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A Word of Caution to Candidates

muddaof2muddaof2 Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
edited February 2008 in Olin College
We were in the same elated place as you and your families one year ago. S and my husband went to Candidate's Weekend, and were totally hooked on the whole Olin scene. Unfortunately, he received a letter of rejection a few weeks later with no explanation (naturally). Now of course we all know not everyone can be accepted. And I have to say he is completely happy in the engineering program at the liberal arts college he chose. But just be warned: Olin invites you to a fantastic weekend that will leave you breathless to be a member of their community. No other college I have heard of recruits students in this manner, discarding the unlucky ones so carelessly afterwards.

To be clear: I think Olin is an amazing place. I just object to their admissions process.

HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN! They will not admit everyone.......Good luck!
Post edited by muddaof2 on

Replies to: A Word of Caution to Candidates

  • mother_of_perlmother_of_perl Registered User Posts: 197 Junior Member
    I'm glad Mudda wrote, because I was thinking of writing the same thing. I went with my D to candidate's weekend last year. Boy were we impressed! Olin does a fabulous job at candidate's weekend, and we left there completely sold on it. And then, as Mudda said, the rejection letter came in the mail. It was crushing. Yes, my D got in lots of other places and yes she is very happy where she is now, but it really is an experience that gets you completely hyped up about the school, and then a significant percentage of the students are turned away. Somehow it feels very personal when you've been there and met everyone.

    One of D's younger siblings was so impressed with what he heard about Olin when we got home that he now wants to go there! Next time (if there is a new time) I'm sending DH!
  • crazyyakcrazyyak Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    I don't mean to be defensive, and this is obviously coming from someone who was accepted to Olin, but I would like to give another perspective on CW. I do not mean to make less of what you have gone through and what the current candidates will experience, but there is a method.

    Olin is a small community. A *very* small community. You get to know your own class within days, and most of the school within months. This is a very different environment than many other schools, and because of this, the admissions process is a little different. Additionally, the project-based environment of Olin is different from the approaches of other schools. I like it, but it certainly is not right for everyone. Anyway, because of the community and the different approach to the curriculum, the prospective student and Olin need to evaluate each other to see if the fit is right. This is completely unrelated to whether or not the students could do well academically at Olin; that is completely figured out before Candidate's weekend. I think Candidate's weekend is a productive thing because there are plenty of people who realize after CW that Olin just isn't for them. And I think it makes sense that a small school needs to evaluate whether or not people will add to the community; sure, there are plenty of people who are great at math and science, but they might not be able to hold a conversation or be passionate about anything other than schoolwork. And then there are the people who come to CW and aren't accepted because there just aren't enough spots.

    I'm definitely not trying to say anything about your kids; I'm sure they are great and would have done well at Olin. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the point of CW is not to dash hopes. The interviewers that you meet during CW are there to advocate for you; it's not supposed to be a negative process. It's an earnest attempt to create a good freshman class, which is insanely difficult based on the number of applicants alone.

    I just wanted to provide a different (though very biased) opinion.

    -Molly '09
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