You Love Ramah, Now Say it on Your College Apps! Presented by Amy K. Rotenberg President, Rotenberg Associates, Inc.

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1 You Love Ramah, Now Say it on Your College Apps! Presented by Amy K. Rotenberg President, Rotenberg Associates, Inc. November 7, 2013

2 Welcome & Agenda Introduction Why this webinar? Scope of presentation Information on the admission process Application Essays Interview But Remember: Differences between large public v. private colleges Importance of college counseling

3 What s the Secret Sauce for College Admissions? The big secret in college admissions is that there is no big secret. Fred Hargadon, former dean of admission, Princeton, Stanford, Swarthmore Colleges want applicants who are authentic, authentic, authentic! passionate about their interests capable of handling their workload and will be successful at their institution fit well with the institution s particular priorities and mission Overwhelmingly students end up where they belong

4 Quantitative v. Comprehensive Application Review Large Public Universities: Most take a quantitative approach focusing on specific criteria like scores and grades. Smaller Private Universities: Most take a holistic approach, considering extracurriculars, special talents, non-academic interests, special circumstances and experiences Many variations in between Applicants: Use all aspects of the application process to authentically and effectively present the unique story of your life! Focus on why the school is a potentially good fit for you, then just present yourself authentically so that you are a good fit for them too!

5 Colleges look for students that show: Merit and Skills -- in the context of the total applicant pool and in light of the colleges own institutional priorities Academic success Intellectual curiosity and deep thinking Mastery of areas of personal interest both in and outside the classroom Will you fill a need on campus in the orchestra, on the tennis team, in a dance troupe? Leadership Have you taken your core interests to the next level? Have you sought out opportunities to break out of the pack? Strong character How has this been demonstrated in you experiences and what does it predict about your future? Potential to be good community/campus citizens Will you be a good roommate for somebody? Will you contribute positively to campus life?

6 Ramah is all about Skills, Leadership, Character and Community -- Now let s effectively communicate that on your Apps!

7 Include the Camp Ramah Story Our children are privileged to spend 8 weeks each summer in the Ramah community engaged in learning, skills enhancement, leadership development and community. The Ramah experience plays a very significant role in shaping and developing our children into tomorrow s leaders Ramah is far more than just summer camp Many of your Camp Ramah experiences (including Ramah Israel seminar experiences) could be rich material for your personal essay, a short essay response, or a discussion point in an interview How we communicate the Ramah experience on college applications matters, and can make a difference. Ex. College applications may ask, what did you do the past (3) summers? The answer should not simply be I went to summer camp.

8 College Admissions Basics: The Application Common Application v. College s own unique form For Common App has 5 options for the personal essay; no longer has catch-all option (more on this later) Be complete, accurate and submit on time Respond fully to every question. Answer all optional questions. Provide all requested academic information Provide extracurricular info including number of hours per week, honors, positions held.

9 College Admissions Basics: The Essays Every question is designed to find out who you are and why you do the things you do. Take every question seriously and make the most of it. Use your own, genuine voice beware of packaging. When you include Ramah experiences, be sure to distinguish your Camp Ramah experience from the stereotypical summer camp as portrayed on the big screen. [food fights, cabin raids, etc.] Avoid camp lingo and acronyms --- describe in plain English (or transliterated Hebrew!) what you did at camp and why, and what you got out of it.

10 The Essays, cont. The Common App Essay Options: New for : 5 options No more catch-all option Choose a topic that shows your best, authentic self. Keep it specific, include details and self-reflection this is your chance to show the admissions committee who you are! The what did you do last summer(s) question: Example: I wrote, produced and acted in an original One Act Play that was performed before [400] adults and teens within the Camp Ramah community in Conover, WI I went to summer camp The supplemental essay or personal statement Like the common app essay, demonstrate you have what the colleges are looking for: skills, leadership, character and sense of community

11 College Admissions Basics: The Interview If an interview is offered, even if optional take it! Don t be nervous its just a chance for the admissions officer or alumni representative to get to know you better. It gives a glimpse of you as a real person, not just a package of grades and scores Be yourself, be genuine Prepare for the interview by thinking about who you are and what you want. Be prepared with good, specific questions about that particular college (do your homework!) Etiquette (for you and your parents!) Be on time Dress appropriately Student take the lead; parents step back The Questions: Most interview questions will focus on Why interviewers are interested in what motivates students Generally, the smaller and more selective the college, the more important the interview

12 Remember Colleges are looking for: Merit and Skills -- in the context of the total applicant pool and in light of the colleges own institutional priorities Academic success Intellectual curiosity and deep thinking Mastery of areas of unique interest both in and outside the classroom Will you fill a need on campus in the orchestra, on the tennis team, in a dance troupe? Leadership Have you taken your core interests to the next level? Have you sought out opportunities to break out of the pack? Strong character How has this been demonstrated by your experiences andwhat does it predict about your future? Potential to be good community/campus citizens Will you be a good roommate for somebody? Contribute to campus life? NOW LET S TALK RAMAH!!

13 Skills Hebrew Language Hebrew language village Kikar dancing Israeli film class Israeli culture and history Hebrew radio broadcasting Focus on speaking, reading signs,newspapers, stories, playing games, singing songs, stories, performing plays

14 Nivo English Play Skills Theater and Performing Arts Emphasizes equal parts writing, thinking and acting Campers discuss a theme, take days to discover what to present, explore message and storyline, engage in writing prompts, workshop each other s scenes, work to tie scenes together, match story with the theme.

15 Skills Radio Broadcasting (Machon intensive/nivo internship) Radio broadcasting at Ramah provides interesting combination of music, current events, journalism, broadcasting and public speaking. And Hebrew!! Learn technical aspects of radio broadcasting Review and compile world news Announce the news Prepare and conduct interviews in English Prepare song lists to stream live within 5-mile area and on internet Announce songs in Hebrew Interns supervise and instruct younger campers

16 Skills Staging Hebrew Broadway Musicals Produce, choreograph, stage, rehearse, and perform an American Broadway musical ENTIRELY in Hebrew, for 600- person Ramah community

17 Learning and Depth of Thinking Our campers learn from visiting American and Israeli scholars, rabbis and teachers, as well as resident professional educators virtually every day for two solid months Ramah counselors and specialty staff attend some of the finest universities in the U.S. Biblical texts Torah reading Jewish ethics Current events *think about a meaningful issue you discussed, and include it in your interview!

18 Leadership Opportunities Throughout the Ramah experience, you have an opportunity to play different roles to be a leader (everyone gets this chance, whether on the sport court, in a performance, a class, a cabin activity or during tefilah) and to be a follower. Reflect on this.

19 Character Building Chaverim Program Tikvah Lunch Theater Tikvah Arts Festival Tfilah Machon Trip

20 Community Socialization The Zimriya, Rikudiya, Aidah Hebrew musicals and other fun camp activities are rich material for sharing your involvements in, and appreciation of, a caring community of peers and adults. Share this with admissions officers!

21 Character/Community Athletics Builds sportsmanship Builds esprit de corps within age division and by gender

22 Community Socialization (and Skills!) Camping and outdoor survival Hiking Camping Outdoor cooking Survival skills Team Building

23 To sum it up.. You have devoted a significant part of your life to Camp Ramah. You ve had more fun than you can quantify, made lifelong friends, enhanced your Jewish identity and commitment to Israel, and become the future leaders of the Jewish Community. But you have also engaged in serious learning and intellectual development, mastered skills in the arts, sports, camping, and Hebrew language, just to name a few! You ve embraced opportunities for leadership, and participated in vibrant community building. You have emerged as fine young men and women of outstanding character, ethics and values. NOW SHARE THAT ON YOUR COLLEGE APPS, AND BEST WISHES FOR YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS!

24 QUESTIONS?

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