Higher Ed: How Much Is Too Much On A College Application?

Sep 23, 2018

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

In an effort to set themselves apart from other applicants, students may be tempted to show breadth and depth in everything they have tackled in high school.

"I think if you're just vomiting out a long list of activities and successes and awards and things, I think that then gets blurred over," says Ed. " I think the thing that an individual should be doing here is telling a story. They should be telling a story about their recent history - the highs and the lows and how they see themselves as having changed through their education up to that point."

Ed says he believes that story should also include students' assertions about why they think they are a good fit for the schools where they apply. He encourages specificity about what has attracted a student to a particular institution ( think "the soft serve ice cream in the dining hall"!) rather than generic platitudes about a school.

Listen to the full episode for more suggestions about navigating the college application process (are interviews still recommended or not?) as well as the new puzzler. Lefties unite! This puzzler is all about the digits on our left hand.

This episode was recorded on Aug. 9, 2018.

For all of the Higher Ed episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.