Southern Methodist University

Courtney Skerritt, The Hockaday School

Courtney Skerritt is committed to single sex education. She attended a women's college, an all-girls summer camp for ten years, and today is Associate Director of College Counseling at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas, the largest independent girls' school in the country. 

"There is something special about girls' schools that is hard to put into words, but when you walk across the campus you can see it and feel it. I see an inspiration in them. They've been given the okay to believe in whatever they want to believe in and from that comes an amazing confidence. It's not for every girl, not for every student," says Skerritt. "But what I hear from my students is how much they really appreciate the ability to focus on their academics. Our girls have an active social life and they're dedicated to their friendships but when they're here, they're here. "

Seniors: Beware the Biggest Interview Faux Pas

Admission officers say that, by far, the most frequent interview faux pas are wardrobe malfunctions— blouses that pop open, spaghetti strap tops that are too skimpy, flies that are unzipped, workout clothes that look like you just
worked out, makeup more suited to a nightclub, and way, way too much perfume for the girls and aftershave for the boys. At any college interview, students should dress like they are being taken to lunch by their grandparents. Or, as Rick Diaz, regional admission director at SMU, advises: If you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “I look really good,” then change your clothes. You should not look that good. It’s an appointment, not a date. You should dress conservatively and look presentable, not “hot.”
For more information about interviews, including interview etiquette, online interviews, and questions students may want to ask, see Chapter 11, "College Interviews," in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.

SMU Joins the Gourmet Guide

If you're headed to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, we've got some treats in store for you, thanks to these recommendations from Regional Director of Admissions Rick Diaz and the SMU Admissions office. From breakfast tacos to Blue Bell Ice Cream sandwiches, the great state of Texas is well represented -- BBQ, burgers, Tex Mex and Gulf oysters.  Of course, there's also Italian, Latin, German and American fare to be had, as well. Personally, we're going for the frito chili pie or a Twisted Root burger… or maybe some Texas brisket chili (that means no beans, according to the admission office gourmands!). Take your pick among all their recommendations here.

Keith Todd, Admission Dean, Reed College, Answers 8 Questions

Founded in 1908, Reed College is a liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon, known for its rich intellectual life.  Dean of Admission Keith Todd joins us this month to answer not five -- but eight questions -- in the generous spirit of inquiry that exemplifies Reed College.

Located on 116 acres in a residential neighborhood, the Reed campus is just five miles from downtown Portland, and about 90 minutes from the Pacific coast.  Featuring a lake and Reed Canyon, a wooded wetland with abundant wildlife and native plants, the campus is home to 1400 students.

The quirky intellectualism Reed is known for is on full display even on their website, which reads like a series of droll literary vignettes -- with comic overtones. (Not to go too Reedie on you.) In fact, Reed has produced 31 Rhodes Scholars, as well as numerous winners of the Fulbright, Watson, and National Science Foundation fellowships. Classes average 15 students with a 10-to-1 student-faculty ratio. Reed offers 22 department-based majors (from Anthropology to Theater), 12 interdisciplinary majors (including History-literature or Mathematics-economics) and 6 dual degree programs (such as applied physics and electronic science).  And students can also work with their adviser to design alternate interdisciplinary majors.