Packs of 8th graders swarm through the halls, ambassadors hurry around campus, showing off the cafeteria or weight room to prospective families. Buckle up, hold on to your hat, (insert another cringy cliché); it’s admissions season.
With the current Students for Fair Admission vs. Harvard legal controversy, the college admissions process is under scrutiny in the nation’s courts. While college admissions are on the minds of most seniors (at least I hope so), many Jesuit students forget about the madness of ISEE tests, interviews, and tours in 8th grade.
The Roundup sat down with Mr. Tim Host, Director of Admission for Jesuit.
The Roundup Exclusive: Inside Jesuit Admissions
How does Jesuit evaluate candidates?
Jesuit admissions is not a science, it’s an art.
Tell me about the process of reading an application?
Could you talk about the formula Jesuit uses to help the admission decision process?
The formula is a starting point for us, but by no means does having the highest points get you in automatically.
What kinds of students are discussed the most in the admission committees?
These are often great students who don’t look as good on paper. Maybe they have a C or maybe their ISEE scores are lower, but then we find a unique personal story that they have. It could be a family tragedy, personal illness, or something similar. They’ve overcome an obstacle, so while they may not be the strongest academic student, they have a story that will contribute to our full community.
What percentage of the incoming class is Catholic?
Jesuit typically has between 75 and 80 percent Catholic students in each class.
Does Jesuit try to admit a steady percentage of non-Catholic students?
It’s important for us to have non-Catholic students as part of the mission; if not we would be taking away that very rich aspect of the world.
How does Jesuit try to promote diversity in admissions?
Miss Carter has done a number of things with Outreach to promote a diverse applicant pool. There are some boys programs close by that she reached out to that are primarily African-American students to introduce them to Jesuit.
What percentage of admitted students have legacy status?
Are there a lot of instances where Legacy kids are the ones being talked about in committee meetings?
What does the admission office do between January 26th (applications due) and April 26th (admissions decisions released)?
After January 26th, the admissions committee will meet six or seven times. We spend the first few weeks contacting families and schools trying to get applications complete. Then, we spend a lot of time reading because it takes 20-30 minutes for a single application and there are 525 applications.
Is there any specific part of the application that holds the most weight?
What makes a really good recommendation?
We are looking for mostly motivation and like cooperation. It’s funny because the teachers want to see their kids succeed, you know, so you have to read between the lines sometimes.
Are there different points awarded to different geographic regions or different racial backgrounds?
Which Applications do you read first?
We usually look at the top 100 students in the point system because they’re just they’re just the kids that we want around here.
How many students are usually admitted from the waitlist?
About 20 students per year.
How do parents react when their kid is not admitted?
If you are reading this article as a prospective student, good luck! Make sure to give your best effort in the classroom, ask teachers who know you well to write recommendations, and think about how to answer the essay questions. Hopefully, you will end up here at the 38.4 (and write for The Roundup)!
Stay tuned to The Roundup for the latest Jesuit news!