Admission News

Holistic College Admission

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Already some colleges are not requiring standardized college admission tests scores (SATs or ACTS). In 2016 even more colleges started moving away from traditional applications such as the Common Application in order to evaluate student applicants as a whole and not through documents like grades and tests scores. These colleges are experimenting with what are called holistic applications.

Here are some holistic alternatives for applying to college.

1. Portfolios

Bennington College, for instance, asks its student applicants to demonstrate their achievements, classroom experiences, community involvement, and writing skills by developing a portfolio. Portfolios reveal a student’s creative and revision process and show a side of themselves where they excel, such as musical composition or scientific experimenting. The portfolio is also a way to show a connection between classwork and extracurricular activity.

2. Video Applications

Goucher College asks for two-minute videos from applicants to explain why and how they will succeed on their campus. They must also submit two works from their high school, one graded. For students who have great oral communications skills and for students who might like to highlight their ambitions more than their high school experience, this application fits the bill.

3. Revised Applications

Some colleges are tweaking their own applications to show skills rather than documented accomplishments. For example, Bard College asks students to submit four 2,500-word essays, a letter of recommendation, and their transcript only. Each writing prompt (there are 21 to choose from) reflects a typical college assignment.

Not all applicants want to submit holistic applications. These applications are not easy, but with the extra care and attention holistic applications take, they also allow YOU to showcase YOUR strengths.