Open advising hours with Elias

Recorded Monday, January 3 at 11:00 PM

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About this livestream


This Monday, Elias Miller is back with Open Advising hours. In this interactive session, Elias will answer all of your questions with his expert advice on applying to college.

There’s no set agenda, so stop by to hear him talk about college admissions, music, and the universe. As always, the chat will be open for all of your queries to be answered live on-air.

Stay tuned for surprise guests - you never know when Shane Niesen or Priya Desai will hop onto a stream.

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.
5:18@AngieXOXO:Your haur is on point
7:42@AngieXOXO:I am new here
7:46@unicornlover:so im having a bit of a dilemma when it comes to this decision and i was wondering if i could get a second opinion..
7:56@unicornlover:so im a junior and i applied for a scientific internship, but if i get it, ill only have 8 aps when i apply for colleges. However this internship is very prestigious in my area. I was just wondering your opinion on which one you think would be better for college apps.
8:46@unicornlover:so to clarify, the internship is during the school day, so thats why i can only take limited classes
10:42@Skazi:Any value in doing AP in senior year if all you’ve done so far is about 5 honors
10:52@Skazi:And Any value in doing a summer course after jujitsu year? Do the credits go to colleges?
11:52@katherine23:Hi! How do I go about asking my teachers for a letter of recommendation and how do I build a strong relationship with them? (I’m a junior)
14:51@Becky_:Hi! I'm Peruvian first of all, so here it's difficult to find similar opportunities (or any) to take some kind of advanced classes (at least in my school)... I'm 14 but I'd love to take AP classes... Because my school doesn't offer IB programs or honors classes... Is there any possibility I could take an AP class online? A virtual class???
18:14@GreenLeaf1:When did you start playing the cello?
19:00@unicornlover:so this internship is the only one im age eligible for thats in my area. it also aligns with a lot of my science projects but on a more advanced level. So the structure is like attending half your classes then having the internship be the rest of your classes like a "work-study". And the few people i know have recommended it highly. thanks for your help!
19:31@katherine23:I'm not applying as a music major but I play violin in school/youth orch. Any recommendations on how I can strengthen this area of my extracurricular profile? Also, is it worth pursuing violin in college if I’m not super serious about it?
24:30@GreenLeaf1:I think I have a problem. I fell into the trap of being more of a "generalist". For example, I've done engineering research, created a club for kids to learn how to animate, got involved in law internships. I feel that I lack a "main theme" in my applications/essays. I have applied to 15 colleges, each with a different major/program. What are the upsides and downsides to this and what can I do now (I am a senior doing mostly RD applications) to really give my profile an edge?
27:36@Becky_:(It's Becky again... Sorry 😅) I mean... Here in Peru we don't choose our classes... We all have the same classes... So I'm really scared Colleges are going to think I didn't try to challenge myself...
27:48@Becky_:(hi! Hmm something else to add to my question) What should I focus on, since I don't have many options to expand my academic knowledge (at least inside my classroom or school)???
28:30@GreenLeaf1:@Becky, try contacting an AP coordinator in your country (try international private schools and boarding schools) and see if they can help you register for the exam. (While colleges really look at transcripts, AP exam scores look good as well). I did this while studying abroad and it worked for me. It requires self-studying but it is worth it in the long run. BTW, look up "visiting college credit courses" or "pre-college summer programs" if that doesn't work.
30:26@Christ4Life:If I do bible teaching on Instagram live streams would that count as an extracurricular. I also have a Christian Club at my school, should I add those things together on my college applications or separate them?
30:37@Christ4Life:I preach about Jesus on Instagram every day, would that count as an extracurricular or should I put that together with the Christian Club I do for my school?
30:47@Christ4Life:I am interested in vocal arts and opera, but I have heard that an arts degree is not reliable for getting a job; what are your thoughts? Also, how do I make time to practice music every day?
35:22@Skazi:Where do we find these online summer courses - what websites
37:35@AngieXOXO:Massive Open Online Course
38:25@Zee04:Massive open online course
38:41@anita_18:I’m Canadian and my end goal is to go to Medical school. Is it worth it to go to one of the competitive colleges for premed in the US or should I try to save money by doing my undergraduate in Canada and then applying to medical schools in the US.
40:52@Skazi:And do rising seniors do summer courses ? Do they give you a certificate that you can add to your resume.
41:29@GreenLeaf1:How was Harvard and what is like to be a conductor (so cool!)?
41:40@GreenLeaf1:What was the job search like after grad school for you? How and why did you become a conductor?
41:44@anita_18:Thank you
51:15@DaKao:Who were your favorite professors at Harvard?
55:01@Christ4Life:What are some things we should do in college to make sure we get a job after we graduate? What are the biggest mistakes people make in college and how can we avoid them?
64:21@Skazi:I found an AP physics class online throughRice. It says it’s verified track and graded assignment. Does this means it will show on my gpa?
64:47@Skazi:It’s says it starts Jan 3rd and ends in July. I wonder if they will still let me join…
65:00@DaKao:If I were deferred, how do you think I could differentiate myself from other applicants?
65:30@Skazi:It’s $50 for the verified track
65:40@Skazi:And free for the Audit track
65:52@Skazi:It’s through rice university.
67:12@junsid0224:Hi! I’m a sophomore in high school rn. Because of being virtual and having many tech issues, I lagged behind in classes and got two B+s. Readlistaically, do I still have a chance of making my GPA higher? It’s 3.96 right now
68:14@dev8:Would applying as a history major instead of an economics major improve my chances at Princeton, Dartmouth, etc. if I have a strong ec presence and interest in both?
69:48@Skazi:I know that if you take an AP class at school and you don’t do well it Lowers your gpa. What if you take a verified class online ( through rice). There’s no record of how you do until you do the final exam in may?
71:22@naga07:Hi any advice for international students who want to apply to schools like cornell and michigan
71:50@Skazi:I didn’t sign up for it in time
71:52@Skazi:At the At my school in may
71:53@Skazi:I have a way of taking the exam
72:04@Skazi:I wasn’t aware of AP sadly, at that time
72:58@Skazi:I didn’t sign up for it at the start of my school year. Junior year
75:11@AngieXOXO:I rated 5 stars


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