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Could you guys give me some advice?

Tarheel714Tarheel714 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
So a bit of background. I applied to UChicago this year to be a freshman in the fall of 2014. My high school has traditionally sent at most 1-2 people to UChicago per year, and this year they've already accepted 3 from the early action round from my school. I applied regular, and I've been hating myself for this mistake ever since.

Anyways, even though UChicago is certainly in my top 3 schools, I haven't shown any visible interest at all in it: no Early Action, no campus visit, no interview (I signed up on the last day and I guess I was too late).

So I want to send an email to my local admissions officer (she gave me her business card when she visited my high school), and I want to ask her a few questions about UChicago that demonstrate my interest in the school. Would this help at all? Do you guys have any recommendations for questions that I should ask her about UChicago?

Replies to: Could you guys give me some advice?

  • Airplan3manAirplan3man Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Yes, absolutely send an email. If it is at all possible, try and fly out/drive out to visit when you can, and maybe you can get an interview on-campus as well.
  • BouncerBouncer Registered User Posts: 332 Member
    To demonstrate interest, I suggest signing up for an interview and emailing your admissions counselor to tell him/her of your interest.
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    Yes, I agree. An email expressing interest would be good.
  • neuromajorneuromajor Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    From my own personal experience and what I've heard through the grapevine, UChicago really values demonstrating interest. Although it's late in the game if it is at all possible for you to visit, I highly suggest doing so. It's possible you could also interview if you visit campus. Personally, I received a likely letter a few days ago telling me that I was one of their top applicants and admitting me over a month early. Although I have strong numbers, ECs, and an unusual education, I am not a recruited athlete or intel winner-the kinds of kids who usually get likelys. I visited campus, went to a specific prospective student day (by chance I happened to be in the city at the right time), met and chatted with my reader, interviewed (I am a very strong public speaker and interviewing is a huge strength for me), and went to regional info sessions at home in socal. I honestly believe that all of my demonstrated interest is what pushed me over the edge from a RD acceptance to a likely letter, and could potentially push you into the admitted students pile. Long story short, it absolutely cannot hurt to demonstrate interest, especially right now when they are in the throes of decision making. In terms of questions, what do you want to know about the university? The questions should be something you can't easily get from a website and show your knowledge about the school, and even give the reps a chance to show off. Perhaps ask something like how feasible it is to double major, or the advantages of the unique housing system. Good luck!
  • Tarheel714Tarheel714 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    Could you guys read over this email that I'm about to send and tell me if its ready to be sent? Thanks.

    Ms. XXXXXXXXXX,

    Hello! My name is Kevin, and I'm a high school senior from Charlotte, NC who applied to the University of Chicago this year. UChicago has been one of my two top schools, but because I was too late to sign up for an alumni interview, I missed the opportunity to get to know the school on a personal level, and now I'm left with a few unanswered questions about the University of Chicago. I know that you must be extremely busy right now with thousands of applications to read through, but I was wondering if you could answer a few of my questions to shed some clarity on this amazing school:

    --What is your opinion of the Core? Do you think that the benefits from having everybody take the Core and learning a common language outweigh the restrictions on your elective courses?

    --I've heard stories about how UChicago students could effortlessly dive into deep discussions about almost any topic at a moment's notice. Is this actually true? Do the freshmen arrive on campus with this skill, or is it acquired through the classes at UChicago?

    --How competitive is the atmosphere at the University of Chicago? Is there pressure to try to do always outperform your fellow classmates?

    --Finally, if there was one thing about the University of Chicago that you didn't particularly enjoy, what was it? What is the one thing that you would change about this school?

    I apologize for coming to you so late, and I thank you for your time.

    Best,
    Kevin
  • neuromajorneuromajor Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    edited February 2014
    I would lose the exclamation point, and instead of saying one of your top two schools reword it. That top two schools sentence is a little too long as well, I would split it into two.
  • kaukaunakaukauna Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    You know Tarheel, you took a different approach than I would have recommended. I would have made declarations (for example: "The core is ..."; "UChicago students dive into deep discussions ..."; etc). You chose to ask questions, which is an interesting approach. The approach you took may be better and more authentic for you, which is important.

    I think the reason you give for not signing up for the interview is weak. This part does not sound authentic to me. Just go right into your questions without making excuses for not scheduling the interview.

    Having written what I did above, I want to add that these are my opinions, and they arent't the best source of advice. Your parents, trusted teachers, and guidance counselors are probably better sources because they know you best and they have the time to sit down and work through what you've written. Best of luck to you.
  • unaloveunalove Registered User Posts: 3,725 Senior Member
    ^ The only change I would make is to send this e-mail to PSAC because they are student-facing questions instead of admissions-facing ones.

    In the future (and, like kaukana, I pick at it because you offer yourself, not because it's inappropriate or offensive, and these are my opinons here) I would rethink questions that ask somebody you're trying to impress to answer negatively.

    For example, when you're on a job or internship interview, if you ask questions about what your interviewer doesn't like about the position, whether they get home in time to watch How I Met Your Mother, and the pay, it doesn't reflect well on you, and you appear to only care about money and your time. Yes, the answers to those questions are important, but try to find somebody from within (in this case, PSAC or another current student) who you can pull aside to answer your burning questions.

    Ask the interviewer the questions that allow them to brag... questions about favorite things, questions about the warm and fuzzy community, whatever allows the interviewer to say good things about the organization.

    Next time you apply for something you'll know to do this. There will be plenty of next times!
  • Tarheel714Tarheel714 Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    thanks guys, I truly appreciate the help.
This discussion has been closed.