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May 7, 2001

College application workshop goes 'Beyond the Basics'

By Michael Terrazas


Emory parents of high-school-age children should take note of “Beyond the Basics,” a two-day workshop to be held June 22 and 23 that aims to inform participants of everything they would ever need to know about the college admissions process.

Sponsored by the Emory and Oxford offices of admission and the Association of Emory Alumni, this third edition of the biennial program will cover everything from what high school courses and extracurricular activities look best on a college application to matching up college choices with qualifications, to scholarships and financial aid.

Though the workshop focuses on legatees—children or relatives of Emory alumni—it is open to all University faculty and staff.

Leading the workshop will be not only Emory admissions staff but also Daniel Alig, college counselor and English teacher at St. John’s School in Houston; Garreth Johnson, associate vice president for admission at Tulane University in New Orleans; Shannon Pinson, director of college counseling at Atlanta’s Lovett School; and Greg Roberts, associate director of admissions at Georgetown University in Washington.

“We have a very good faculty,” said Emory Dean of Admis-sion Dan Walls, who will be joined in the program by colleagues Julia Perreault, director of financial aid, and Jennie Taylor, associate dean for admission and financial aid at Oxford.

“There’s a lot of one-on-one attention—in between sessions, over lunch, there’s a lot of opportunity to sit down with a member of the faculty and ask questions, and that’s something a lot of larger programs don’t offer, that personal approach,” Walls said.

Building on that aspect, this year the program will for the first time encourage participants to stay overnight in the Woodruff Residential Center, where workshop faculty will also be staying.
Walls said it gives people the feel of what it means to stay in a college residence hall, 2001-style.

“Previously, we’ve had people stay in local hotels, but we wanted to offer them a real, college- residential living experience,” he said.

Lynna Williams, associate professor and director of the creative writing program, will speak at the welcoming dinner, on Friday, June 22.

Another popular aspect, Walls added, is a mock admissions exercise at the end of the workshop. Participants are broken up into admissions committees, each led by a faculty member, and shown actual Emory application packages (names excluded, of course). Their job is to decide which applicants are admitted, which are put on a waiting list, and which are denied.

“That’s a really good way to culminate the program, because they get to see what it’s like to look at really good applications, make tough decisions and get a feel for how the different parts of the application are evaluated,” Walls said.

And just because the workshop is being held at and sponsored by Emory, it will not concentrate simply on the application procedures and guidelines of its host institution. Walls said the program will teach parents and high schoolers how to apply to any selective college or university. Still, many of those in attendance will likely apply to Emory, so there will be some school-specific information, such as the ins and outs of the University’s Courtesy Scholarship program for children of employees.

Registration for “Beyond the Basics” is $60 for each attendee, plus $20 per person for those electing to stay overnight in the Woodruff Residential Center. More information and a registration are available at, and anyone with questions may contact Adam Max, assistant dean of admission, at 404-727-0172 or via e-mail at

Back to Emory Report May 7, 2001