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5 months ago
Admissions Advice

Questions about Applications
Answered

I have a few general questions about college applications:

1. Does it matter if you submit your application way before the deadline or close to the deadline? I know some schools are rolling admissions, but what about the others?

2. For teacher recommendation letters, is it better to have one humanities teacher and one STEM teacher? Or does the quality/positivity of the letters matter more?

3. Will admission interviews actually impact your college applications? Or it is just an extra way that the school may use to evaluate your profile?

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2 answers

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Accepted Answer
5 months ago

1. If you are applying ED/EA/SCREA/RD, then you want to submit your application on time, preferably a few hours before the deadline. If you submit the day before, it doesn't mean your application gets any priority or preferential review. In the case of rolling applications, it's best to submit when you are ready to submit having all your ducks in the row.

2. Some schools like MIT will tell you exactly how many recommendations from what kind of teachers they want (one STEM, one Humanities). Therefore if you are applying to MIT, just follow their requests. Other schools let you decide. You should curate the best possible recommendations in either case.

3. If colleges have a required interview, then the interview will matter more than if you do an optional interview. In either case, you want to prepare for your interview and put your best foot forward. If it's an in-person interview, then you want to make sure you show up early and dress the part of a high-achieving HS student. If you do well on your interview, that serves as an additional data point/ingredient that is folded into your overall holistic application review. If you bomb the interview, then it counts against you but in total, may not add up to more than 5%/10% of your application, so don't sweat it. If you are a super strong candidate (say 35/40% probability (target) on your CV chancing for an Ivy school), then maybe it doesn't matter so much if the interview is optional. But if it is mandatory, then you want to prep for it. If you apply to an Ivy as reach or super reach (1% to 24% chancing) I'd recommend doing the interview because you need all the help you can get.

Good luck.

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1
5 months ago

1. No, it doesn't matter when you submit the applications if the schools don't do rolling admissions.

2. The quality definitely matters more. You really don't want a humanities teacher that you hate to talk trash about you (exaggerated example). That being said, it would be best if you have a rec letter from both a stem and humanities teacher so that schools see that you are well rounded.

3. I think it will impact your application (I mean that's why they're there), but it will not weigh that much. Admission officers know that they are subjective so they won't consider it that much.

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