Friday, September 25, 2009

Announcements! Announcements!

This week we're excited to announce the return of our "Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen" competition! You've been reading about some of the travel that we've been doing around the country, and some of you may have already seen a Pitzer representative in your hometown. When we travel, we take Cecil with us, and Cecil loves taking pictures! If you can identify where Cecil is in one of each weeks' pictures, then we'll send you a prize in the mail! Honest! You can email me your answers by clicking on my picture on the right side of the screen, or directly at Good luck with these pictures here, and keep an eye out for Cecil!

We are also very excited to announce that the application for our Fall Diversity Program is now available online! This program is designed specifically for students from underrepresented racial and cultural backgrounds from across the continental United States. Students selected for this program will have the opportunity to experience life at Pitzer College by staying in a residence hall, eating in the dining hall, and interacting with current students. If you are selected for the program, you will have your travel and expenses funded. There's a lot more information about the program on the Admission website, so check it out!

Coming up this week we'll be meeting students in Texas, Philadelphia, Greater Boston, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. Find out if a Pitzer representative is coming to your school sometime this Fall (your guidance/college counselor will know). If we can't meet you in person this season, then you can still schedule a phone interview with someone in the office. Now is the time to start thinking about these things because our schedule does fill up! We will also be holding alumni interviews in some major cities across the country during the month of January, so keep your eyes open for those opportunities by checking back here every week.

Enjoy the new season, keep up the hard work, and have fun!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting savvy

This week the Office of Admission is quiet. Not because there’s no work to do, but because we’re on the road visiting you! Our counselors visited schools and met students in Atlanta, Tennessee, the San Francisco Bay Area, Dallas, Boston, and Southern California – and we’re just getting started! Meeting a representative from Pitzer at your high school is a great opportunity to learn more about Pitzer, ask specific questions about the school, as well as gain insights into the college search and application process in general. If you can’t meet with one of us in person, remember that we have phone interviews available, and someone is always in our office to answer your questions or find someone who can.
But what kinds of questions should you be asking? How do you make the most of your opportunity to speak directly with an admission counselor? How do you know that you’ve found the right group of schools to apply to? The questions go on.
No matter how far along you may be in your college search and application process, you have no doubt been exposed to the glut of information designed to “assist” you during these often stressful months. Whole libraries have been devoted to college admissions, selections, applications, interviews, essays, and rankings. Entire graduate-level programs exist to train the professionals that you’ll meet along your way (also, ostensibly, to assist you). Not to mention the vast sea of college-related articles and – ahem – blogs that are just a search away on the internet. Wikipedia even has an article on university and college admissions (containing, among other things, information on the process in more than thirty other countries). A USA Today article this week titled, “To friend or not to friend?” comments on the pitfalls of using Facebook and other social networking tools to enhance your relationship with a particular institution or counselor. In short, there’s a lot of information coming at you.
So with all this information about the transition to college, why are there still so many questions? How do you become what I call a savvy consumer of college knowledge?
One way, if you know that you’re going to talk to a college representative, is to prepare some questions in advance so that you can make the most of your time together. You might even have some general questions prepared that you can ask of every college that visits, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions! We’re on the road looking for you, so feel confident seeking answers.
When you’re presented with promotional materials from a college (picture that stack of brochures you brought home from the college fair), pay attention to the “buzzwords” that colleges use to describe themselves, and then do your own investigation. If a college talks a lot about “interdisciplinary education,” go through their online course catalog and read some course descriptions. Do they seem interdisciplinary to you? When it comes to advertising, colleges are no different from private companies, so developing a critical eye will help you become a more savvy consumer of college knowledge.
Another thing you can do to get savvy is to read some of the literature that college admission counselors read. The National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC) is the professional organization of our business. At their website ( you can become a student member and gain access to loads of insider information. Find out how college admission professionals talk to each other. Find out what issues are on the minds of the people reading your application. Sign up for the NACAC newsletter (Steps to College) under the “Publications and Resources) tab from the NACAC homepage.
The Pitzer College Admission staff is here to help you. You can find out which counselor is primarily responsible for your region on our website. Find us, contact us, ask us questions! Being proactive should be your goal during the college search and application process. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there is still plenty of time. Have fun meeting counselors and investigating colleges!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Welcome Class of 2014 and beyond

Hello and welcome to Admission Unpeeled, a personal journey through a year in the life of the Pitzer College Office of Admission. By following and participating with this blog we hope you’ll learn more about the admission process in general, as well as get to know more about exactly what’s happening with our office each week. We’ll be updating the blog every week with news about visiting your high schools, meeting you and your counselors, reading applications, hosting programs on campus, and more. Check back with us as often as you like, comment on articles that pique your interest, write to us and tell us what you think. Pitzer Unpeeled is for you!

My name is Adam Rosenzweig and I will be your primary Peeler, if you will. You will also read messages from other members of the Admission staff throughout the year. I graduated from Pitzer in 2009 with a degree in History. During my time as a student I was actively involved all over the five Claremont Colleges (“5Cs”) with organizations like the Braineaters (Claremont’s highly competitive Ultimate Frisbee club team), Hillel (5C Jewish life), Pitzer Outdoor Adventure (our biggest and most epic club), and the Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (Pitzer’s community engagement institute). I was born in Santa Monica, California but I’ve lived in Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Boston. For the Office of Admission I travel throughout New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and even Westchester County, New York) as well as Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan.
This week at Pitzer has been very exciting for everyone, including the Office of Admission! New and returning students have been settling into their classes, and reuniting with friends. We are in the process of interviewing, hiring, and training our student workers to assist the admission team this year. By the end of the month we will have well over thirty paid student workers in our office! Our counselors are busy calling high schools to schedule times for us to come visit, so tell your college/guidance counselor (when they look like they’ve got a moment!) that you’re excited to speak with a representative of Pitzer College. If we can’t make it to your high school, and you can’t visit us at Pitzer, then we can set up a time to talk and even interview over the phone.

Become a follower of Admission Unpeeled and check back often for updates on the Pitzer College admission process. We hope you’re looking forward to this year as much as we are!