In the next few weeks, high school seniors contemplating which college or university to attend next fall will have some exciting decisions to make. And for a select group of outstanding seniors who will be matriculating at CMC and make up the Class of 2021, it was a decision best made early.
According to Jennifer Sandoval-Dancs, Assistant Vice President and Director of Admission at CMC, the College offered admission to 155 first-year students during Early Decision I (the first application period, which had a deadline of Nov. 1) and no doubt that was a load off their minds.
“For the students, they are done, can celebrate their top college choice and enjoy the remainder of their senior year of high school without the stress that comes with completing college applications and waiting for decision letters to be released in the spring,” Sandoval-Dancs says. “For CMC, it allows us the opportunity to enroll students who are passionate about CMC and identify deeply with our mission of educating young people for leadership positions in business, government, and the professions.”
In total, there are three application rounds for first-year students who want to attend CMC. The second round — Early Decision II — has a Jan. 1 deadline, as does the final Regular Decision Round of applications with a merit scholarship consideration priority deadline of Dec. 1.
“The second round of Early Decision permits applicants additional time to conduct their college search, learn more about CMC, and to provide updated information such as their fall grades and/or ACT or SAT scores,” says Georgette DeVeres, Associate Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid at CMC.
In looking at Early Decision applicants or, for that matter, any student, CMC seeks to enroll young people who show they have the comprehensive commitment, passion, and empathy to make the world a better place. According to Sandoval-Dancs, there are three areas admission officials evaluate to gain an understanding of the applicant and to contextualize their achievements.
- Life experience — We seek to assess the applicant’s life journey. Is there anything about this journey that has impacted, influenced their academic and/or personal achievements?
- Academic record — We seek students who are committed to their learning process and are eager to extend their learning process outside of the classroom and show commitment to their evolution as a scholar and informed member of society.
- Personal record — Who is the student outside of the classroom, who are they becoming, and who do they want to be? We expect students to maximize the resources at their disposal to learn, grow, and understand how their time and talents can be used to have a greater positive local, national, or international impact.
The number of students pursuing early admission options across the country appears to have risen over the past decade. “There are different types of early admission processes and not all schools offer early admission,” DeVeres says. “For example, early admission is not an option for the University of California system or for the University of Southern California.”
The reasons students chose CMC vis-à-vis Early Decision seem as varied as the attributes the College looks for in selecting them.
“I chose CMC for Early Decision for many reasons, but I think the most important factor was the myriad of great experiences I had visiting campus, talking to the staff, and attending the International Public Debate Program (IPDP) summer camp,” says Katie O’Neill ’21, who plans to pursue International Relations with a possible sequence in Legal Studies. “Not only did I love the way CMC looked on paper, but being on campus already felt like home.”
According to O’Neill, CMC’s excellent reputation in the fields of Economics and International Relations is what initially drew her to the College, and since she knew she wanted to study one of those disciplines, her selection process became easier.
“I was working at my school’s concession stand when I found out I had been accepted to CMC,” O’Neill says. “I flopped onto the counter and couldn’t stop smiling. It was definitely one of the most anxiety-ridden, and, ultimately, exciting moments of my life.”
For Taylor Jackson ’21, who will be coming to CMC from Pritzker College Prep in Chicago, it was the “rigor and beauty” of the Russian language, which she learned during a course in high school, that led her into an Early Decision application to CMC. “Because of this, I want to double major in Russian and International Relations at CMC,” she says.
Jackson says that the day she was accepted by CMC is one she will never forget. “All week, my stomach had been in knots, and when the day finally came to find out, I could not sit still,” she says. “I couldn’t focus on anything, and knowing that I had to wait until 7 p.m. didn’t help me either. As soon as it hit 7 p.m., I already had the CMC login up on my phone. When I signed in and the site said that my application status had been updated, my heart dropped. It took me at least five minutes to finally click the arrow, and when I saw the maroon and gold streamers coming down the screen, I started to cry. I was so overwhelmed. My whole family was screaming so loud.”
Max Fine’s ’21 journey to CMC from Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut was the result of an early and abiding interest in studying the intersection of politics, economics, and the environment. “CMC’s EEP major is a great fit for me,” he says. “Last year at Choate, I participated in a program that explored environmental economics and policy, and at CMC, I look forward to building upon what I learned in high school. I was also drawn to the Athenaeum and other extracurricular activities, so all in all, CMC seemed perfect for me.”
As the second round of Early Decision acceptances and Regular Decision acceptances are received, more and more future students of CMC’s Class of 2021 will doubtless get that exciting first jolt that O’Neill, Jackson, and Fine have already experienced.
“It still feels a little bit surreal,” Fine says, “but I am now proudly wearing my new CMC sweatshirt, as the good news continues to sink in.”