William and Mary

Admission

15 Reasons Why I Chose W&M

April 14, 2014 by

Day for Admitted Students was this weekend, and William & Mary welcomed over 3,000 students and their families to campus. As a tour guide, I’ve been volunteering with DFAS for three years now, and every year the tribe pride that accompanies the occasion is unrivaled. Admitted students are exceptionally great because they’ve already applied and found something to love about W&M–and while deciding on a college is difficult, DFAS is meant to show them who we are, and what they could be a part of. So without further ado, here are the top 15 reasons I chose to become a member of the Tribe.

  1. The beauty of the campus and the surrounding area. Having grown up in a city, I had never seen so many trees and bricks in one place. I was enchanted by the beauty of old campus and the colonial architecture on DoG Street.
  2. The people. Every time I got lost on my campus visit, someone was always more than willing to point me in the right direction. Everyone was friendly, the students seemed interesting and genuinely happy, and the professors I spoke to via email were amazingly helpful.
  3. The Wren Building. You can’t challenge the appeal of attending class in the oldest academic building in America.
  4. The traditions. Between Yule Log, Convocation, and King & Queens, W&M has an undeniable array of amazing traditions. And what’s more, everyone takes them seriously and each tradition has a history.
  5. The prestige. Attending one of the most elite public schools in the nation has its advantages–the W&M name carries a definite weight.
  6. The small classes. I wanted a school where I could have a personal relationship with my professors, and small classes where I could be an active participant. I found that here, even in entry level classes and major requirements.
  7. My senior interviewer. He was my first up close and personal impression of a W&M student, and I had a great interview. I still remember him making me laugh and putting my nerves at ease.
  8. Lake Matoaka. Outdoor recreation has always been important to me, and having 10 miles of hiking trails at my disposal was a definite plus. And don’t forget the canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards that are free to check out with your student ID.
  9. Tribe Pride. W&M students have a definite sense of community and school spirit that I didn’t find on any other campuses I toured.
  10. The Cipher. W&M is the only school with its own British charter, crest, and cipher. I remember thinking even the police cars looked classy with the intertwined W and M emblazoned on their sides.
  11. A sense of belonging. When I stepped onto campus, I felt like I belonged. I could see myself walking through Wren during Convocation, wearing green and gold during football games, and taking pictures with the Griffin.
  12. The safety of the campus. Coming from Baltimore, Maryland (the third homicide capital in America), being able to feel safe and secure on campus was a definite plus.
  13. The Alma Mater. Every time I sing it, I still get really excited to shout “William! And Mary!” at the top of my lungs during the chorus.
  14. Taylor Reveley. He just seemed awesome. He still is awesome.
  15. The gut feeling that this was the place for me. When I walked onto campus for a tour my junior year of high school, I never wanted to leave. Between the amazing people, the brilliant professors, and the beautiful campus, I knew that W&M was the best place for me for the next four years. Applying early is not something I have ever regretted–I can’t see myself anywhere else.

A Personal Argument for William & Mary

April 11, 2014 by

We Admit It! We love it when a plan comes together.  With Dean Livingston out on maternity leave while our admitted students look for guidance to help them make their decision about where to enroll next fall, Dean Broaddus himself put together a blog entry for us in the form of a slideshow to offer his personal answer to the question “Why William & Mary?”

 

 

 

Choose Home

April 4, 2014 by

Admitted Class of 2018,

Congratulations on your admission to William & Mary!

Now that you have received your wonderful and exciting emails from the W&M Admission Office, it’s your turn to choose what college to attend! Yes, this is daunting, I know. I remember having SO MANY questions about what I would experience in college over the next four years. So, when making this tough of a choice, I hope that you all will think about what you hope to gain overall as part your collegiate experience. I hope you choose a place that deep down you feel that you can call home. If during your college decision making process you choose ‘Home’, I believe that your experiences and achievements will exceed your wildest imagination.

I want to tell you why, when I chose a college, William & Mary became my right choice.

Four years ago, I mapped out my goals and expectations for the next four years. Even then, though, there were so many aspects of my collegiate experience that I had no way of knowing what would happen. I was going in blind. I didn’t know then that I would have the chance to help curate a Michelangelo drawing exhibition and have my name published in a book on the subject. I didn’t know that, while studying abroad, I would watch an outdoor opera performed in Florence Italy’s Piazza Santa Croce, only a day after taking an art history class inside that same church. I didn’t know that I would spend a summer afternoon working for the Admission Office by playing a cut-throat game of kick ball against the Deans on the Sunken Garden. I didn’t even know I’d be making almost nightly study runs to Wawa for chicken strips or chips and salsa – per W&M student tradition. (But let’s face it: #Gotta_Hava_Wawa)

Here, I believe that I am able forge a path with distinct involvements, leadership roles, secret study spots, and groups of friends. As part of the William & Mary family, I am able to truly be myself and am motivated by others to succeed and achieve. Once I started college at W&M, all of the surprising moments and details of my college experience just seemed to fall into place. Here there are so many opportunities – unique and surprising and altogether pretty magical opportunities – that I have been able to take advantage of.

One of my huge time commitments here is my role on AMP or Alma Mater Productions – the campus event programming board. I am truly honored to have had the chance to run some of the major events on campus over the last four years. Some of my favorite weeks are slam packed with AMP events. I get to hear an Environmental Sustainability speaker on Tuesday, hug a llama at a petting zoo on Wednesday afternoon, listen to friends perform at a student music showcase on Thursday night, Keep up my team’s title of Trivia Champions on Friday, and go to a Wiz Khalifa concert on Saturday. After months of planning, seeing an event run smoothly and successfully is a joy. AMP has provided me with an engaging work opportunity and a busy schedule, but also with a solid group of friends and like-minded individuals who are all passionate about supporting their community and giving back to campus.

I will never forget one of my favorite nights this year, going to a sorority formal with one of my best friends. Even though I am not affiliated with a Greek organization, I have always felt so included and welcomed at any event that a Greek organization has put on. After we danced the night away, we traded our heels for tennis shoes and ran across campus to AMP’s Late Nite Glowball event. Yes, we were still wearing our dresses and bling, but those boys had to watch out; we were pretty lethal with glow-in-the-dark dodge balls. That night epitomizes for me the magical possibilities of W&M and all the opportunities that I can take advantage of each day with my friends and organizations.

This year, I also discovered the joys of brunch. I LOVE brunch. Conveniently, Williamsburg is somehow the capital of pancake houses in the United States. The number of restaurants where I can indulge in pancakes and bacon is truly astronomical. Because of this, a group of friends and I recently decided to create a “Brunch Tour of Williamsburg” in order to travel around the area testing out all of the brunch locations possible. French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, and Honey Butter’s to-die-for corncakes really are the best way to start the weekend while laughing around a huge table with my best friends and Brunch Buddies.

Another one of my favorite moments from this semester was the spring tradition of Campus Golf. The event is a Greek philanthropy where teams dressed in crazy costumes play a round of golf across Old Campus. My team decided to be Sexy Presidents. Let me tell you, it is somewhat difficult to make President Martin van Buren look sexy with a bald cap and white pillow-stuffing mutton chops at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. It didn’t help when George Washington, Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and I ended up being chased around the Sunken Garden by a mob of Sailing Club members dressed as knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—all wielding golf clubs and coconuts. I don’t think I made one hole that morning of Campus Golf. That said, the philanthropy did however lead to a spring break trip with my golf caddies, my fellow presidents, and one of the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’. During campus traditions and community events, it is friends like these who have made an impact on my overall time here.

These are only a very few of surprises and moments that have made my college experience so special. I chose a school that fosters innovation on a campus steeped in tradition; a school that stresses service to the community; and a school that revels in the unique and quirky passions of its students. In being part of this environment, all of my experiences became possible.

William & Mary is my Home. I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.

So, Class of 2018, I hope in your final decision you choose ‘Home.’ Choose a college where you feel you can thrive and take advantage of all the magical possibilities available to you. And if you want to really see if William & Mary can be ‘Home’ for you, I hope that you will join the Tribe on April 12th for W&M’s Day For Admitted Students. See you on campus soon!

Going Green…and Gold

March 31, 2014 by

Green has been a pretty popular color as of late. Some people “go green” to help the environment and spread awareness of how harmful our actions can be to our gentle planet. Others celebrate their Irish heritage by dyeing their town river green and wearing shamrock hats on St. Patrick’s Day. Some people just want to make a little more green for their wallet, what with the current economic climate being almost as unstable as the planet’s climate. However, my favorite way to “go green” is when it comes with gold too.

Did you know that in 1896 William & Mary’s school colors were orange and white? The colors weren’t changed to green and gold until 1924 in order to match the College’s coat of arms. Personally, I say a small thank you to whoever made that decision every day. I’d much rather sport a green and gold hoodie than a bright orange one.

But in all seriousness, I think that green and gold goes far beyond just being our school colors. It represents something much deeper and fundamentally ‘William & Mary’. Green can be seen all over our beautiful campus. One of the many benefits of being located in the tidewater Virginia area is the exceptionally lively, natural feel of our campus. Whether you’re walking through the wooded trails to the Caf, passing the Crim Dell on a sunny day, or lounging on the Sunken Garden, you’re pretty much constantly being made aware of how green and picturesque our campus is.

Gold, to me, represents our students. Every single member of the Tribe brings something amazing and positive to our community. They are literally golden. I don’t know anywhere else in the world that I can find such diverse, inspiring people to meet and learn with every day. To the Class of 2018, I know the admission committee worked hard making sure that each one of you is a shining gold star [can I seriously get any cornier? Sorry..] that will add so much to our community. I can’t wait to meet you all and encourage you to go green and gold!

- Audrey Savage

Decisions, Decisions — 2014 Regular Decision Edition

March 26, 2014 by

We Admit It!  The time has come.  Decision emails are being sent at this very moment.  The long wait is finally over.  Below is all of the information you need to know regarding how we release decisions.  Additionally, we put out three additional blogs; one for each type of decision (accept, waitlist and deny).  We ask that you read your decision email and the blogs carefully as they should answer most questions you might have.

How Decisions Are Released

  • All students who applied Regular Decision who had a completed application and all Early Decision deferred students will receive their decision via email, regardless of decision.
  • Emails are sent to the email address you provided in your Common Application.
  • Decisions are emailed to the student only.  Parents will not receive a copy.
  • We are in the process of queuing up and sending over 13,000 individual emails.  This takes several hours.  We cannot predict exactly when your email will land in your inbox.  Please be patient as this process plays out.
  • The sender of the email will be “College of William & Mary.”
  • The subject will be “Good Things” Or “William & Mary Admission Decision.”
  • Those admitted will also receive an admission package in the mail.  Those who are waitlisted and denied will only receive an email.

What to Do if You Do Not Receive a Decision

  • DO NOT PANIC.  Not receiving an email does not imply anything about your decision.
  • Please first check your spam and junk folders as some email clients may send our emails there.
  • Contact our office during business hours via phone (757-221-4223) or email (admission@wm.edu).  We will investigate further.  We will follow up with you if there’s a reason we did not release a decision (maybe your application remains incomplete) or we will try to resend the email using a different email tool.  All emails we resend get sent after 5:00pm each weekday evening.  We will also send a hard copy of your decision via mail in case for whatever reason you cannot receive our email.

Students Who Applied to the Joint Degree Programme

  • For the most part, decisions for both applications will come in the same email.
  • If the email you get tonight does not mention your decision regarding the Joint Degree Programme, you will receive another email with that decision later this week (those who applied ED and to the Joint Degree Programme will receive a decision via email later this week for the Joint Degree Programme).

Regardless of the decision you receive, we appreciate the time and effort each of you put into your applications.  All of you have accomplished so much and should be so proud of yourselves.  Whether your college search ends in Williamsburg or elsewhere, we wish all of you the best as this process comes to a close.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

Decisions, Decisions — #wm2018 (also known as the Admitted Edition)

March 26, 2014 by

We Admit It!  You all blow us away.  You are smart, talented, accomplished, interesting individuals.  Out of the over 14,500 applications, you stood out.  We couldn’t be more excited for what awaits the Class of 2018.  Yes, “Good Things” means what you think it means.  Congratulations!  You’re in.

We encourage you to visit the welcome website linked in your “Good Things” email.  There you’ll find tons of info about how to visit campus as an admitted student (Day for Admitted Students, April 12, is the bomb if we do say so ourselves), a timeline of what’s to come, all of our Class of 2018 social media outlets and so much more about what we hope is your future alma mater.  There’s even a welcome video we made in your honor (and we Admit It!, it brought some of us to tears – in a happy way of course).

In the coming days you’ll receive more information in the mail.  Your admission package includes much of the information on the welcome website, but also additional information about tuition and financial aid notifications (those who applied for aid will receive an email notification in the next week or so and will be able to view their package online), enrollment deposit information, an admission letter signed by Dean Broaddus and a little W&M swag just for you.

In the meantime, scream, shout, pat yourself on the back, do a happy dance.  You’ve earned it.  Oh, and post your reactions on social media using #wm2018.  Tribe Pride is a powerful thing.  The #wm2018 hashtag is just one example.

Congratulations again from all of us in the Admission Office.  We hope to see you on campus in the fall.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

Decisions, Decisions — 2014 Waitlist Edition

March 26, 2014 by

Admit It!  This is not the decision you hoped for.  We totally get that.  We know that you had hoped for an answer, something final…and a waitlist isn’t that.  Please understand that the small size of W&M is what attracts so many great students to apply.  That leaves us with so many outstanding students worthy of admission and some tough decisions to make.  Those students who we waitlist are very, very qualified.  You are students who we’d love to have here on our campus if we just had a little more room in the entering class.  You didn’t do anything wrong, or to put it another way, there’s nothing you could have done differently or better.  You are competitive for admission, and if we are able to admit students from the waitlist, we will consider your application again.

So what do you do now?  Well, first consider the options that you do have, and make sure you submit an enrollment deposit to one of them so you ensure yourself a space in the entering class next fall.  Then consider whether or not you wish to attend W&M if given the chance.  You don’t have to make that decision right away.  Give yourself a few days or even a few weeks.  If you do still seriously wish to be considered, then submit your waitlist response via the link in your decision email.

Waitlisted students do not need to submit any additional materials to us.  However, if you wish to submit final grades when they become available, please do.  Furthermore, you can submit a statement of continued interest to us (either via your regional dean or via our office in general).

After that, it’s truly a waiting game, for both you and for us.  We will closely monitor our enrollment in the freshman class between now and early to mid-May.  This blog will provide updates in May if there are updates to share (sometimes, as we wait, the update is that there is no update).  There is no way to predict whether or not we will go to the waitlist.  Linked in your decision email is a waitlist FAQ.  Review it when you can; it answers most questions about this process.  If we are able to admit additional students we have to then review those students on the waitlist, convene the Committee and decide who among those students is the most competitive for admission.  This process takes some time.  We do promise to send an update via email to all students remaining on the waitlist by mid-June.

Until then, we wish you all the best as your college search concludes.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

Decisions, Decisions — 2014 Deny Edition

March 26, 2014 by

You can Admit It!  You’re likely sad.  Maybe angry.  Maybe deflated.  Likely confused.  You may be none too pleased with us at the moment.  All of those feelings and more are absolutely valid.  We honestly don’t equate a deny with a rejection, but we know that comparison is made; and regardless of semantics this decision is not an easy one to make or to receive.  Understand that we never vote to reject or deny applicants; we simply vote to admit others.

This year our applicant pool was the largest ever – over 14,500 applications.  From that group we’re admitting only 1/3 of those who apply (the admission rate is even lower for out-of-state students).  Statistically, the odds are simply against any student who applies.  That’s the truly unfortunate part of selective admission – we have to send out more bad news than good.  Being denied does not mean you’re unqualified or unaccomplished.  The students we deny are smart, talented, social, interesting and successful.  In an applicant pool such as ours, the majority of applicants are smart, talented, social, interesting and successful individuals.  Most of the students we deny are more than capable of being successful students at W&M.  This decision is not a reflection of you; it’s a reflection of how competitive our applicant pool is.

Here’s the best way we know how to provide some perspective on how competitive our pool is.  Say you’re in the top 10% of your class.  In your high school, you’re performing at a level that’s better than 90% of your peers.  What you’re doing is exceptional in your environment.  In selective applicant pools like W&M, being in the top 10% of your class is commonplace.  That doesn’t diminish how impressive that achievement is, it just provides some perspective on the students we’re evaluating.  It’s not the spectrum from 0-100 that’s applying; it’s just those in the 90-100 bracket from high schools across the nation and the world.  And that’s true across the board.  It’s that 90-100 bracket for grades, for standardized test scores, for extracurricular involvement, for leadership, and so on.  So you’re competing with the best of the best for a limited number of spaces.

We recognize that no matter what perspective we provide, no matter what we say, it likely doesn’t lessen the sting of this decision.  You are an amazing person and not admitting you is our loss.  As we’ve said in previous deny edition blogs, it’s not you, it’s us.  We are truly sorry the outcome couldn’t be more positive.  We know however that our loss is another college’s gain.  We wish you nothing but happiness and success at whatever school you choose.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

The Most Asked Question

March 19, 2014 by

We Admit It!  We are getting close to wrapping up the freshman Regular Decision process.  The last files are being reviewed, Committee discussions are winding down, the printer is going full speed printing out acceptance letters and Dean Broaddus’ green pen is at the ready – prepared to sign thousands of offers of admission.  These are just a handful of the literally scores of steps that we must go through in order to release decisions.

At this time, we are often flooded with questions about when we will release decisions.  All we know for certain is that they will be released by April 1, but we cannot be more precise beyond that.  Each of the dozens of steps that must be completed in order to release decisions is dependent on each of the other steps being completed in turn.  And then there are those things that are beyond our control.  Last year, an unexpected snowfall closed the College and set us back a day.

We appreciate that applicants are on pins and needles awaiting their decisions; we appreciate that.  We are just as eager to get you your decision as you are to receive it.  But right now we need to focus on completing our process.  Last year we received over 200 comments on one blog asking when decisions would be released.  While we are more than happy to respond to any question (be it on the phone, via email, a comment on this blog or on our social media channels), the time we take to respond to this question when it’s asked over and over, takes us away from finishing the process and getting you those decisions.

Remember, when we push the proverbial button and release decision emails, we will post that information on our website, social media and our “Decisions, Decisions” blog will go up.

Until then, we appreciate your continued patience.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It won’t be too much longer now.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission

Overheard in Committee — Estimating Class Rank

March 14, 2014 by

We Admit It!  Committee is a long, drawn-out, painstaking process.  But it’s also an exciting, fun, rewarding process.  It’s what helps us round out the incoming class and reminds us why we do what we do.  This week we press on.  Each day we dig deeper into applications and we learn about new students.  So without further ado, here’s what was overheard in committee today.

“Does the school give us any indication of where the student falls in the class?”

You can hear this question in committee multiple times each day.  It’s part and parcel of that all-important school context we’ve talked about numerous times in our Overheard in Committee blog series (as well as numerous other blogs about our process).  Fewer than 40% of the students who apply to W&M report a specific class rank.  And that’s fine.  We understand why schools choose not to rank, and we don’t disadvantage students who don’t have a specific rank.  But when we can estimate rank it’s helpful to us in assessing the student’s academic record.

Many schools will provide us some contextual information based on your GPA.  For example, the Common Application’s Secondary School Report allows counselors to indicate a decile (the student is in the first decile/top 10% or second decile/top 20%) or an estimated rank (approximately top 15%).  It also allows them to provide the high GPA for your class.  Or counselors may in their recommendations say this student “is near the top of her class.”  Or school profiles may provide a GPA distribution via quartile or quartile ranges or they might plot GPAs on a graph.

We’re not beholden to an exact number or even an estimated rank.  Again, it just provides context to your transcript so that we can get a sense of how well you are performing within your school environment.  A 4.2 GPA doesn’t mean much without that context.  If the high GPA for the class is a 4.3 that tells us the student is at the top of their class.  Or if on the secondary school report, the counselor estimates that rank to be about the top 25% of the class, well that gives us context also.  And this context doesn’t exist within a vacuum.  We then consider that information within the greater context of your schools (its courses/programs, competitiveness, grading scale, etc.).

As we review applications we try to collect all of the information we can glean from what’s submitted on a student’s behalf before making a decision.  Knowledge is power right?  The more we know the more informed our decision on your application can be.

And with that, we press on.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission