Stop biting those nails!

Your wait has come to an end. After 3 months of reading, filing and processing paperwork, we have made our decisions!!! At 2:14 PM PST March 26 we mailed our letters.

Regardless of the decision you will be receiving in the next few days, you should be proud of yourselves! Since we are so small we are only able to admit 822 applicants and since we had 4079 applicants these were very difficult decisions. This puts us at a 20% accept rate and believe me we wanted to admit more than 20% of you.

Before you get too wrapped up in the emotional roller coaster the maelstrom of admission letters causes, make sure to thank the people that made this possible. First thank your high school counselor. Whether or not you got into your first choice school, your counselors work pretty darn hard to get you accepted. They work late nights, over their December holiday vacation and send our more copies of your transcript than you could even imagine! So no matter what news you get put on a smile, go to your counselor, give them a big hug and thank them for all their hard work.

Next go to all those teachers that wrote those letters of recommendation. They are often the most neglected in this cycle. They want to share in your joy as well. So tell them where you were accepted and where you were denied and let them share in this emotional time. And don’t forget to give them a big thank you.

The one that many other people forget is your parents. I know most of you are rolling your eyes about that comment, but whether your parents were not involved in the process, were helicopter parents or gave you just the right amount of help, you must remember you wouldn’t be the person you are today if it wasn’t for them. So put the months of bickering aside and thank them for the help they gave you with your application. Don’t forget, the day when they will be dropping you off at your new dorm room is right around the corner, and they will be the ones heading back to an empty nest.

So to everyone who reads this blog, I send you my congratulations or my sympathy and hope you can mange to wait another few more days for that envelope (So please please PLEASE don’t call us yet.)

That aside, here are some pictures of our process.

group committee
All of us in committee.
angel committee2
Angel in committee.
And signing all those letters.
Jasmin and Constance stuffing envelopes.
The tray of letters (believe me, this is only a fraction).
Cecil envelope
Here is what the outside of the acceptance envelope looks like. Cecil is happy to get his.
This is what the inside looks like.
Here is Alex looking happy, as always, stuffing those envelopes.

We have a tradition here at Pitzer. Every year Arnaldo and Angel loads his car up with acceptance letters and takes it to the post office.

Arnaldo on his way to load up his car.
Ahhh all the letters lined up.
Angel loading up the car.
Arnaldo loading up the car.
And now your favorite counselor modeling with the acceptance letters.
Wow what a packed car.
And off they go!
Angel at the Claremont Post Office loading dock.
So long, farewell auf wiedersehen goodbye…acceptance letter.

By the way, we have started the Official Class of 2013 facebook page. So once you get your acceptance letters come check us out on facebook, ask any questions you might have, and get to know the other students who were accepted to the Pitzer class of 2013.


Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

Reading Time

Hi everyone. I know it has been ages, but I had no idea what reading season actually entails and I have been busy. Allow me to fill you in. After we receive your wonderful applications and spend weeks on end putting them together, see previous pictures of piles of mail taller than I am, the Admission Counselors are finally ready to read. During reading season the admission counselors work from home, YAY!

At this point I must digress, and give a big thank you to our wonderful processing staff. While the counselors take off to read files, they are still here tackling those piles of credentials.

Now don’t get too jealous, just because I get to work from home doesn’t mean that life is easy. I have to read 135 files a week. That is a lot of reading. I must say, I have really enjoyed some of your essays. My name has even come up in a few of your supplements and it cheers me up every time.

To let you know, we do read everything in your application and we have a holistic approach to admission, so we have no formulas and every part of your application is considered. In fact, just to make sure you get your fair day in court, all the applications get read twice.

Then, every Thursday, our staff gets together and has a mini committee. This is where the two readers present your application and we make a final decision as a group.

As you can tell, I don’t have as much to write about these days. So to keep the blog lively, I am going to have some of our Admission Fellows write entries. For those of you who haven’t met the Admission Fellows, they are Seniors who conduct interviews, and information sessions and attend college fairs. Since this is their last semester of college, I figure I would allow them to tell you what is going on around campus and maybe share some of that knowledge they have gained over the last 4 years. You can check out their bios on our website/

Congratulations on reaching your final semester of high school. Enjoy it, but not too much, we do still look at those last semester grades 🙂

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy

We love you all, but please don’t call

Happy New Year everyone!!!!! Welcome to 2009.

This means that all of your applications should be complete. We do know that a lot of people were having trouble with the common application, so we have decided to extend the deadline to Sunday, January 10th, at midnight PST. So if you haven’t finished that app, don’t despair, get working on it double time.

Now onto the title.

I know this is a stressful time of the year and you all want to know if we have received all of your application materials, but with how much mail we get, we won’t be able to check to see if we have received everything for at least two weeks. We were out of the office from December 24th through January 2nd. This means that we had 8 days worth of mail waiting for us upon our return. Take a look at how much mail that was for last Friday.

DSCN1716Here is Justin’s first trip to the mail room. It only took about 3-4 trips that morning.

DSCN1718Then the mail just starts to pile up.

DSCN1722And Cecil gets in the way making life more challenging.

DSCN1723So understand that we can’t possibly go through all that mail in one day. I mean even Arnaldo, Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid was in the back with a letter opener and date stamp.

DSCN1719He did an excellent job!

DSCN1724 DSCN1728

DSCN1726We were all working hard, even Cecil helped out.

Don’t forget even more mail came in during the afternoon.

DSCN1733After all the mail is opened it has to be alphabetized and entered into our computer system so that we can match it to your file.DSCN1736 DSCN1734The stack of credentials is huge!

DSCN1738So on behalf of myself and most other college admission counselors I know, please hold off on checking your application status for two weeks. If your teacher recommendations or school profile are running a little late, we aren’t going to blame you for that. As long as you have sent us your common app and supplement you don’t need to worry.

I also wanted to point out that the only city with available interview slots for January is Seattle, so if you want to be put on the waiting list for Emeryville, Santa Clara, Portland, DC or Chicago give us a call, but don’t be surprised if the list is long.

Now that the applications are due and we as counselors are no longer traveling, it is time to play the final round of where in the world is Cecil the Sagehen. This is the most difficult picture yet, so if you can get this perfectly I will automatically send you a Cecil. Be very specific. To be honest Cecil is actually not in this picture. He wouldn’t fit in my luggage, so we are really playing where in the world is Danny the Admission Counselor, but the principle is the same. (I was going to photoshop him in, but respect you guys too much to cheat.)

DSCN1672If no one gets it by Wednesday I will post a follow up picture, but it won’t be much easier.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor

Danny Leaps for joy


Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Time for random trivia about Danny! [I am still hijacking this blog and I am not sure that the following is really trivia. This is more of a random fact about Danny- JV] I am a big fan of Skiing and Snowboarding and there is finally snow on Mt Baldy. Baldy is the closest mountain to Pitzer’s campus, about a 20 minute drive to the peak. It is the pretty mountain you can see in the background on many Pitzer pictures. Don’t believe me? Check that road piece you got from us at a school visit or college fair.
Check it out. This picture, although low quality and taken under poor lighting conditions, was snapped from the walkway of our new residence halls.


Where else can you have 80 degree weather most of the year and still step outside and see snow for a few months? (P.S. Fri Morning it is still brisk, but the sun is out)

You can tell some students got excited about the snow because this is a sight you don’t usually see on campus.


Now if you replaced the sleds with surfboards, it is nothing new. See this is one of the many reasons that SO Cal is the best place to live. (haha take that NOR Cal)[Wow, a throwdown! –JV]
Well snow aside, let’s get back to the admission office.
Regular decision files are already piling up. We even started to read some of the complete ones. Notice the stacks and how mine is the biggest.
Go AZ, UT, NV, MI, FL, TX, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley and Inland Empire students! Way to get your files in early. [The stack two over to the left is my pile. Do we need to talk about my students here? PA, MD, DC, VA, GA, TN, OR, and Santa Barbara I am a bit disappointed. I appreciate that you are trying to keep my work load low near the holidays, but still, I need you to represent. I want the top 5 out of California states to be mine this coming year. Help me out! If I do, Danny will take me to lunch. –JV]
Besides the daunting piles of mail coming in everyday, life has been moving at a slightly slower pace. Early decision letters are in the mail, so they should be arriving soon. (And no, that does not mean you should call us to ask if you got in. I know it is exciting, but you will find out soon enough) In fact, I have a little surprise for you. We got done a little ahead of schedule, so the letters were mailed out on Wed. SURPRISE!
We have also finished conducting interviews and there are very few tours coming in, so the office is quiet and we are mainly putting your applications together and reading files. It is a little lonely because most student workers have time off to study for finals.
I just have to say. I LOVE OUR STUDENT WORKERS!! [Me too! –JV]
I though you would enjoy finding out about a new competition going on in my office. Apparently my digs have become the hot new place to study for finals and some of our student workers have been competing for its use. This is great because I came in after a long weekend of reading to find this amazing note, which cheered me up to no end.
Jenna's Note
Here is a picture of Jenna for reference. [Jenna is also one of the Overnight Coordinators. Ask her sometime about her work at a cult. She’ll have some great stories for you. –JV]
Jenna Picture
Then the next day I came in and found this note. (and cookies)
Emma's Note
In case you haven’t met Emma, she is one of our Admission Fellows and you can find her picture online. [I should have a pithy comment about Emma here, but I can’t think of one. –JV]
The next morning, Ben was feeling slightly jealous and wrote me this.
ben's note
Everyone say hi to Ben. [Nice picture Ben. Ben is one of the Overnight Coordinators that I supervise. –JV]
To top it all off this morning, Thrusday, I came across 2 notes!
Ben's note 2
[Ben gets a bonus point for a “Dark Knight” reference. –JV]
And finally,
Emma's note 2
So I officially declare Emma the winner of the annual random notes in Danny’s office competition.

[Student workers, we need to talk too. What is wrong with my office? It is colorful. It has an iPod dock. There is a cool poster from a Ryan Adams concert last year here in Claremont. I’ve got a lovely view of the parking lot. Don’t forget who hired you. –JV]

While we are on the topic of competition, let’s play another game of Where in the World is Cecil the Sagehen. Where is Cecil this week? (be very specific. Very Very specific).

Cecil and Mural
There may be one last post before I am off for the Holidays, so if you don’t hear from me before then. Have a happy holiday season.

Posted by Danny Irving, Admission Counselor
Danny Leaps for joy