Winter Term Updates!

Welcome back to the Destination: Elon blog!  Today’s video blog is the first of 2012 and features information on Winter Term, El Centro de Espanol, study abroad, and a few admissions updates – enjoy!

Don’t forget to contact us if you have any questions that we can answer!

Anthony:  interadm@elon.edu or on Twitter:  interadm

Cheryl:  cborden2@elon.edu or on Twitter:  CherylAtElonU

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What Does It Mean To Be ACCEPTED? (Part I of III)

(Please note:  This is part I in a series of  3 posts that help to explain the Early Action Decisions.  Decisions will be available Monday, December 20 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.  Today’s post focuses on receiving an Early Action acceptance.)

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  You are the guy who will decide where to go.  – (Dr. Seuss)

If you have been accepted to Elon, congratulations!  As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it – you now can decide to enroll at Elon and be a part of the class of 2015 (which I hope you will!)  However, once the initial excitement about your acceptance calms down a bit, it is important to keep in mind these helpful hints about how to learn more about Elon in the future:

  • Don’t Wait – Start Thinking about Scholarships! It’s never too early to research and consider different scholarship programs.  As a student who has already been accepted, I would HIGHLY encourage you to take a second to look at Elon University’s Fellows Program.  This is the largest merit scholarship opportunity that we offer to prospective freshman students.  There are 7 different Fellows Programs that offer scholarships from $2500 – $10000 per year (Please note that scholarships vary depending on the program.)  It does require a separate application that is due January 10 (except for International Fellows which is due on March 1) and a student can apply for multiple programs.  Definitely worthwhile to look into – as I tell all prospective students, it is the one thing I would have done differently about my time at Elon as a student.  (I never applied!)
  • Speaking of Money… it’s never too early to start thinking about the Financial Aid process either!  Elon’s Financial Aid office has a helpful step-by-step guide of how to go about applying for need-based assistance.  It is important to know deadlines for the CSS Profile and FAFSA forms (mid-February) as well as the Elon Financial Aid form (beginning of March).  It is also important to realize your other scholarship options – be sure to read through Elon’s Endowed Scholarship website and consider applying.  (Please note that only U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for need-based assistance).
  • You’ve Researched Elon – But There’s Still More! You probably know about our 4-1-4 academic calendar, our amazing study abroad program, and that we have close to 5,000 undergraduates.   You may even know what athletic conference Elon plays in (Southern Conference) as well as Elon’s most popular major (Business).  But do you know where to enjoy a “Killer Cookie” dessert on-campus?  What there is to do on campus on a Saturday night in February?  The quickest route from the driving range to Koury Business Center?  You can find out more by connecting with the Admissions Office with our various upcoming events:  January Hospitalities, Spring Orientations, or Phoenix Fridays.  Or come back and visit us for campus tour, but this time, have lunch with a current student or attend a class.
  • Already Using Social Networking & Media? Find us there.  Be a part of the Class of 2015 group and/or like the Admissions & International Admissions Fan Page on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter (ElonUAdmissions and CherylAtElonU).  Follow Anthony on Twitter (ElonInterAdm) or communicate with him via email (eloninteradm@elon.edu).  Get an insider’s knowledge of what is going on at Elon’s campus.

Thus there are lots of things to consider once you have that acceptance letter in your hand!  But for now, it’s okay to take a break and enjoy the holidays 🙂

Early Decision: FAQs

For those of you who applied Early Decision, the time is almost here to find out your decision!  I imagine that this time is pretty stressful as you are waiting to see if you will be representing the Class of 2015 in August/ September 2011.

To ease your mind a bit (and provide some helpful information), I thought I would provide you with some helpful tips and insight into the Early Decision deadline.  Thus for those of you who have applied, you can find out what the different options are for a decision, and for those of you who may apply next year (I am talking to the juniors/ Year 12/etc out there!), you will have some helpful insight.  Thus I present my Early Decision frequently asked questions post:

What does it mean to apply Early Decision?

Applying Early Decision to ANY university essentially means that the university is your #1 choice for university.  It is the university that you would like to attend and if admitted, you will definitely be enrolling at the university.   Early Decision does require some careful thinking as well as planning on the student’s part however.  Many schools require Early Decision applications earlier (Elon’s deadline is November 1) which means working on your essays, having recommendations completed, and making sure you have completed a test (SAT/ACT/TOEFL) in plenty of time.  Universities vary with their Early Decision requirements as well.  While most universities have Early Decision as the “binding” agreement, there are universities out there that have Early Decision II that is non-binding.  Moral of the story – if you are thinking of Early Decision, be sure to do your research!

I applied Early Decision to Elon University – when will I find out my decision?

Good question to ask!  And you are in luck – you literally find out your decision TOMORROW DECEMBER 1. Students can log onto their Elon OnTrack accounts beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 1.  But remember…that date and time is Eastern Standard Time!  Thus if you are living in London or Istanbul or Shanghai, it will not be available until the appropriate time later on December 1.  Each student will also receive a hard copy of their decision via post as well.  These mailed decisions will not go out until tomorrow however.  For those residing outside of the country, we typically send this information via DHL – so keep an eye out for the yellow and red truck!

What are the possible decisions/outcomes for my Early Decision application?

While the obvious answer is “ACCEPTED” and “DECLINED”, we also have another decision – “DEFERRED”.  To learn more about each of these different deadlines (and most importantly, what they mean!), I would encourage you to visit my a post from last year.

Hopefully this provide some insight into tomorrow for those who applied and  for the future for those who might apply in the future.  Most importantly, if you do have questions about Early Decision at Elon – do not hesitate to contact me!

Distinguishing Yourself in the Admissions Process

Happy Tuesday ETA readers:

While the first deadline for Elon University is literally less than two weeks away, I wanted to share with you even more tips for your application.  As many colleges and universities can attest, we are all fortunate to receive many applications for a relatively small number of spots.  Thus, what are some steps that you can take to distinguish your application from the other thousands that are received every year?  One of my colleagues in the Elon Admissions Office wrote a helpful article that shares ideas of how to make your application be a standout application.

Happy reading (and viewing – I have updated my Flickr photostream in the top right hand corner with few photos from my trip last month through Asia.)

Tips in the Admissions Process – “The Application Essay”

Hello ETA readers:

After 12+ hours on an airplane, I finally arrived back to the U.S. on Saturday evening.   With a “red-eye” flight back to Boston on Saturday evening as well, I have come to my destination for this week – which would be my parents’ house.  I am actually staying with them as I do some traveling in up in New England a bit for this week.  Thus, while I spend today catching up on work and battling jet lag, I thought I might provide some tips in regards to another admissions topic – The Application Essay.

  • Why do Admissions Office require an essay/ personal statement?  This is probably the most important thing to understand before you even begin writing!  The essay is important for several reasons.  The most obvious reason is that it allows the admissions office to evaluate a student’s writing.  However, the essay also allows for us to better understand who you are in your own words.  For those who we have not had the opportunity to meet, the essay allows for you to speak to us and hopefully get to know you better as an individual.
  • Be sure to understand the parameters of the essay.  Another essential element to a great essay is understanding what is being asked of you.  For example, how many essays are you required to write for the application?  Are there specific topics that need to be covered?  What is the minimum number of words required?  Is there a maximum number of  words allowed?  Be sure to know the answers to these questions before you begin your writing.
  • If a school asks a specific essay question, be sure to answer the right question for you.  Often times, students will write their answers to specific essay questions based upon what they think the Admissions Office would like to read.  My advice is to chose an answer to the question that you would like to write about.  For example, one of Elon University’s essay questions involves choosing an issue of significant importance to you and your community.  Many students have often chosen to write about the environment.  Without a doubt, this is one example of a significant issue.  However, maybe the environment is not your passion, but something else might be.  Opt to write about your passion and not what you think we want to read. 
  • Editing and corrections.  Once you have created the perfect essay and before you hit the submit button on that online application, take a moment to do some editing.  It is always helpful to do a quick spell check of your essay (for Microsoft Word users, it is the F7 key!) which I am sure many of you do.   But also consider having someone else read your essay for you.  This other person, whether it is a teacher, friend, parent, or sibling, can provide you with valuable feedback.  For example, have your proofreader review the essay and then tell you the main points of your essay.  If their insight and thoughts are similar to what you were trying to convey, you have a strong essay on your hands.
  • Avoid writing an essay that is a resume of activities.  If a university gives you more of an open-ended question or the opportunity to write about a topic of your choice, do not just create a list of all of your extracurricular activites.  One previous pages of your application, we have already asked you to list the activites that you have been a part of through your high school years.  Thus your essay should reflect something more than a resume.  If one of those activities was particulary meaningful, you are more than welcome to elaborate on that.  Go into depth and dig deep about why that activity is meaningful or what you have learned about yourself by participating in that activity.

Those are just a few tips to help you get started as you begin the thought process behind your essays.  I wish you the best of luck – happy writing!