Demystifying the Agnes Scott application process
You’ve done it! You put in all your activities, did a final proofread of your essay, gave your most passionate and perfect answer for “Why Agnes Scott?” and you are ready to hit that submit button to send off your college application. Your hand hovers over the submit button. You look at it. It looks at you (in an anthropomorphized fashion).
And you wonder: what happens after I push this button?
It’s a big question: college applications do seem more than a bit mysterious. You submit all that work, you wait for an unspecified amount of time, and eventually you get a letter back telling you the admission news (hopefully good). But what actually happens in between those two things? What does Agnes Scott actually do with your application?
Well, first, the good news: you are not shouting into the void. After you submit your application, there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the walls of the Office of Admission to make sure your application gets the best review possible. And today, I’m going to draw back the curtain and let you see it as well.
STEP ONE: Application Materials
Step One is a crucial step, and one where you may actually still need to be involved. Just because you pushed submit on your application doesn’t mean that your application is complete. Your high school has to send your transcript. Your counselor sends us a secondary school report. Your teachers send us letters of recommendation. If you decide to do so, you might send us test scores. If you are homeschooled, you send us a supplement of information on your homeschool curriculum. If you’re an international student, you send us your Proof of English Language Proficiency and your Certificate of Finances.
All in all, there are a lot of pieces of paper (mainly in a virtual sense) that have to be sorted. Our amazing application processing team goes through and sorts every single piece of paper, making sure it’s correct and goes in the correct virtual application. We love the processing team. You love the processing team. They check and double-check every piece to ensure that your application is complete and ready to be seen by the admissions team.
STEP TWO: Your Admission Counselor
After your application is completed, it goes to someone who is hopefully very familiar to you: your admission counselor. Why? Well, your admission counselor knows things. They know about your high school. They know that no one ever gets an A in a certain class and that your school was virtual for your whole junior year and that theatre is a huge time commitment. If you’ve spoken to your admission counselor (in an interview or otherwise), they also might know you. If you forgot to put down your part-time job on your application but you’ve talked about it to your admission counselor, they can add it in. If you talked to your counselor about how you had a rough sophomore year, they can add that context.
Bottom line: your admission counselor is important and your best advocate.
Your counselor reads through your entire application; every piece of paper, every letter of recommendation, and every grade on the transcript. They make extensive notes, adding context and pointing out important things. They talk about the ways in which you might fit at Agnes Scott, and other ways in which you might not. They do this for every single student they work with, and mostly it means your admission counselors are reading applications for hours every single day from November-February. Give them your love.
After they read, they’ll make a recommendation: this student is a good fit. This student may not be the best fit. But that’s not the end of the journey.
STEP THREE: A Second Reader Approaches
Here’s the thing: admission counselors are people and they all have their own biases. To make sure we catch and eliminate any biases and that everyone has an equal chance at admission, every application then goes through a second review.
Your second reader is likely an admission counselor who has been at Agnes Scott for a while. They’ve read thousands of applications. They know a lot about who succeeds at Agnes Scott and who might struggle academically or socially. They will also read every single piece of paper, along with the notes from your admission counselor for context. They will then make their own recommendation on admission.
Both your admission counselor and your second reader say you’re a good fit for Agnes Scott? Congratulations, Scottie, that letter is on your way! Do they disagree, or are either of them unsure? Then it goes to the admission committee.
STEP FOUR: The Admission Committee
The admission committee will do another complete review of your application. That means, over the course of your application process, multiple people are going to review every piece of your application. They’re going to think long and hard and have tough conversations. And then they will make a final admission decision.
What does it mean if the admission decision comes back and you weren’t admitted? Well, first of all, it doesn’t mean we don’t like you. It doesn’t mean you aren’t successful or won’t find success in college.
When we’re reading applications, here’s what we’re looking for: we’re looking for students who will find Agnes Scott academically challenging, but not too challenging. We’re looking for students who will jump into the social life on campus and find their place at an inclusive women’s college. We’re looking for students who are ready for what our SUMMIT curriculum has to offer. If we decline your admission, all it means is that we don’t think Agnes Scott is the place where you’ll be most successful.
KEEP IN MIND
As you move forward through the admission process, if you wonder what’s happening with your application, remember all the steps it needs to go through and everyone who is reading every single application we receive. It takes some time, but I promise we’re going through them as quickly as possible!
We’ve peeled back the curtain and showed you what happens after you submit. But you have to take the first step: you have to submit your application. Our Early Action I deadline is coming up on November 15, and we hope to see your application.