的事情一个暑假都做全了。 咱家小子还爱摄影,靠了这就成了校报的摄影记者和编辑,去学校总拉着一堆器材,把学校各种活动(比 赛,集会,演出……)的情况记录下来,好的片子不仅登报,用在yearbook里,还送给老师、同学、家长,大家嘴都乐得合不上。 小子并且在工 作中学了很多东西。

迷糊猪的最后一条,“孩子要阳光健康长相好讨人喜欢。” 咱家小子长相如何要别人评价,咱不好置评,但他自从进了高中就一直穿戴齐整,品牌是要的,面试时更要留意发式服饰举止等等,这些都在父母鼓励支持范围内。 “阳光”真的很重要,阳光才讨人喜欢,去年末学校发奖仪式上,老师对小子的评价之一就是“人如其名,阳光灿烂”。这学年的英文老师说他是“a scholar and a gentleman”。 这位老师曾是海军蛙人,大约他想起了“an officer and a gentleman”。 孩子看不到老师们的大学申请推荐信,但他的升学辅导员(康色乐)是看得到的,他们告诉他,诸位老师们给他写得推荐信好得不能再好了。

阳光的孩子同学中朋友也多,像Dartmouth等学校是要求 peer review 的呢。 咱家小子朋友不要太多啊,不分年级,不分种族(他居然是学校犹太同学会的会员),不分性别(如今的女朋友是他一个最要好的韩国女同学介绍认识 的)。 去年已经毕业到波士顿几所大学的老朋友们听到他也要去那边上学,反应那个热烈,做父母的听了都跟着乐。 我想这些都和他尊敬老师,热心助人有 关。 有段时间真的不得了,小子不住校,每天早上六点到校,开始是个别同学问他一些数学问题,后来人多了,到最后简直成了他开的早饭前数学辅导课了。 有 播种才会有收获,到学校发奖时就看出来了。

儿子可不是天才,真正的天才咱见过,国内来的,那叫一个厉害,儿子不是,但他朝着自己的目标不懈的努力,于是有了自己的今天。

12上名校说难不难, 说不难也难

有人对我女儿为什么能上哈佛很感兴趣,要我谈一谈。要想申请好大学,成绩好是基本条件。但成绩好,并不能保证就被名校录取。那些成绩特别好,如颖的儿子, 或西西妈的儿子,我们就免谈了,一般家长和孩子都学不来的。大家都知道申请大学的还有几个关键点,学习成绩只占其中的四到五分之一。各种特长,老师的推荐 信,课外活动,领导才能,以及申请文章是否让读的人印象深刻等等, 都占很大的比重。当申请人的成绩都差不多时,那比的就是其他几项了。

许多华人孩子是高中的第一名,但未能被哈佛等名校录取的不在少数。家长们大都从学习上着眼找原因的多,而不是从其他四五个关键点去找问题。我有一个朋友的 儿子比我女儿大四岁,学习好的不得了,比我女儿强多了,高中就到布朗去上数学课,一心想上哈佛。结果没被录取。究其原因,该孩子没有做过义工。和我女儿同 时(不同校)申请大学的一个SAT I和II门门考满分学校排名第二的华裔女孩(后升为学校第一)也没被哈佛录取。家长分析原因,认为她主课没得过州里比赛的奖。我认为她申请时没有把自己的 亮点强调出来,以至于被埋没在一大堆申请材料中了。成绩并不是主要的。我女儿虽然SAT考试成绩只有1560分,但在名校招生办公室的人的眼里,SAT的 1400和1600分没多大区别,只是临场发挥的好坏。因为能申请哈佛的华裔成绩都相当好,关键看你有没有什么特长和亮点。大多数华裔孩子的特长都是学术 方面的,如数学竞赛,科学等等,还有的就是钢琴小提琴等方面。如果这些孩子不能拿到州里第一或全国的奖,他们在与所有亚裔的竞争中就不占有优势。

我女儿是私立学校的,学生不排名次,不过从女儿每年得奖的情况看,她肯定是第一。如果成绩不差,各项基本要求也具备了,这时申请材料准备的好坏就相当重要 了。我女儿申请文章写得非常好,学校的升学顾问说一气呵成,像个小电影一样,读完了还想再读一遍。当然题材和结构是我帮她选定的,这就保证她至少在招生人 员读文章这一轮时不会被甩掉。我们要她强调的特长就是她的数学好,因她数学能力和成绩一直是学校最好的,远远高于其他学生,尽管她没有参加过什么重大比赛 (私立学校很少带学生参加学术比赛),但老师的推荐信里就可看出。在美国,女孩数学好的不多,这点值得强调。我女儿老师推荐信肯定写得都很好,这从每学期 的学校报告单中就可看出,其中物理老师的评语几乎把她写成了天才。另外,她一直参加各种体育活动,是三个校球队的队员,还喜欢滑雪冲浪,爱好广泛等等,就 与许多亚裔孩子不一样。面试的人也对她活泼好动很感兴趣,甚至奇怪她身为亚裔竟不会弹钢琴拉小提琴。我女儿也参加了许多课外活动,作了一些小俱乐部的头 头,但那是几乎每个想申请哈佛的人都具备的。我女儿在叙述课外活动对她的影响时,就强调辅导小学生的经验让身为独生子女的她得到的快乐和成长。这大概也和 别人不一样吧。当女儿的提早申请材料一寄出,我就相信女儿会被哈佛录取。

我曾经给两个朋友的孩子在申请大学时提了一些建议,后来两个孩子都进入了名校。一个在高中11年级排名35名,SAT才考1400多分的女孩,被 Chicago和MIT等大学录取,更是该校的一大新闻,也是该校当年唯一一个被MIT录取的学生。该校每年的前十名都是亚裔,很多人SAT都考满分,是 个相当好的学校。当时刚开学,我看了她的申请材料,没有什么兴奋处,唯一的亮点就是她在法院做义工,并作了组长之类的职务。但是这女孩写作能力很好,曾得 过地区写作比赛奖。这就有戏。我建议她立即去找要好的老师,定下写推荐信一事,一定要找那些跟她关系好并肯说人好话写作文采好的老师写。 我还让她将申请 材料重新整理排序编辑,有些俱乐部参加多年却没做到领导职务的都删掉,以强调重点。申请文章我建议她写法院工作的感受,一定要写出自己闪光的特点。她妈妈 也为她花了不少精力,帮她研究各种学校并做了大量的后备工作,最后皆大欢喜。

另外,一个朋友的儿子被MIT录取,申请时随材料寄了一张拉小提琴的录音盘。因为一些比她儿子成绩好的孩子都没被录取,家长好奇,就去问什么原因被录取。 招生办公室的人告之的第一个理由就是,其小提琴录音盘让音乐系的教授听了评价说她儿子已具备了报考音乐学院小提琴专业的水平,第二点是他曾在州里的电脑比 赛中拿过第三名。招生的人说,成绩好的人太多了,就只能看其他方面的特长了。

再谈点小秘笈。成绩好并不是名校的录取主要考虑的因素。名校招生多元化,是为了保证学校的发展后继有人,特别是后继有钱。一个学校招几十个或百多个书呆子 式的天才就够了,这些人足以在将来为学校争得学术荣誉。学校更要综合考虑其他方面的生源。女儿高中每年70多个毕业生中,常有十多个被名校录取。那年哈佛 录取了他们四个学生,女儿算是学术型的,一个学生成绩相当好但是典型的遗产型的(其爷爷爸爸哥哥都是哈佛毕业的),另外一个学生成绩也不错还是学生会主席 是基金型的(哈佛有以其家庭命名的基金),还有一个学生体育特好,在全国高中比赛中拿过名次,成绩不是太好但达到哈佛的标准是特招型的。当年几个被耶鲁录 取的女儿同学成绩都不出色,但家里都有来头,其中一个是里根时代财政部长的孙子。女儿高中每年被名校录取的学生大概都是这几个类型的。各名校在每个高中每 年最多招一到二个成绩最好的就行了,排名在后的学生想要进名校,就一定要有其他亮点才行。

当初我让女儿去私立学校,就是因为女儿贪玩粗心的性格使得她的学习成绩实在很难在亚裔孩子中拔尖。如果她不能在好的公立学校中做前五名的话,要想进 HYPS就要有其它特长才行。我们曾想过让她在足球方面发展,一来担心她踢球太累没有足够的时间钻研功课,二来这里的足球队不是特别好,她踢得再好,名校 的教练也不一定看得上眼。所以,曲线救国,让她去了私立学校,稍推一推她,就做了第一名。不要以为我们很有钱,那私立学校给了女儿资助金,两万多一年的学 费我们每年只交5千元不到。著名私立学校的另一个好处是,他们的升学顾问和体育教练都与这些名校有联系,知道名校如何录取学生,所以在指导学生申请时会给 学生很多很好的建议。我给朋友孩子的有些建议就是从我女儿的升学顾问那里学来的。

13女儿靠两点:品德优秀 + 全面发展进了H

先谢谢大家的祝贺,并同贺cafe2,99store, x爸,weston, tiger916, 老妈也网恋, Huqi和所有early 录取的家庭,defer的不要气馁,4月份是个大机会,去年许多defer 的在4月份都成功了。

随便写了一些女儿的情况,共大家分享,她专业未定,但理工科是肯定了。

成绩: SAT : 2340
ACT: 36
SAT II: 数:800, 理:800, 化:800
GPA: 4.0
taking 7 门IB

sport方面:4年的游泳队(varsity )

volunteer: 已有3年,而且现还在做。

leadership:
有些president ,具体的俺也搞不清了,反正看她每天都 很忙活。

awards:
大部分的奖是写作和绘画,写作和绘画是她的业余爱好,(她自认为数理化已够格,就不多折腾了), 在申请学校时她把她的业余作品一同寄给了哈佛。

Essay:
写得比较unique, 说是成功了再给俺读,呵呵,昨天读了她哈佛essay,主题是她的名字,她5岁离开中国,12 年中,走过3个国家,读过6个学校一直用她唯一的中文名字,文章中有幽默的小段,也有抒发了她对自己中国名字的热爱,文章的结尾这样写道:

I love my name because it stands out against the hordes of Jennifers, Johns, Daniels, and Lindas that dominate the Chinese American naming system. I love my name because I have watched it evolve from a (她名字的含意)of traditional Chinese values to one with fused American qualities. I love my name because it has been misunderstood, misspelled, and mispronounced in all the places I’ve lived in, making it truly unique.

老师的推荐信:

她的推荐信是老师主动要求为她写的,可以想象写得肯定很不错,一文科,一理科,因为成绩是硬件,无需多说,推荐信主要是写孩子的品行,3周前遇见这两位老 师,文科老师说,她是我最得意的学生,我很欣赏她的创新意识,我是极力推荐,任何学校看了我的信都会录取她的,理科老师对她的leadership作了很 大肯定,说大多数孩子做leader,都是为了自己出风头,而她不是,她是站在整个team的最后,推着team往前走,为打进national 做了很多很多工作,很让人钦佩的品德。

她成绩是很好, 但近几年成绩好的孩子很多,也不算强项,特别是申名校,成绩都很棒,这已成为最基本的条件,不过有一点她做得很对,就是虽然藤校只要求SAT或ACT, 可她俩项都考了,是为了加固一下,因为ACT里除了数和英,还有science, 这样就显出她的academic 各方面都很强。

除此之外,是她的品行赢得了哈佛,她是个积极进取,敢想敢做,踏踏实实,礼貌待人,助人为乐,朋友一大堆的happy girl.,同学的essay 都愿意拿给她读,每当节日,我们家就是free night Holiday Inn 了,都来sleepover 。

她自学能力很强,不喜欢上补习班,从未参加过补习,这也省了我一笔银子,她的team 需要资金,今年她挑头和几个同学一起办了个PSAT 补习班,自己当老师,成效很大,为学校进了不少银子。

昨晚她和我说,她准备withdraw Yale 的application, 她的同学被Yale defer 了,她希望自己的withdraw 能给同学多个机会(尽管自己不一定会被录取),万一自己被录取了,又不去,对别人,对她的中学都不利。

14、最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 (1)  (南挥北秃)

我在爬藤系列中指出,藤校看的是综合指标。 除了PSAT, SAT, SAT专科以外,还有领导才能,奉献精神(义工),年级排名,老师推荐,个人小传,暑期研究,专业倾向,兴趣爱好, 等等。我曾承诺要将每个要点逐个细数,而承诺的当然一定要兑现。对孩子尚且如此,对家长更不能忽悠。

今天略谈领导才能,兼带奉献精神(义工)。
作为一个有责任性的家长,应该对孩子的优缺点了如指掌。所以为孩子量体裁衣,扬长避短,寻找捷径是家长在孩子的成长中应当时常考虑的。申请大学更是如此。 譬如,有些学校是比较倾向于纯学术的,几乎不考虑领导才能和奉献精神。 最典型的有,加州理工,卡内基-美伦。但是加州理工平均每年才招生200,这就有 一定难度了。对于那些学术上拔尖,又不愿去沃尔马门口摇铃的孩子来说,卡内基-美伦是最佳选择。

位于匹兹堡的卡内基-美伦,虽非藤校,但是有着悠久的历史。众所周知,加州理工 和麻州技校是竞争的一对。我的最爱是加州理工的汗衫前面印着三个大字 MIT, 后面印着“因为你进不了加州理工”。那么,加州理工为什么不叫 CIT 呢?因为CIT早已被卡内基-美伦采用了。卡内基-美伦的电脑和财经专业绝对是一流的。

下面言归正传,先谈领导才能。对于HYPS 来说,领导才能是很重要的。因为这几个学校不仅学术拔尖,更重要的还是培养各个领域和政府部门的领军人物的摇篮。如何才能体现强有力的领导才能呢?有些自 作聪敏的孩子在11年级成立一个俱乐部,自封老大。其实这是自欺欺人,弄巧成拙。领导才能不光表现在职称,更重要的是业绩。所以,若孩子能在10年级成立 俱乐部,并展示一年多来的成绩,那就能更充分地证实领导才能。

反映孩子领导才能比较普遍的有,校内各种团队(未必是学术上的)头,所在社区的某个非营利机构的领导之一,等等。最为理想的,是在全国性的非营利机构中占一席位子。知名度较高的有United Way, March of Dimes, 等等。如果能在这些机构中担当一名地区主席,那就不光反映了领导才能,还体现了奉献精神。

这也是我在此兼带奉献精神(义工)的道理。因为在很多情况下,领导才能是除了学习成绩以外的另一个举足轻重的要求。既然和学习无关,与之紧密相连的当属奉 献精神(义工)无疑。而衡量义工的一个主要指标,是义工的小时累计。用一个非常确切但不太高雅的词“潜规则”来说,义工的小时累计至少100小时(高中的 最后两年)。当然,若能在12年级的第一学期,亦即申请大学时已做完100小时,更为理想。

就扬长避短而言,对某些并不优秀但十分良好的学生来说,奉献精神是补偿学术上不够拔尖的最佳途径。譬如,一个排名二十几但从9年级起就几乎在养老院中度过 每个周末的学生(从义演到义工),进哈佛的机会要比排名第一的高得多。因为坚持数年在养老院做义工不仅反映了奉献精神,更难能可贵的是坚持。如果说一个孩 子坚持数年练琴,那可能是出于兴趣爱好,但是坚持数年在养老院?这应该很能说明问题了吧?

最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 ()

在我开谈以前,我还要向家长们表示感谢。因为对于子女已上大学的家长来说,这并无任何新意。我的原意是为那些尚在育苗的家长们抛砖引玉,处乎意料的是仍有很多过来人跟贴,这给了我很大鼓舞。真可谓一石激起千层浪,有这么多家长群策群力,孩子们真的有福了。

接着谈谈年级排名。第一次排名通常在9年级的第二学期开始以后公布。一般来说,前10 名的区别常常在小数点后5~6 位,可见竞争的激烈。也就是说,如果孩子的排名在三十几名的话,那是很难再赶上前10名的。唯一的办法是每学期比别人多选1-2 门课,这种现象通常反映在浪子回头–男孩子开窍晚,但是一旦开窍,有很强的爆发力。如果按部就班,要想取得年级排名的优先,最关键的是提前计划,8年级就要重视,因为年级排名是环环紧扣的。

对排名影响最大的是选课。绝大多数的中学都设有普通班(Regular Class,最高4 分 ) 和PreAP / AP 班(最高5 分)。显而易见,在普通班学得再好,只有4分。而在PreAP / AP 班就是得了B , 还有4分。如果同是两个全优生,选4门同样的课,但是程度不同。这样在期终就是16 比20,比分一下就拉开4分。这就是苹果和橘子,不能比了。

更值得一提的是不少AP课要预修PreAP。譬如10年级的世界历史要求9年级选世界地理。所以,如果可能的话,尽量鼓励孩子上PreAP。虽然竞争激烈 些,但是课堂气氛要比普通班好很多。因为普通班上不泛以高中为人生正规教育的终点之学生,再加上正在反抗期的年龄,这教室内的景象,可想而知了吧?

选PreAP/ AP的另一个优点,是给人以积极向上的印象。同时表明这个学生是愿意接受挑战的,有能力承受压力的,不轻易放弃的。这些都是正面的心态,你说那招生的见了能不欢喜吗?

如果孩子的排名在第一,第二,那就不光是排名了,这里面还有领导才能的含义。学校会给名列前茅的学生很多曝光的机会,如毕业典礼上的发言,代表学校出任社 交使节,等等。同时,这也是一个教育孩子的最佳时机。在肯定成绩的前提下,小边鼓稍敲。山外有山,戒骄戒躁。这样,孩子在心理上会有所准备,做到胜不骄, 败不馁。否则,当孩子进入好大学后会情绪低落–曾是鸡头,怎么成凤尾了呢?

最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 ()

老师推荐,是申请大学过程中又一个至关重要的步骤。推荐信一般2-3 封。可由文,理科老师,辅导员(校长当然更佳,对那些拔尖的模范学生而言)撰写。因为推荐信的好坏直接影响到学生的前途,所以千万要慎重。通常要给推荐人2-3 星期的时间,并附上学生的简历以供参考。现在有许多大学都采用标准申请表,因此推荐信可以从网上直接送。如果有的大学是采用传统申请方法,那么,要先写好推荐信的信封,贴上邮票,然后交给推荐人。

在入学申请截止前一星期,一定要确证所申请的学校已收到推荐信。否则,立即让推荐人重写,封入一个小信封,然后用快件寄走。接着要和大学保持联系,直到招生办确证收到推荐信为止。因推荐信延误入学的例子几乎每年都有。而这是一个致命的打击,眼巴巴地看着女儿红变成了花雕。

由于家长们大多数是第一代移民,真正对推荐人知根知底的不多,所以一定要多打听。在选择推荐人时,以德高望重的老教师为首选。犹如买东西,老字号出假货的 机会相对小一些。有些老师对学生比较严格,平时得高分较难。如果这个老师除了教书以外,为人也刁占,那当然是排除在推荐人之外。否则,肯定是推荐人的首 选。严师出高徒。严师是对内,对外是倾力推荐高徒。

有些教师很随和,教的课也容易对付,这就要了解一下以前几届的学生的推荐效果。我认为推荐人的人品是最重要的,而学生与推荐人的关系是次要的。好友之间下 药的设套的都时常有之,岂能担保推荐时不使坏?再说,正因为太熟,有时会比较随便。假如在一篇充满赞扬的推荐信中,这字里行间隐示出那么一丁点儿自负,完 了。

我个人的体会是不指望推荐人夸奖,但求推荐信真实。因为说实在的,其他条件都已明摆在那儿了。推荐信只要真实就足够了。而客观真实的推荐信也是最有力的。

最后,当推荐信收到后,千万别忘了给推荐人送一点小礼物,以示谢意。一般来讲,可送从中国带来的小工艺品之类的。如果在当地现买,千万不要送贵重礼品。送或不送,写信前送与写信后送有着原则区别。不送,是不礼貌。写信前送大礼,有贿赂之嫌。呵呵。

最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 ()

个人小传,是显示学生亮点的最好机会。由于藤校的大门是冲着正面的,阳光的,充满自信的,勇挑重担的,刻苦耐劳的,富于爱心的,敢于牺牲的学生开的,所以,万一孩子是在一个不完美的家庭中成长的,那就更不要失去了一个比平常孩子更有利的机会。藤校更欢迎的是荷花 – 出污泥而不染。千万不要怨声载道。要逆境正写,体现出走出阴影的勇气。这样不仅能够引起招生的同情,更重要的是给人以金子到哪儿都会发光的形象。

小传可以用任何形式写。我看过一个哈佛的毕业生当年写的小传,从全家旅游在黄石公园看日出(美好的家庭),有感于大自然的景色(秀文学底子),联想到自己 的成长(低调地显示亮点),将要进入自己想去的学校(自信),学成后回报于人类(正面)。她从哈佛毕业后真的去非洲做了一年义工。

我还看过一篇有感于打游戏机的小传。从如何入迷(秀文学底子),如何刺激(以游戏机的术语秀专业知识),如何醒悟,从中悟出了人生也如游戏的道理。如何在现实中摆正自己的位子,应付不同的环境,即使输了也未必是坏事,(自信,正面)。
当然,不少大学还要1-2篇量体裁衣的文章,譬如,UPenn 就要求写一篇退休后回顾人生的自传,在某页上写道,,,

我的看法是写完后尽量多找人看, 不求完美,但求真实。有些词一定要去掉,像嫉妒,歧视,恨(避免反复出现多次),等等。我想家长们也一定明白其中的原因吧? 与公立学校相比,私校的一个 明显优点就在这里。不少私校的老师是个人小传的专业户,对所有的小传都会抛光处理,以充分显示每一个学生的特征(Unique).

最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 ()

在谈暑期研究时,顺便兼谈专业倾向。
对于上人文学科的学生,我还没有关于暑期研究的资料,期望有经验的藤妈藤爸能补充。对于理工,医预科而言,暑期研究可谓举足轻重。暑期研究通常在11年级开始(考完PSAT)就要准备了。谷哥一下可以找到不少暑期研究的校所。

summer research programs for high school students 或者
national science foundation

如果有亲戚朋友在大学实验室工作,那更好。当暑期研究落实后,选择导师(Mentor)很重要。因为这对下一步的申请奖学金有直接影响。如果导师自己有网 站,或在大学,研究所的网站上有醒目的位置,包括学历,职称,发表的文章,历年申请到基金的数额,等等。如果导师没有知名度,可请室主任挂名。通常来说, 室主任一定满口答应。何乐而不为呢?唯一要注意的是要和实际上的导师搞好关系,一般来说也是没问题的。因为那导师知道软肋在那,自己翅膀还没长硬。这是我 的一点经验教训,在此提一下,希望别人少走弯路。

接下来就是8-10 星期的埋头苦干,同时要准备论文(其实也就是10页左右的关于实验的总结介绍)。然后,在此基础上量体裁衣,以满足不同奖学金的标准论文格式。知名度较高的奖学金有下列4 个 (篇幅有限,有劳家长们自己上网搜索详情)。

1. INTEL SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION S I ( ) – 英特尔
2. http://www.siemens-foundation.org/en/competition.htm 西门子
3. http://www.livepositively.com/cocacola_scholars 可口可乐
4. http://www.act.org/goldwater/ 别累-金水

这第4 项是最难的,因为要有存诺。就是在读完大学本科之前,要继续做同一个实验。过来人都知道,这实验是看导师的本事。学生只要不中途而废,坚持把实验论文改到 合适为止,就算大功告成了 – 有不少学生就是因为受不了压力,最终放弃了(整个申请过程就像打乒乓球,来回好多次。而且,为了保险起见,一般会同时申请2-3个奖学金,这就要2-3个 月的全部业余时间)。然而,要看到实验的成果,通常再要花几年时间。这就是金水奖的远见。一旦拿到这个奖,进加州理工是没问题了(说来很轻巧,每年才招生 200 :)。我女儿的两个同班同学得到了金水奖,都同时被麻州和加州理工录取,结果一东一西走了。

西门子相对容易一些。说穿了,奖学金的数额其实无关紧要,主要是这荣誉,那几乎又是一个潜规则中的硬指标。这块敲门砖绝对过得硬。只要把暑期研究和你想去的学校专业对上口就行。譬如,暑期研究是在生化实验室度过的,那么,在满足其它要求的情况下,进入Johns Hopkins读医预科的机会要比条件接近的其他学生高得多。

接着谈暑期研究与专业倾向的联系。有许多学校在申请入学时是不用选专业的,如哈佛,普林斯顿,麻州理工,等等。这种学校自有他们一定的道理。在我们老大升11 年级之前,我们以参观大学作为暑期旅行。在孩子有可能去的几个学校都听了介绍。以普林斯顿为例,80% 的学生会在2 年后才定专业。其余20% 主要是学电脑或工程的(死脑筋:)。所以,没必要在入学前选专业。

当然,也不否认特殊包装。我女儿的同班同学,暑期研究入围西门子奖学金。她在个人小传中流露出对暑期研究实验的浓厚兴趣,大有在这领域内干它一辈子的决 心,结果去了普林斯顿。这就说明专业倾向也是很重要的,即便有些学校不用选专业,作为校方,殷切地期望了解学生的品质,学生想学什么,将来想干什么,,,

最后的冲刺 申请大学的几个关键 ()

今年暑假玩得很高兴,先是孩子妈出城,接着儿子去下令营。下星期儿子要回来了,我想赶紧把这一系列结束。有时反省一下,对孩子是否苛求?我们自己都贪玩着那。

最后要谈的,也是最重要的, 就是如何选择大学。所谓的大学排名,只能作为参考。我认为供求关系是很重要的。 详情可见http://www.collegeboard.com/

一般来说,每年供求比悬殊的有8 个大学,也就是通常说的尖子学校。 HYPSC +2工1商。亦即
Harvard , Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, CalTech, UPenn (Wharton School).
这上面已有5个藤校了。其余的藤校和下例几个虽非藤校但是仍有拔尖的专业,我认为也是很好的选择。
U Chicago, (Economics)
Duke, Georgetown, (Politics, Government)
Connell (Hotel Management, Architecture)
Johns Hopkins (PreMed)
Carnegie Mellon (Finance, Computer Science)
Dartmouth College, Northwestern, etc.
此外,州立的好学校还有如下的,
UC Berkeley, U Michigan, UNC (Chapel Hills), etc.

当然,好学校还有很多,我不一一细例了。一般来说,孩子所在的高中不会主张学生申请10 个以上的大学,但我认为申请大学是孩子一生中唯一的一次,6-10 个还是需要的。即使这孩子样样拔尖,也未必能保证可以进自己想去的大学。每年都有被Stanford 拒绝而进了Harvard或反之亦然的例子。所以,万一落空了,失去了进其他好大学的机会岂不可惜?

下面先把大学分成3 类,然后根据具体情况对号入座。
1) 顶尖,
2) 一流
3) 保底
然后看一下自己的孩子在那一档。譬如,我女儿属于第二档。那么,就是2-6, 1-2, 3-2, 重点在2。 如果孩子是在第一档,那就是重点在1。我想这么简单的道理在此就不细述了。
接下来谈谈申请大学的早期决定 (Early Decision / Early Action) 下面的表格有详细介绍。
https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/docs/downloadforms/ED_Agreement.pdf

对于申请早期决定的学生而言,11年级是最关键的一年。因为在12 年级刚开始就要有以下几点。
1) PSAT (如果入围,成绩可免费送2个大学,这是送秋波的佳机)
2) SAT (最好在2250以上)
3) SAT 专科 2 – 4 门, 至少高于700
4) 排名拔尖
5) 个人小传

文章转载自:http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_3d2655320100mqzx.html

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