By Barbara Connolly | The Oakland Press | Published October 18, 2021
Many students in Michigan and around the world are eager to attend the University of Michigan. Who can blame them? U-M was ranked the top U.S public university by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education in their 2021 U.S. college rankings.
WalletHub ranked Ann Arbor the No. 1 college city in the U.S. for 2021. What a powerful combination — the No. 1 public university located in the No. 1 best college city in the United States! At the beginning of every school year, high school seniors have questions about how to gain admission to the U-M. Here are seven questions that are often asked, with answers provided by Rick Fitzgerald, a University of Michigan spokesman.
Q: Are in-person information sessions and campus tours offered now?
A: Visiting campus is a great way to get a feel for the University of Michigan’s distinct culture, speak with students and faculty and learn about the university’s world-class academics. U-M is offering 75-minute walking tours of the Central Campus neighborhood led by a current U-M student tour guide. All in-person visits are by appointment only and require registration at admissions.umich.edu. Parties cannot exceed three total people from the same household and should maintain at least six feet of distance from others. Masks are currently required to enter all U-M campus buildings.
Q: Are the deadlines the same for LSA, U-M Engineering, Ross BBA, or STAMPS School of Art & Design?
A: Yes. The university’s early action deadline for first-year students is Nov. 1, and the regular action deadline is Feb. 1. The only school or college that deviates from this timeline is the School of Music, Theatre & Dance which has a regular action deadline of Dec. 1.
Q: Does U of M “superscore” the ACT and SAT?
A: “Superscore” is a technical term that involves using the student’s best sub-scores to recalculate a student’s composite test score. The University of Michigan does not technically “superscore.” The university uses the highest “composite score” from any one test date regardless of whether it is the most recent test taken.
Importantly, however, as part of its holistic review process, U-M is able to consider all of an applicant’s sub-scores from every test sitting. For this reason, the University of Michigan encourages students to submit all of their test scores when applying. Evaluators use test results to make an applicant as competitive as possible, and students are not penalized for submitting lower scores.
Q: What is the median high school GPA of admitted U of M students?
A: The median high school unweighted GPA of first-year students admitted for this fall is 3.90.
Q: When can I expect a response to my early action application, or my regular decision application?
A: For the upcoming admissions cycle, students who submit early action applications are guaranteed a response by late January. Students who submit a regular decision application will receive a response by early April.
Q: What should I do if I am having trouble getting a teacher recommendation because COVID has made my teachers less accessible to me?
A: Given the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that student-teacher relationships may have been impacted, making it more difficult for students to acquire teacher recommendations. We still encourage students to submit a letter of recommendation from a core academic teacher (math, English, science, social science, or foreign language), preferably one who instructed the student within the prior 12 months. However, the teacher recommendation may come from someone other than a teacher who can speak directly to the student’s academic aptitude, potential, and performance in the classroom. This might include a community-based organization educator or academic support program professional. It may not come from a parent, guardian, or other relative.
Q: Does U of M compare students from the same school and limit the number of students who can be admitted from a single school?
A: No. Each application receives a comprehensive, holistic, individualized review that gives the most consideration to a student’s grades, curriculum, and standardized test scores. Evaluators also consider the applicant’s educational environment, extracurricular achievements, special skills and talents, the quality of their essays, and their school report and teacher evaluation before a decision is made.
Students often feel vexed about how to apply to college. They wonder how colleges evaluate their applications. This straightforward information should diffuse some of the confusion about how it all works at one of the world’s top universities, the University of Michigan.
Barbara Connolly, JD, is the founder and director of Birmingham-based College Choice Counseling, and a Certified Educational Planner. She can be reached at email@example.com. Her new book, “College Admission Success: Getting Into College Under Any Circumstances,” is available at Amazon. Her recent TEDx talk, “How College Obsession Can Be a Force for Good,” is on YouTube.