Decisions, Decisions, Decisions …

Today is the BIG DAY for our Early Decision, Option 1, (ED1) candidates! Yes, that’s correct — Friday the 13th will be either a “lucky” day or an “unlucky” day for many.

Let’s talk basic information
Here is a starting link for those of you who want to check your decisions: http://www.trincoll.edu/Admissions/apply/Pages/Status.aspx. If you have trouble accessing the information, here is a help link: http://www.trincoll.edu/Admissions/apply/loginhelp/Pages/default.aspx. Decisions will be posted by this evening at 7:00pm.

What you might see
There are three possible decisions posted for our completed ED1 candidates. They are: Admitted, Denied, or Deferred.

What’s next

If you are admitted, congratulations! We will follow up with an enrollment confirmation card and letter in the mail soon. Be sure to withdraw all applications from other institutions as our ED is a binding agreement. (Remember that affidavit you signed with your application?) That step is critical. Usually, it is sufficient to email the other colleges’ admissions offices indicating that you have been admitted to Trinity College as an Early Decision candidate and are withdrawing your application. And every office appreciates a simple, “Thank you for considering my application.” Just FYI, if you want to keep the good karma flowing while you are basking in the ED Admit glow. Welcome to #TrinColl2018!

If you are denied, seeing that decision can be a tough hit. So let’s talk perspective: there is a strange release in receiving this information. You are not in limbo; you can fully commit to setting your sights elsewhere. Is it what you wanted to hear? No. If you are denied as an ED1 candidate it is likely that Trinity would not have been the right fit for you. It may feel like a value judgement, but we hope that disappointment can ebb enough to make room for that glimmer of hope that, perhaps, this decision will help guide you to your best college fit.

If you are deferred, you are entering what might feel like a murky gray area. You have now been added to the Regular Decision applicant pool. You are no longer held to the binding agreement of Early Decision. Your first order of business will be to finalize any outstanding applications elsewhere. It’s time to press that “submit” button to be sure other colleges and universities have your applications in place before their Regular Decision deadline. If Trinity remains your top choice, then stay hopeful and don’t hesitate to reach back to us! There are many reasons we defer an application: We may want to see one more set of grades to be sure your performance in the classroom continues to improve or shows consistency; we may feel the need to see what the Regular Decision candidates bring to the table before we commit too many class spaces and financial aid resources to too large a group; or there may be an unanswered question lingering in your application. Regardless of the reason, your best course of action is to let us know of your continued interest and to keep us updated with your academic performance, new honors, or leadership activities. It isn’t the answer you may have wished for, but there absolutely is hope for your application.

This process is not easy. It takes grit and determination. We are honored that you chose Trinity as your Early Decision choice and want to assure you that no decision was made without great thought, review, and respect for your application.

Trick and Treat

If you have been working on the Common Application’s Web site, you may have discovered that it can be a bit “tricky” to work with after it launched an upgrade this fall. Colleges are well aware of the challenges you are facing and you can rest assured that we will keep this in mind as we process applications and approach our deadlines.

(If you are not aware of this issue, you can read more about it here: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/31/21247475-college-admissions-process-plagued-by-common-app-technical-glitches)

Well, here’s the “treat” we offer: we have expanded the options for our accepted applications. We now also accept the Universal College Application. The Common Application and the Universal College Application will be weighted equally in our admissions process. Use the option that works best for you. You can find the links to both applications on our “How to Apply” page. http://www.trincoll.edu/Admissions/apply/Pages/HowToApply.aspx#application

Application season is scary enough without the extras tricks.

An admissions officer, Thomas Friedman, and a karaoke DJ walk into a bar …

Ok, so it was a convention center in Toronto, not a bar, but I have you reading this far about a professional conference, so forgive the teaser title.

More than 5,000 professionals attended the National Association for College Admission (NACAC) annual conference in Toronto a few weeks ago. There is always a tremendous amount of information and ideas shared, but below are some major takeaways/reminders/themes that bubbled to the top:

1) “AVERAGE IS OVER” Thomas Friedman, NYT columnist and our keynote speaker spoke about the new global interconnectedness and instant information sharing that now have raised the bar across all professions. His take? You can no longer “do what you’ve always done, to get what you’ve always gotten.” You have to step it up. Where college graduates once found a job, future graduates will likely have to create a job. It was inspiring and terrifying at the same time.

2) Prospective college applicants want a conversation and a connection with the colleges they are considering. They know resources are out there for review, but the interaction is very important. (See #1 above admissions professionals!)

3) High school students would like to be shown, not told, about life at college. Viewbooks and Web sites are simply starting points. Live chats, visits, videos, and current social media content help students understand character, lifestyle, and the general atmosphere of any campus. And that is critical information about their future college home.

4) College admissions folks (both high school counselors and admissions officers) are truly conscientious, dedicated professionals who want the best outcome for individuals. These are good people who make me proud to be a part of this vocation.

5) And finally … if you put these hard-working, naturally enthusiastic individuals in a big waterfront venue with a DJ and his karaoke machine, we can shut the town down! Seriously, displays of talent were only surpassed by displays of fearless abandon!

Toronto was a beautiful host city, and the NACAC group once again navigated the vast amount of details to bring us all together so we stay informed, inspired, and connected. I hope Indianapolis is ready for 2014!

What’s in a name?

Well, certainly not the whole story. Many students who encounter the name “Trinity College” assume we are a parochial school, specifically Catholic. Along with our name, the pictures of our beautiful chapel probably feed that perception for many prospective students and their parents. So here’s the real scoop: we are an independent, nonsectarian college; however, we have a diverse range of spiritual and religious offerings on campus.

This seems a good time to clarify this topic for prospective students because Reform Judaism Magazine just named Trinity College a “Top 20 Small & Mighty Campus of Excellence.” The Hillel organization awards that recognition to collegiate institutions who have demonstrated a commitment to support Jewish Life on campus.

Did you know Trinity has:
- a Kosher eatery?
- a Jewish Studies major and minor?
- a Shabbat dinner open to all campus community members on Friday nights?
- a vibrant Hillel House that hosts some of our most popular annual events?
- interfaith community service trips to places like Trinidad and Uganda?
- study abroad programs to universities in Israel?
- courses in Hebrew?

We do! Along with so much more.

By the way, I’ve attended some Shabbat dinners on Friday nights (did I mention they are FREE) and it is one of my favorite ways to end a busy week. Those dinners, along with the range of events provided through our Hillel House, really create that “home-away-from-home” that students crave when they come to college. Hillel is a wonderful way to connect with a sense of community.

So, whether you are looking at Trinity College, or other collegiate institutions, be sure not to make assumptions based on a name or a common perception. You’ll probably miss out on the full picture, and the full picture might be just what you are looking for.

The end is just the beginning …

Although we have yet to hit the official start of summer, our academic calendars are in full summer mode. For admissions professionals it is time for a well-earned rest. However, this rest comes with a cost: the students we have worked with – students we may have met in their high schools as far back as five or six years ago – are moving on. And we have been so busy, working so hard to invite in a new class that we barely recognized it was coming until it was upon us.

Yes, the graduating seniors are the hardest to say goodbye to, but, at Trinity, more than 50% of our students study abroad, so we have to say a temporary goodbye to some wonderful students as they take part in a semester or year-long experience we know will change their outlook for the rest of their lives.

It’s why they came to college, right? To learn, be exposed to new ideas and cultures, be challenged, feel that empowerment of mastering what was previously The Unknown, and then to go share their gifts with the world that awaits them. But it’s hard to say goodbye.

So I think of the student who went on to D.C. to lobby for better hospital access for all, the student who was accepted to his first choice graduate program for neuroscience, the student who visited his home in Africa to continue his peace initiative under the tutelage of former President Bill Clinton, the young woman from Philadelphia who always knew that she wanted to spend a year abroad in Korea and master the language, or our marvelous tour guide who will leave us for seminary in Scotland, and the sadness is diminished. These are wonderful people who had unique experiences here, and now they will share what they learned and continued to grow.

And that’s how it should be.

One Billion Rising (including some Trinity folks!)

Trinity students with Theater and Dance professor Judy Dworin

One week ago at this time, I was boarding a bus for the state capitol building with a group of Trinity students, staff, and administrators. Laura Lockwood, the director of Trinity’s Women and Gender Resource Action Center offered t-shirts to the passengers, creating one of the few commonalities of the day. I was so proud to see every age, gender, ethnicity, walk-of-life represented on this bus that was headed through snow-lined streets to our planned FlashMob intended to raise awareness of violence against women all over the world.

Once there, we quickly filed into the legislative office building and found a large, vibrant crowd milling about in the rotunda lobby. I noticed a contigent of students from a local private school for girls. I even ran into personal friends and my region’s state representative (who happens to be married to a member of the Trinity family, thank you very much!). Above us, multiple encircling balconies were filled with legislators and visitors who stopped going about their business to peer over the edge at the excitement below. Among the viewers, I spotted a few Trinity College Legislative Internship students. A woman stepped up to the mic and spoke fervently, the music began, and, well, the rest is better seen than described: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LSRA_Le–Q

I was so proud of our students and our greater community that day. Let our movement be the MOVEMENT!

 

 

An Officer and a Gentle(wo)man

Guest blogger, and Trinity alumna, Michelle Deluse looks back on her first semester as a Trinity admissions officer.

The seven months since my graduation have been crazy! In some ways, transitioning from being a Trinity College student to working as an Assistant Director of Admissions has been tricky. I still get confused looks when I run into old classmates and professors—“What are you doing back?” “Didn’t you graduate?” Sometimes I forget that I’m not on a meal plan when I get lunch at the Bistro. Sometimes I catch myself telling people “I am an English major,” but have to correct myself for using the present tense.

Despite these challenges, the transition had been a great one. The best part of transitioning from student to admissions officer has been meeting students that are interested in Trinity. After spending four years experiencing everything the school has to offer its students first-hand, it is so easy to tell prospective students why Trinity is such a wonderful place to live and learn! I love to see a student’s face light up when they approach me at a college fair and realize I can answer questions for them the way only a student can—“What was your favorite class?” “What would you have changed if you could have?”

I got to travel around the country this fall, and the places I got to see were just as exciting as the people I got to meet. I learned that southern Maine is stunning in the fall, and they have some of the best chocolate shops I’ve ever been in. Driving in Boston really is as crazy as Bostonians tell you it is, but it is incredible to be surrounded by so much history in one city. The Mall of America, right outside of Minneapolis, may be touristy, but it is a blast and everyone should visit at least once in their lives. The same goes for the Pike Place Market in Seattle—full of tourists, yes, but also full of some incredible Seattleite artists, musicians, and food.

It’s been a journey, becoming an employee where I used to be a student, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it! Here’s hoping the next few months are just as exciting!

If you want to hear more about my transition from student to admissions officer, you can follow my friend Banty the Bantam on Twitter! www.twitter.com/bantybantam

Why I’m thankful to work at Trinity

I’ve seen people post “30 days of gratitude” during this month of Thanksgiving and it prompted me to share what makes me grateful to be a part of the Trinity College family.

My first two items of thanks may be obvious from my inconsistent posts: 1) I am thankful for Trinity student bloggers who submitted content while I was on the road meeting prospective applicants; and 2) I am thankful for the rejuvenation that came with the Thanksgiving break!

So before this month of Thanksgiving runs out, I want to share why I am so thankful to work at Trinity College. In a sentence, it would be: I enjoy that we challenge and support one another to rise to our individual sense of excellence and I believe Trinity is truly a unique place to do that.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It sounds like a blurb from a brochure you would find in our lobby. It’s an occupational hazard. So let me get real and break it down for you.

1) Trinity’s location in a city means that we are challenged by real need and responsibilities surrounding our campus. We don’t stop at theorizing and philosophizing in what can sometimes be the self-congratulatory environment of the classroom. Every time I hear about a project that takes students out into the neighborhood to learn from and impact a community, I feel such a sense of pride. I know a Trinity Theater and Dance professor who takes her dancers to work with incarcerated women. The students bring these stories out of the prison setting to offer them as a performance, lending a voice to those who feel they no longer have a voice and a vision to those of us who have forgotten to consider those stories. That kind of expression and experience is so inspiring to me.

2) We consider, debate, agree to disagree, but are accessible to one another. It’s not always easy, and certainly not always comfortable, but the Trinity community continues its journey of self-reflection and that agonizing process called, “change.” While we have long-standing and well-loved traditions, we also strive to better ourselves in every aspect we can. As a graduate student, I attended a huge state university. I had great opportunities, but I remember how insignificant I felt and how difficult it could be to advocate for myself as a student. At Trinity, my door is open to students. I know them and I value them – their opinion, ideas, and insights. I believe that is the pervading atmosphere on this campus. When discussions are needed we have Town Hall meetings where all are invited to speak, we also meet as administrators and staff to talk about ways to support our student body, and we make changes when needed. Being a college steeped in tradition, we might not be the fastest at making these changes, but we put a lot of thought behind our decisions.

3) Inspiration is everywhere! When I sit down to talk with students, I am in awe of what they balance. The activities, academic pursuits, leadership positions, research, performances, internships, study abroad experiences, and the required work ethic always inspire me. I love to see the inner light turn on when students talk about their latest discoveries, accomplishments, and sometimes just the FUN TIMES. I know they are having the real college experience when I hear their stories. I am impressed by the conscientiousness of the staff and administration of Trinity, and the accessibility and passion for teaching that our faculty members have. Without them, the students would not have those “inner light” experiences. And as for my inner light: I am honored to work somewhere where I can take an hour to learn about academic trends, scientific research, see a performance, or participate in a meditation project. I realize how few people in this world enjoy a work setting so rich with inspiration.

So, really, that’s just the beginning of my gratitude list. One important addition to my list would be meeting prospective applicants while visiting secondary schools. They often impress me in the same ways Trinity students inspire me. Except when I meet them, I think, “Just wait until you get to Trinity College. You’ll be so thankful you are here.”

Cue the Willie Nelson music …

… because we’re On the Road Again!

Yes, it’s that season when Admissions Officers everywhere simply keep their suitcases setting out and semi-packed until after Thanksgiving; when we plan for a few extra on-the-road pounds (thank you bagels and coffee); and learn to conduct our business and personal relationships through emails, Facebook, and Skype. I knew I was in “travel mode” when I attended a theater performance recently and asked if the “inbox” was open so I could buy my tickets. Luckily they understood that I meant “box office,” but I now can no longer deny what currently occupies most of my mental space.

Honestly, I love travel. I relish the change of scenery, the chance to visit and appreciate this eclectic country of ours, and the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with students who are earnestly interested in Trinity College. It makes my day when you come to a high school visit and ask me questions or introduce yourself at my college fair table. Admissions officers enjoy connecting with you in person and remembering your face when we read your application. Our goal is to add to our campus of vibrant, curious students, so let’s take the opportunities we can to connect off-line … says the blogger!

So check our Facebook page www.facebook.com/trincoll for the weekly list of our area visits and come introduce yourself if even just for a few minutes. As Trinity College President James F. Jones, Jr. said in his convocation speech earlier this month, “Instead of being a face on Facebook, be a face on campus.” Well, we are traveling to your campus, so come say, “Hi!”

I just can’t wait to get on the road again …