Open Advising Hours with Elias

Recorded Thursday, March 18 at 08:00 PM

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About this livestream


Join Elias Miller for another edition of his famed open advising hours! Elias will be available to answer any and all questions that you have about the college admissions process, the college experience, Harvard, Tufts, NEC, the University of Michigan, music, conducting, life, the universe, and everything. Stay tuned for some possible guest appearances as well — you never know when Priya or Shane might drop in.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
10:58@anonymous:how many times should I take the act?
14:24@sandy12398:I want to major in political science and I haven’t had any leadership club experience, but I’ve done political internships in campaigns and organizations. Would you say that the internships make up for the lack of club leadership? Or should I try to work on that during senior year?
17:32@anonymous:Haha thanks for doing this. I took it for the first time a few weeks ago and got a 23. Everyone is saying its okay because I live in the state with the worst act score but I want to do better.
20:44@sandy12398:I’ve gone to a couple of these livestreams last week and the chats were also pretty dead haha. If I get an SAT score that is the in the 25th percentile of a school, should I submit it?
28:06@sandy12398:I guess I’ll take advantage of this and ask a lot of questions lol. So, since I’m applying for poly sci and pretty much all my ECs are political and I’m very passionate about a lot of political causes, to what extent can I talk about politics in my essays without risking getting controversial.
31:41@sandy12398:All the schools in applying are on the east coast (Virginia and above) so I feel ok sounding a bit liberal in my essays. The only one that scares me a bit is Georgetown.
34:31@Cmetz:You are awesome with all your information.
34:41@Cmetz:I am looking at touring colleges during spring break. I know most are closed and we can’t meet with admissions teams but can we go on the campus ? I am hoping to just get a feel for the campus and locations of some of my wish list colleges
37:59@anonymous:I haven't really decided what I want to go to college for. I guess I haven't found one thing that I'd be down to do for the rest of my life. I know that its important because certain schools are known for certain programs. So how should I go about this?
38:48@Cmetz:Thanks for answering my question. One follow up question should we reach out to admissions counselors and ask what the visitation policy is right now
41:05@anonymous:I'm in 11th grade right now. Ive been in orchestra for six years (violin). I did speech and debate, theater, winter guard, black student union, I also started a Native American club at my school.
49:44@Cmetz:I watched one of the counselors on college vine and was wondering how to reach out to them on collegevjne. They went to the school I am considering.
52:35@sandy12398:Would you say that a schools overall ranking or their ranking for a specific major is more important when determining how good/prestigious it is. I ask because UF and GWU are two schools im looking at, and UF has a higher general ranking, but GWU has a higher political science ranking.
55:56@Cmetz:Do you have any thoughts on what acceptances look like this year versus non Covid years? I am a junior so wondering if you have any suggestions given what admissions are looking like this year
59:04@sandy12398:I live in Florida so UF would likely be quite a bit cheaper but I also don’t really love living in Florida and love the idea of studying in DC, I also don’t love how big UF is. But UF has a much higher ranking, so yeah hahaha it’s very confusing
61:01@Cmetz:Could you explain on the chancing engine what exactly it means that my chances are same with or without SAT. It doesn’t seem to give me advice whether I should or shouldn’t ? Hope this makes sense
62:38@Cmetz:Could you try and code that in 😉? That would really help
65:11@sandy12398:Thank you so much!
65:24@Cmetz:Weekends would be great. Hard to attend these when in school. Thank you
65:35@Cmetz:Thank you thank you. You are so great !!


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