This week, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Eric Furda has partnered with The New York Times to answer questions from students and parents going through the college admissions process.
As part of the Times’ The Choice — a blog about college admissions and financial aid — the forum provides an opportunity for Furda to offer his advice on admissions.
Every week in the blog’s “Guidance Office” section, readers ask questions to admissions officers, guidance counselors and other experts on the process.
According to Furda, questions are first filtered by Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and his staff.
So far, question topics have ranged from early-decision programs and the application process to educational financing and standardized testing scores.
In answering the questions, Furda said he hopes to “get at the larger themes … so it is helpful to a larger audience.”
Although many of the questions are Penn-focused, Furda extends his answers to general admissions.
“As much as possible, it is an enlightening view on the admissions process,” he said of the blog. “I take a question that is pointed towards Penn, answer it and then broaden it.”
Furda also noted that there is dialogue between readers on the site, and that the “readership is answering questions from other bloggers.”
Furda was first asked to join the blog last spring when he visited with Steinberg in New York City.
This is not Furda’s first blog, however — last year, he participated in an online chat with prospective students with The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Inquirer blog, Furda said, was “in the moment,” whereas the Times blog provides an opportunity “to be reflective about the questions and respect the medium in terms of length of response.”
Max Levy, a freshman in the College, said the blog helps make Penn’s admissions process seem more accessible to prospective students.
“By answering questions that can be posted online in a relaxed and informal environment, Dean Furda makes himself more available to those prospective students that don’t have a chance to visit Penn,” he said.
A high school senior who is considering applying to Penn, said she liked the blog, and that it was an informative look into the admission process — a process in which she is actively involved.
“I particularly liked the question about SAT scores,” she said. “The question applies to me, and I liked that Furda said that scores aren’t as important as grades and class work.”
She added that she appreciated the choice of media, as it is an “inside look” into the admissions process.
The blog will continue through Friday, and readers can still submit questions on the web site.Comments powered by Disqus
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