Hogwarts AO taking questions

<p>Happy New Year! </p>

<p>I have very limited time before reading season starts, so will only be on here a couple more days. </p>

<p>Make your questions good. No "chance me" requests allowed. Prospective parents, feel free to jump in, too. </p>

<p>Good night and good luck with finishing up your applications. </p>

<p>GemmaV</p>

<p>Neither up nor down (at least not in a statistically significant way), they are pretty steady so far; but we're not quite at the deadline yet, so only time will tell.</p>

<p>Hi GemmaV - thanks for being available to us for questions!</p>

<p>Do you see any large downsides to applying as a repeat 10th grader vs. an 11th grader? I can see pros and cons for both, but is it often hard for 10th graders to get accustomed to being a year older than their classmates at Hogwarts?</p>

<p>For a financial aid applicant at Hogwarts, does which grade he/she applies to affect the difficulty of receiving a financial aid grant?</p>

<p>Also - is the number of applicants applying per grade this year consistent with past years?</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Hi malkiel - actually, there is a quite a range of ages in each grade at Hogwarts. Repeating grades is quite common in boarding schools, for many different reasons. And since Hogwarts attracts very bright young wizards and witches, we also have some students who were "double promoted" (their public elementary schools dealt with them, i.e. their being underchallenged academically, by letting them skip grades, so they are "young" for their grade now). Some schools also have PG programs, or students doing a repeat senior year (so they are 19 years old...), so I don't think age is the issue unless you make it one (unless you are already "old" for your grade, then it might make a difference). </p>

<p>The biggest con for coming in 11th grade is that it is considered to be the most important year in terms of college admissions (not that college admissions is the end all, be all). Repeating 10th grade allows a student more time to get used to his/her new environment. Perhaps you do poorly in your Potions class in the fall term because you're not quite used to being away from home, and/or used to the academic expectations/rigor at Hogwarts. Underperforming in a class in 10th grade is different than doing so in 11th grade. </p>

<p>Depending on the school to which you are applying, 11th grade admission might be more difficult than 10th grade admission, due to limited spaces. However, I would advise against applying to a particular grade just because it is less competitive to get in. You and your parents should discuss the pros and cons of repeating 10th grade vs. applying for 11th, perhaps with some guidance/input from your interviewer. </p>

<p>Re: receiving financial aid at Hogwarts, the grade you are applying to does not matter. We give FA to students across all grades. </p>

<p>Re: # of applicants per grade - I actually have no idea. To answer pickaboo's question, I just looked at the # of total applications we have received so far (before winter break).</p>

<p>Happy New Year! I have several questions; thanks in advance!</p>

<ol>
<li><p>What element/s, in essays, have you noticed is/are most likely to impress AOs? What is overdone, in your opinion (making essays in poems, etc.)?</p></li>
<li><p>Do past awards really matter? If an applicant performs very well through the app process, demonstrates depth in particular area/s, but due to interesting past history, has no awards- compared to another applicant who appears less impressive but has many awards in particular area/s, who has the better chance of admittance to Hogwarts?</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Hi CherryRose, Happy 2012 to you. </p>

<p>1) I've worked in this business for a long time, and have read thousands of applications, and can only remember a handful of essays (i.e. fewer than five) that were poems. One was outstanding, and I kept a copy in my "best essays ever" file folder. I still remember the name of the student who wrote it, and how neat his penmanship was; it was <em>that</em> memorable. I actually think more students should just go for it and take a risk; it's a positive risk and can pay off big-time. You come from a very risk-averse generation, sadly. There are too many kids your age who have the I-need-to-know-exactly-what's-going-to-be-on-this-test-so-I-can-get-an-A attitude. Don't try too hard to impress us. Don't overthink it. Just do your best work. If you know in your heart you did your best work, it'll impress me. Tell me about yourself--be open and honest in your essay. If you know you're just--pardon my French--typing some garbage up and making it smell all flowery by throwing in some big SSAT vocab words--you really won't impress me. </p>

<p>2) Past awards from when? Elementary school? Those definitely don't matter. I'm actually not impressed by most awards. Please take no offense, but you also come from the "everybody wins a trophy" generation, so winning the 6th grade science prize isn't necessarily a big deal. Your parents will understand what I'm saying here. We never got a ribbon just for playing in the soccer tournament; we barely got a ribbon if we won the soccer tournament back in our day! </p>

<p>It's not the quantity of awards that matter, it's the quality of the awards. If your teachers or coaches chose you for the "character" award in 7th grade, that actually says something about you. </p>

<p>Hope this helps. Good luck!</p>

<p>For a student seeking to transfer from one school to another, would you suggest that he/she attach a supplement to the application explaining the decision to transfer?</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>Hi dodgersmom, YES, PLEASE! Especially if this was not discussed at length during the interview. Thanks for your question.</p>

<p>My DS is a legacy, but I married a muggle. Is my son barred from admission? It wasn't very clear on the website.</p>

<p>We like Muggles, too.</p>

<p>hi! I have a few questions:
1: on one application that I'm doing it asks for things like my favorite song and what im afraid of. would i really be rejected based upon my favorite song? sorry if this is irrational im a bit paranoid.
2.how much input do coaches/directors REALLY have?
3. if the essay in the ssat is weaker than the normal essay is that bad?
Thanks so much for answering questions on this board! It's very helpful.</p>

<p>Hi Ehphant.</p>

<p>1) Oh my goodness, no, not unless your favorite song is racist or misogynist or encourages people to be violent. Then we would wonder if you are the right fit for a residential community like Hogwarts. </p>

<p>2) Their input is helpful, but the director or dean of admissions has final say. </p>

<p>3) We expect that your SSAT essay will be weaker than your normal essay; you only had 20 minutes to write it, and did so without the benefit of spell check! I hope you spend more than 20 minutes on your regular essay, and please help all of us by proofreading it. If your SSAT essay is <em>significantly</em> weaker, then we wonder how much help you got on your normal essay. </p>

<p>Hope this helps. Best of luck, and happy 2012!</p>

<p>Hi Gemma,
1. What purposes do the parent questionnaires serve? Is the school primarily trying to determine if the parents will be difficult or if they are helicopter cases? In the scheme of things, are the parent questions one of the least important parts of the application?
2. How much does it weaken a candidate if he/she is not particularly sports-oriented?
3. What makes a student essay stand out in your mind - wit, humor, originality, writing ability, passion...?
Thank you!</p>

<p>Happy New Year!</p>

<p>How do you feel about an applicant is not very strong in terms of current extracurricular activities, but really wants to try new things? Does said applicant still have a chance at being accepted to Hogwarts?</p>

<p>Thank you for answering questions!</p>

<p>How does the admission process differ for financial aid applicants as opposed to full-pay applicants at need aware prep schools? Under what circumstances can an otherwise admissible financial aid student be denied admission at a need aware prep school?</p>

<p>hello, i have a few questions..
1.are students allowed to double major in interdisciplinary fields like..say potions and quidditch history? what are the job prospects after a course like this?
2.what kind of study abroad programs do you offer?</p>

<p>How many quidditch games are held during school year? I am a solid seeker, so is there any athletic recruitment?
And when is the tri-wizard tournament?
Thanks a lot :D</p>

<p>Hi 2kidsnoanswers:</p>

<p>1) Parent questionnaires are important so that we can confirm that the parents' interests are in line with the institution's. For instance, if Hogwarts has classes and required athletic commitments every Saturday, and you write about how important it is for you as a family to escape to your house in Vermont every weekend to go skiing, we might be at an impasse. While the parent questionnaires are helpful in detecting helicopter-ish parents (but let's face it, what parent on this discussion board hasn't been just a little helicopter-ish at least once or twice)...you are your child's best advocate. Your 13-year-old wizard does not necessarily have the wisdom or life experience (and probably not the writing ability) to best explain just how a four-year experience at Hogwarts could change the course of his magical life. We want to know why you, as his parent and number-one advocate, think this opportunity is so important and that he and our institution are a good match. In fact, I would argue it is one of the most important parts of the application. </p>

<p>2) Though Quidditch is very important at Hogwarts, the team size does not allow for everyone at the school to play. We also need students to cheer on the sidelines, to play in the pep band, to write the Quidditch box scores and game recap in the weekly student newspaper, to photograph the Quidditch team for the yearbook, to make fun of the Quidditch team in a skit performed at the student talent show, to design the Quidditch team's website and tee-shirt, etc., etc., etc. Not being particularly sports-oriented is OK. Every witch and wizard at Hogwarts has his/her own special talent or interest, whether it be sports or something else. </p>

<p>3) All of the above. Especially if the parents didn't help write it. :)</p>

<p>Thanks and Happy New Year.</p>

<p>Hello, ALittleButterfly.</p>

<p>Great question. That's wonderful that the applicant wants to try new things. For most wizards and witches enrolling at Hogwarts, everything we offer is new to them. From playing Quidditch to making your own Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, there are opportunities available here that are not common at a typical middle school. </p>

<p>However, we are looking for students who want to get involved and try new things. So the question is, why hasn't the student done so yet, in his young life? Is it because extracurricular activities are not offered at his current school? Is it because she has to stay at home after school every day and babysit her little, non-magical sister, because their parents both work late and they can't afford a nanny? Those are certainly valid reasons and therefore, the admission committee can understand the situation as it is (another good argument for writing a thorough Parent Questionnaire, to 2kidsnoanswers' previous question). </p>

<p>But has the student not participated in extracurricular activities at his current school or in the surrounding community because he would prefer to stay home after school every day and watch reality TV marathons on Bravo? Because she is a loner and antisocial? If so, why would anything change if he/she were to come to Hogwarts? I think the admission committee would have to be comfortable knowing that Hogwarts would be able to give this student a kick in the proverbial extracurricular pants (if one of the latter scenarios is applicable) before voting to admit.</p>

<p>Hi Gemma, I think it might be very helpful to applicants and parents alike if you could make some comments on how admissions committees go about putting together a <em>class</em> at Hogwarts, and what qualities (maybe aside from special talents) in an aspiring wizard make valuable assets to the Hogwarts community. Thanks, happy 2012!</p>