As juniors approach a stressful college admissions season this fall, many students will do anything they can to get the attention of selective colleges. But some colleges are taking the first step by reaching out to talented students themselves.
Fourteen juniors received Book Awards from various colleges June 3. About 15 colleges send Book Awards to the CIC every spring to honor exceptional students and encourage them to apply to their school. The awards usually involve some sort of gift for the students, which principal Alan Goodwin presents to the selected students in a ceremony.
“Traditionally each year around this time, certain colleges send [an award], often a book but sometimes just a letter or certificate, sometimes a present such as a pen, congratulating a student for an academic achievement, sometimes in a particular area,” Goodwin said. “It’s a recognition of a student’s scholarship but also a way to entice them to look at a specific college.”
Junior Alexandra Phillips received “Riding the Bus with My Sister” by Rachel Simon from Bryn Mawr College.
“I was very surprised to receive this award since I had never contacted Bryn Mawr and had not even heard of the award,” Phillips said. “I think I was selected because of my grades, SAT scores, extracurriculars and SSL hours. But really, I have no idea.”
Smith College gave a book award to junior Teresa Paterson for her academics and leadership. Paterson, who received “Smith Voices,” a collection of works by Smith alumnae, was also not expecting the award.
“I don’t think anyone knew why we were called to the office,” Paterson said. “Everyone was joking that we were going to be told we had been accepted into Hogwarts.”
Phillips said she is flattered by the award but still is not likely to apply to Bryn Mawr.
“I am definitely not applying to Bryn Mawr, since it is an all-women’s college,” she said. “So the award didn’t really have an impact on my college decision, but I was very honored to receive it.”
But junior Chandini Jha, who received a book award from Dartmouth College, said she is now more interested in the school.
“It definitely changes my perspective of the school,” Jha said. “I wasn’t really thinking about applying, but it’s flattering to know they may be interested in me, so I’ll probably reconsider.”
The following juniors also received book awards: Lucy Chen, Melissa Kantor, Kevin Kay, Alex Luta, Cristina Richardson, Basil Smitham, Philip Spencer, Jeremy Steinberg, Jacob Taswell, Jonathan Tong and Sarah Zeichner.