Friday, March 29, 2013

"Admission" - The Movie (The Harsh Truth)

Introduction by: Lone Star Ed Consulting , CEO Lauren Kahn, MA    512-294-6608
 Lauren@lonestaredconsulting.com                                                    

Lauren Kahn is an educational consultant located in Austin, TX and helps families find colleges and school placements for students throughout the country.





Every spring, high school seniors anxiously await letters of college admission that will affirm and encourage their potential. In the movie, "Admission", which takes place at Princeton University, admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is a gatekeeper evaluating thousands of applicants. 
The movie touched me as a former admissions recruiter that spent nearly four travel seasons and umpteen days on the road traveling to find and collect the perfect class of students. Is there a formula to get in for every school? No, but are there the "shoulds" and "should not" things to put on resumes, recommendations, and the common application. There is the unwritten code. In addition, there are definitely protocols to follow for the alumni interview and cliche topics to avoid for admissions essays. 

As an admissions officer, I was never allowed to divulge the absolute truth about how we evaluated students in admissions. As a college consultant, I can help you navigate the daunting and sometimes unfair process of applying and gaining acceptance to college.



I am now on the other side. I believe that there is not one perfect college match, but there are multiple possible places for a student to attend and thrive at. One of my biggest disappointment in the movie, is that the student of interest, Jeremiah Balakian (Nat Wolff), never considers or applies to another university besides Princeton. It was a Princeton or bust mentality and one I cannot endorse. I think the humor in admissions and the underlying relationship story of a mother and daughter make it still a grade "A-" movie choice. 

Article by Nancy Greisemer, from the DC area.
If you blinked at just the right moment, you might have
missed Princeton Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye’s big screen debut in “Admission,”
a newly-released comedy starring Tina Fey.

Hitting local theaters the weekend before admissions
decisions are due to be sent to thousands of Ivy hopefuls, “Admission” pokes
fun at an admissions process that appears to benefit wealthy, connected or
otherwise “distinctive” students.  

And the film makes admissions professionals look a little
self-centered, silly, and very disconnected from the students over whom they
hold great power.

Even the tour guide is insufferable, but very familiar if
you’ve ever had the experience of walking a campus with an undergrad who
applied to 21 colleges and got into all 21 after achieving perfect SAT scores
and founding several nonprofit organizations—as we did several years ago during
a tour of none other than Princeton University.

But Dean Rapelye’s appearance midway through the movie in a
scene with Tina Fey proves that even admissions professionals can take a joke
at their own expense.

According to insiders at Focus Features, the on-campus
footage shot at Princeton was left toward the end of production.  With full cooperation from the university,
various campus locales such as Blair Arch, Whig Hall, Holder Court, and
Firestone plaza were captured on camera.

And as evident from the rhododendron in bloom, access to
campus facilities became feasible after school-year classes ended.

Along with Dean Rapelye, Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman,
soon-to-retire university president, and Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash Jr., whose history with Princeton was told in the Academy Award winning film, “A Beautiful Mind,” also stopped by the set but stayed out of camera range.

Focus Features reports that scenes during which final admissions
decisions were hotly debated and voted on were shot on a soundstage—the real Princeton
committee room does not feature a trap door or so we are assured.

For admissions junkies, another cameo appearance worth
noting was the on-screen close-up of Admissions Matters, an outstanding
guidebook authored by Sally Springer, Jon Reider, and Marion Franck, who just
finished a third edition due out in coming weeks. A handful of other guides and
one poor bonsai tree completed the backdrop.

Based on a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, who graduated from
Dartmouth and was a part time reader for Princeton’s Office Admission during
the 2006 and 2007 seasons, “Admission” touches on a familiar range of human emotion
that surface during the college application process.  And it’s good we can laugh about it.

“I did apply to Princeton, because it was a dream of my
mother’s that one day I would try to go there,” Tina Fey reveals to Focus
Features.
  “I was a good student, but I
wasn’t ‘Princeton material,’ as Wallace Shawn’s character [Shawn plays the dean]
would say…So I did not get into Princeton, but I went to a great school—the University of Virginia.

While it may be a little scary if you’re waiting for a real
decision from Princeton, “Admission” is a funny film with a good message—more about
a parent’s love than college admissions.
______________________________________________________________________________

I believe there are several schools that are ideal for each candidate and it is what you make of your college experience. In order to give yourself the optimum number of choices for college, have several people that you revere, review your college applications.  College consultants help students stay on track with their college applications and find colleges that match their interests and strengths.

Lone Star Ed Consulting offers essay and resume editing services, college selection assistance, and can provide rush services for a fee.  Please download my registration form or email me at Lauren@lonestaredconsulting.com if you are interested in learning more about my educational consulting services.


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The information was provided by Lauren Kahn, CEO of Lone Star Ed Consulting. If you would like more information about Lone Star Ed Consulting's college planning services, please e-mail Lauren Kahn or call her at 512-294-6608. You can also view LSEDC's brochure here.


11 comments:

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Thank you for your comment. Your input is greatly appreciated. - College News from Texas - Lauren Kahn, M.A.

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