Tag Archive for admissions

Wesleyan Makes Tests Optional in Admissions

Both the SAT and the ACT tests will be optional for high school applicants to Wesleyan University starting next fall, President Michael S. Roth announced this week.

The tests, given annually to about three million students in 170 countries, have been part of the Wesleyan admissions process for many years. Wesleyan has required either the SAT with two subject tests, or the ACT. Now the university joins several hundred institutions, including many of its peer colleges, in making the tests optional.

While students’ academic records will continue to be most important in Wesleyan’s admissions decisions, as they always have, applicants may choose whether or not to submit test scores.

“We’ve always been most concerned about the day-to-day work of our applicants, in a rigorous academic program,” said Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, Wesleyan’s dean of admission and financial aid. “This option provides students more control over their applications, how best to present themselves to the admission committee.”

University administrators are unconvinced that the 88-year-old exam—or the “younger” ACT —always accurately reflects college potential, and believe that it can unfairly advantage privileged applicants.

“We’re skeptical about the value of the SAT in predicting college success,” Roth said. “Scores don’t necessarily add much to student applications; what’s more, we believe they can skew the advantage toward students from privileged backgrounds, or those who can afford test prep.”

Meislahn cited compelling new research from 33 colleges and universities with score-optional policies that finds little difference in academic success between those who submit scores and those who don’t. Score-optional schools also have seen a more racially and socio-economically diverse pool of candidates.

“Wesleyan is committed to diversity and inclusion,” she said. “We’re actively recruiting students from under-served communities, students of color and first-generation scholars. We believe that making test scores optional will provide more access.”

Class of 2017 Takes Shape as Admissions Goes Paperless

The Office of Admission is implementing a new paperless application system. The Class of 2018 will be able to apply and set up interviews online.

The Office of Admission is implementing a new paperless application system. Applicants will be able to set up interviews online.

Admissions reports that the class of 2017 is nearly fully formed, the final offers have been made and Wesleyan will welcome a class of around 750 frosh in September.

The class is more international than in previous years, with 101, or 13 percent of its students coming from outside the United States. These students are extremely well prepared academically for college and an open curriculum: more of its members took calculus, at least four years of a foreign language and biology, chemistry and physics in high school than the previous admitted class.

“We’re pretty excited about this, and have a good idea about what the class looks like, although it’s not completely final,” said Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Nancy Hargrave Meislahn. The admitted class shrinks or in admission parlance “melts” a little during the summer, but usually only by seven to 10 students, she explained.

The exciting sub-plot this year is the debut of paperless admissions. The class of 2018 will be chosen from applicants who apply, submit references and transcripts – and even set up interview appointments – online.

“We’re going great guns,” said Meislahn. “We’re going to start using the new system, called SLATE by Technolutions, to read applications on line, and the first module that we’re rolling out will book our interviews.”  Charlotte Lazor, Greg Pyke and Dan Manuyag are the leaders of the effort and deserve all the credit for keeping implementation on schedule and everyone on task.  By the end of the summer, no stone will be left untouched and all staff engaged in the transition.

And if an applicant goes old-school and submits material on dead trees?

“We’ll scan the materials,” Meislahn said. “We’ll keep some version of paper around for the next several years. But there will be much less of it. We might consider a yard sale for our file cabinets.”

Tara Lindros Oversees the Efforts of 800 Alumni Admission Volunteers

Tara Lindros, associate dean of admission, is responsible for student recruiting and application reading. She also supervises the Wesleyan tour guides. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Q: Tara, when did you join Wesleyan’s Office of Admission?

A: I started working at Wesleyan in July of 2007.

Q: What are they key ways you recruit students to Wesleyan?

A: We recruit students in many different ways. Prospective students and their families visit our campus at all times of the year. We also travel all over the country and the world to spread the word about Wesleyan. We see every activity we undertake as recruiting.

Q: What percentage of your time is spent traveling? Which regions of the country do you oversee?

A: I spend about six to eight weeks a year traveling…so that’s about 15 percent of my total time spent on the road. I travel to Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Virginia, Maine, and the greater Boston area. I also oversee recruiting and applicants from West Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, but do not travel to these places.

Q: When visiting high schools, what information do you provide to the students? What are typical questions they have for you?

A: When I visit high schools, I’m basically taking my Wesleyan on-campus information session on the road. Each high school may be slightly different, so you tailor your message based on your audience. They typically have the same questions that visitors to campus have, but that varies pretty widely based on location and their familiarity with Wesleyan.

Applications Up By 6 Percent Over Record Year

Wesleyan received 203 more applications from the Midwest, 266 more applications from the South and 619 from the West compared to 2008 data. Applicants from the Northeast increased by 392 since 2008. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

Wesleyan received 203 more applications from the Midwest, 266 more applications from the South and 619 from the West compared to 2008 data. Applicants from the Northeast increased by 392 since 2008. (Photo by Bill Burkhart)

This year, 10,645 seniors from around the world applied to Wesleyan University, an increase of 6 percent from 2009, which was a record year for applications, despite the sour economy.

“Last year we reached an all-time high for applications, up by 22 percent, and this year is 6 percent over that,” says Greg Pyke, senior associate dean of admission.

Of these students, 41 percent are male and 59 percent are female.

The applicant pool contains 362 candidates for the Freeman Asian Scholars program, 860 for early decision admission and 9,423 applications in the regular review process. Two-hundred-and-twenty-nine of these students are alumni sons and daughters.

Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid, is encouraged by the increase in “markets that Wesleyan has identified as high potential and priority for recruitment initiatives.” These include African-American applicants, applicants from the South,

Solar Panels Installed on Office of Admission

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

The Office of Admission received a solar panel installation in September. According to Peter Staye, associate director of utilities management, the Admissions building uses about 110,000 kWh annually. The panels create electricity at a maximum output of 3 kW and will produce about 3,000 kW hours annually towards that annual usage.

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rude '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), own and installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

John Nordeman '99 and Matthew Rudey '99, co-owners of renewable energy company Just Energy (JE), installed the solar panels. Wesleyan has a contract with JE to purchase all the electricity the system produces for the next 10 years. Just Energy was founded in March 2008 with a vision of reducing energy expenses for commercial customers while also helping the environment. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Wesleyan Welcomes Two ‘Better Chance’ First-Year Students

Malik Ben-Salahuddin '13 and Dorisol Inoa '13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC). They will attend Wesleyan in the fall.

Malik Ben-Salahuddin '13 and Dorisol Inoa '13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC). They will attend Wesleyan in the fall.

Next fall, Wesleyan will welcome two students of color who graduated high school “capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership.”

Malik Ben-Salahuddin ’13 and Dorisol Inoa ’13 are both recent alumni of A Better Chance (ABC), the oldest national organization of its kind. ABC aims to change the life trajectory in a positive way for academically-talented youth of color through access to rigorous and prestigious educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12.

“This is wonderful recognition for these two top students, two in a long line of ABC students at Wesleyan,” says Nancy Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid.

ABC’s mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility

Campus Tours Ongoing Throughout Summer

The Office of Admission hosts student-led campus tours throughout the summer Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.

The Office of Admission hosts student-led campus tours throughout the summer Monday through Friday at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.

XX, center in blue shirt, leads a tour down College Row. All events begin at the Stewart M. Reid House. No pre-registration is necessary for campus tours or group information sessions.

Vernie Chia '11, center in blue shirt, leads a tour down College Row. All events begin at the Stewart M. Reid House. No pre-registration is necessary for campus tours or group information sessions.

XX, at far right, speaks about Olin Memorial Library to a tour group July 30.

Dan St. Hillaire '10, at right, speaks about Olin Memorial Library to a tour group July 30.

XXX, at right, leads a group through the Center for the Arts on Aug. 4. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Jayvan Mitchell '11, at right, leads a group through the Center for the Arts on Aug. 4. (Photos by Olivia Bartlett Drake)

Admitted Students Sample Wesleyan Life During WesFest

President Michael Roth performs with the band, Mad Wow Disease, during WesFest 2009 on Andrus Field.

More than 500 students and their families celebrated all-things Wesleyan during the annual WesFest April 16-18 on campus.

WesFest allows all admitted students an opportunity to explore what Wesleyan has to offer. Attendees took campus tours, visited campus housing, attended classes, explored science laboratories, samples campus dining, visited with current Wesleyan students, viewed art, film and music performances, and much more.

“WesFest benefits students by giving them the opportunity to engage with the Wesleyan community,” says Stephanie Pruitt, program and events coordinator for the Office of Admission. “For many students, their time on campus helps them decide if Wesleyan will be their home for the next four years.”

Wesleyan received 10,065 applications for entry to its Class of 2013, up 22 percent over last year’s admission cycle. Approximately 22 percent of this year’s applicants have been admitted to Wesleyan, including some 350 students who were admitted during the early decision period. The class of 2013 is expected to comprise approximately 745 students.

A March 29 article in The New York Times discussed how applications for the Class of 2013 remained strong at the nation’s most competitive colleges, despite the economy’s recent economic recession. Mentioned in the article was Wesleyan which, unlike several liberal arts colleges, saw an increase in applications this year. The Times had previously written about Wesleyan’s increase in applications during the November early decision application period, which was also up a record 40 percent over the previous year.

President Michael Roth also wrote a piece for The Huffington Post on the economy’s impact on the Class of 2013 both nationally and at Wesleyan.

Greg Pyke, senior associate dean of admission, said 511 admitted students registered for WesFest 2009, although several students attended without registering.

“Many WesFest events are planned by current students, faculty, and staff, and therefore it becomes a great representation of the types of things that happen in the Wesleyan community every day,” Pruitt says.

Pictured below are images taken during the three-day festival (Photos by Olivia Bartlett and Alexandra Portis ’09).

Applications to Wesleyan Up 22%

Stewart M. Reid House: Admission Center

In November, 2008, when all the first round early decision applications were in, the Wesleyan admissions’ staff knew the initial numbers were not a fluke. Applications from high school students seeking admission during the first early decision period at Wesleyan were up 34 percent from the previous year, 2007. Still, the admissions staff maintained cautious enthusiasm.

“We were elated, but we also remained a bit guarded because, quite frankly, we didn’t know if the early decision increase would be followed by a decrease in overall applications, especially with the economy taking such a dramatic downturn,” says Nancy Hargrave Meislahn, dean of admission and financial aid. “So we were holding our breath a bit and continuing to contact students and