Jan. 31, 2008
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW coaches to help high school juniors and seniors
COLUMBUS, Miss. – In many parts of the United States
paying big bucks for “college coaches” to help their
children stand out on their college applications,
according to Dr. Sandra Jordan, provost and vice
president for academic affairs at Mississippi
University for Women.
However, similar information will be shared for free
with some of the region’s best and brightest
students at a workshop titled College Aspirations on
Thursday, Feb. 7.
Dr. Eric Daffron, director of the Ina E. Gordy
Honors College, said, 25
high school juniors and seniors with at least a 24
on the ACT have been
invited to MUW to participate in an all afternoon
workshop on writing a
college application essay and on interviewing
“This workshop will give students invaluable advice
on the college application process,” he said.
The workshop will begin with pointers on
interviewing skills from Dr. Martin Hatton,
associate professor of communication at MUW.
Following his presentation, participants will have
the opportunity to sit on a mock interview and get
immediate feedback from faculty members who
regularly interview students for scholarships.
Later that afternoon, Emma Richardson, English
instructor at the Mississippi School for Mathematics
and Science, will offer advice on how
to write a college application essay. After her
presentation, students will write an essay, and a
couple of weeks after the workshop, receive
personalized feedback on the essay.
The juniors and seniors will be treated to dinner
and be special guests at a lecture given by Arun
Gandhi, grandson of the famous peace crusader.
Gandhi’s lecture is part of the Honors Forum of the
Ina E. Gordy Honors College.
Jordan said, “This workshop is designed to help
students who are preparing a college essay or
preparing for the college interview for some of the
more competitive colleges and scholarships. College
application or scholarship essays and interviews
present students with the perfect opportunity to
showcase not only their communication skills, but
also their character and critical thinking skills.
For highly ranked universities, the effectiveness,
or lack thereof, of the student’s essay or interview
can make the difference between an acceptance and a
She added for students competing for top
scholarships, the essay and
interview are critical.
With a limited number of spaces on college campuses,
schools have to be
more selective than ever, according to an article in
the Jan. 17, 2007,
edition of The Times/Tribune in Scranton, Pa. A
record high 3.3 million
high school students are graduating this spring and
the country are receiving a record number of
applicants, the article stated.
As the result of increased competition, parents are
buying into the concept of hiring professional
According to the Independent Educational Consultants
percent of first-year students at private
colleges—perhaps as many as
58,000 kids-- had worked with some kind of
consultant noted a story in
the Oct. 22, 2007, edition of Business Week.
Michele A. Hernandez, who is described “as one of
the industry’s most visible practitioners,” in the
Business Week article charges as much as $40,000 and
boasts that 95 percent of her teenage clients are
accepted by their first-choice school.
MUW has been ranked a top Southern public master’s
university by U.S.News & World Report for the fourth
year in a row. MUW’s quality of
education has consistently been reflected in other
national rankings, including being named No. 8 of
the top 50 best values for public colleges and
universities in the June 2007 edition of Consumers
Digest magazine and 54 of the 100 best values in
public colleges across America by Kiplinger’s
Personal Finance magazine.