I hope you’ve had an opportunity to read my recent notes on STEM College Advising – It’s Unique and for STEM, Business, Arts & Humanities Majors where I’ve discussed at length some of the underlying high school course planning and extracurricular experiences that not only increase your chances of admissions success, but prepare a student for the rigors of an undergraduate STEM major.
As a Professor Emeritus, and current Cornell Alumni representative, as well as having engaged in STEM recruitment, I have reviewed thousands of college applications and college STEM essays and resumes. Colleges look for rigorous and relevant STEM courses – this discussed at length in my previous blog. A background in mathematics, science and coding is presumed – and in the most competitive programs. Every applicant has done so– so it’s important to truly appreciate how daunting a task is at hand for admissions in distinguishing from among many very qualified applicants. So what do admissions representative look for?
EXPLORE and ROAR Become Involved in STEM Activities
Your extracurriculars allow you to discover a specific problem that fascinates and inspires you and will highlight your application by showcasing your informed interest in a STEM field. With significant attrition concerns in STEM majors, it’s important that you can discuss an interest cultivated through hands-on involvement that extends beyond a few high school labs to include activities including FIRST Robotics, Math Olympiad, HOSA, Science Competitions ( Click to Read: Competitions – INCREASE ADMISSIONS CHANCES ) , write an app or win a video game design contest. Participate in a MakerFaire, or attend a summer program.
As all STEM fields involve solving problems that are more creatively enhanced within a team, many college applications require responses to specific essay prompts asking about your experiences in team settings, your ideas on innovation or ways you would change /improve the world. College admissions officers do want to hear how you’ve engaged with others. Tutoring and mentoring peers and younger students is an awesome way to show your passion for a STEM field and your ability to work well within a team setting. By sharing your passion for a STEM field with others, you are passion and interest for STEM will be clear.
STEM COLLEGE PLANNING– Advocate and Detail Your Interest in Your Intended Major
Many colleges ask you to explain why you have an interest in your major – when it comes to STEM college Essays– this takes on a particular relevance. What is the problem you want to address as an electrical engineering, bio-chemistry or astro-physic major? Absent hands-on experiences and solid research- you won’t be as clear in your application as the applicant who has been in a research or shadowing or internship setting. I work with my students to understand the difference between biology, computational biology and biomedical engineer — or applied math, mathematics, or computational finance — . When you know what you’re talking about it shows–. Please don’t tell an admissions representative you want to be an engineer because you have been playing with legos since you were a little girl! Yikes!
STEM College Applications are competitive! The earlier you begin engaging to create your STEM Educational and College Admissions Plan – by taking the right courses, engaging in relevant activities and working with others, you’ll increase your chances of admission to your top-choice colleges. For more information on how I can help guide you through the college prep and admissions process, CONTACT Bonnie R. Rabin, PhD for details on my UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE COUNSELING and COLLEGE PLANNING.
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. guides her clients to define and realize educational and career goals.
SOME REALLY INTERESTING STEM ARTICLES I’ve shared on my LinkedIn and Facebook pages– connect with me on social media :
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