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Adventures in Recruiting V: Solve for Why

 Written by    July 3, 2014

Alright rising high school seniors, this post is for you!

Solve for “y”!



I’ll give you a few minutes.

I feel like I’m still waiting on you to solve this problem!

Ok, so I don’t actually want you to solve for “y”, but for “Why”.

So what is why?

Why is why are you (as a rising high school senior) looking at a particular college?

Now is the time to start solving for “why” if you haven’t started the process already and the great part is that “why” can be simple at this point.

Why? Because I want a big school.


Why? Because my brother goes there.


Why? Because the school has my major.

The important part at this point is to really begin researching colleges. I don’t think it’s really necessary at this point to limit the search too much in terms of the number of colleges. A college’s website can be a great place to start getting information and I’m guessing that most colleges now offer virtual tours. And while virtual tours are a great option, particularly if you can’t easily get to a campus, I promise you that nothing will beat an actual campus visit.

Through research and visits hopefully “Why” will start to become a little more defined.

Why? I will have opportunities to do research as an undergraduate.

Why? There’s a club or team I can join.

Why? I can go anywhere in the world.


The important part through the process is that while “Why” might become more complex, this will help you narrow down the number of schools that you are looking at as candidates to attend. Starting August 1st Ohio State’s and many other school’s application(s) will be available.

My personal opinion on applying to schools is that you should narrow your list to 4-8 schools to submit an application. Of course some students like to have a few more options.


4-8 schools will allow you to have a safe bet in the mix along with schools that might be a bit more of a reach for admission.

I’ll also add that you shouldn’t necessarily cut schools because of cost at this point. That’s not to say I think you should apply to the most expensive schools out there, but if a school is a stretch financially don’t be afraid to submit an application. Later in the process “Why” could become a “Why Not” due to finances, but for many students, due to financial aid, the sticker price for a school is not the price the student ends up paying.

Solving for “Why” is going to be different for every student. I can tell you what Ohio State has to offer for students and why I think it could be a good fit for you as a student. At the end of the day though, it’s you the student, who should take ownership of the process. It’s your education.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to press issues and seek clarification. I, and other Admission Officers, are here as resources to help you find a school that is a good fit.

I think Ohio State is a great fit for a lot of students and I’ll do what I can to help a student solve for “Why”, but take ownership of the process.

“Why” typically becomes more complex as the process moves on and admission decision letters start rolling in. This is because the choice goes from “Magical Unicorn Land” to reality. (And just so you know, “Magical Unicorn Land” is what I call decisions and choices in life that don’t exist yet in reality. Things move from “Magical Unicorn Land” to reality all of the time, but until something makes that shift, it might as well exist in a make-believe world.)

Artist's Rendering of "Magical Unicorn Land"

Artist’s Rendering of “Magical Unicorn Land”

Hopefully though “Why” will become more clear for you as the process moves along.

College applications for the autumn 2015 school year will be available in less than a month.

This is my challenge for you:

Solve for “Why”.


Academics, Author, Research, Student Life, Study Abroad, Why Ohio State?

One Response

  1. Alfonso says:

    There’s definately a lot to find out about this
    topic. I really like all the points you’ve made.

Comments are closed.