Admissions Beat, a new podcast series by Lee Coffin from Dartmouth College

At a time when college applications are rising sharply and the most selective colleges are more competitive than ever, there's a lot of news—and noise—about college admissions. But how much of the chatter is accurate? And how much is just fear-mongering or gossip? For straight talk from experts, turn into our new series, Admissions Beat. Each week, Lee Coffin, Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Dartmouth College, will consider some of the top admissions headlines and hot topics from the national admissions news beat. A roundtable of experts will offer conversation and advice before answering listener questions. Subscribers to our last series, The Search, a two-season primer on applying to college, will want to return for this newsy sequel. And if you're new to all of these lively and useful conversations, welcome aboard!

S1: EPISODE 6

Decoding Transcripts and School Profiles

Lee Coffin reunites panelists from a College Board colloquium to discuss the interdependence of transcripts and school profiles. Detailed descriptions of the high schools from which applications flow allow admissions readers to put transcripts in context, with an understanding that not all students come to college with equal advantages or access to advanced high school courses and academic support. In the newsroom, Coffin and his producer, Charlotte Albright, clarify misleading news stories relating to international admissions. Coffin also responds to reports about a movement to change what is shown on transcripts, by adding narrative to numbers.   

Decoding Transcripts and School Profiles

A transcript of this episode is available.

S1: EPISODE 5

Expanding Access

More and more selective colleges are seeking ways to open their doors more widely to populations that used to find it difficult to be admitted, or to afford tuition. For example, Amherst College recently announced it would no longer give so-called "legacy" preference to applicants whose parents attended the school. Lee Coffin talks with Amherst's dean of admissions and financial aid, Matt McGann, about that and other initiatives that are removing barriers for students from many backgrounds and ethnicities.

Expanding Access

A transcript is available for this episode.

S1: EPISODE 4

The Common App

The Common Application, known as the Common App, started in 1975 as a paper form accepted by about a dozen institutions—mostly liberal arts colleges. The aim was to streamline the application process, thereby opening the doors of higher education to a larger, more diverse population. Today, over 900 colleges and universities across the globe accept the Common App, which, as it harnesses technology, continues to expand access for millions of students. Lee Coffin talks with Jenny Rickard, President and CEO of the organization, about changes in form and content that she hopes will make the college application process less daunting and more equitable.

The Common App

A transcript is available for this episode.

S1: EPISODE 3

So Many Questions

Wherever they go, college admissions deans and counselors are invariably grilled by parents eager to get their children into the top schools on their wish lists. Host Lee Coffin and his guest, Jennifer Simons, who advises families for Bright Horizons College Coach, address some of their most pressing and common concerns. And, as always, Coffin and producer Charlotte Albright will review admissions topics and trends making headlines.

So Many Questions

A transcript is available for this episode.

S1: EPISODE TWO

Once a Dean

Once an admissions officer, always an admissions officer. Even when deans of admission retire or take other jobs, they often remain committed to higher education, and their collective wisdom is valuable. In this episode, Lee Coffin talks with colleagues who, having left their former posts, speak candidly about pressing issues affecting applicants to college.

Once a Dean

A transcript is available for this episode.

S1: EPISODE ONE

What's Next?

It's been almost two years since COVID-19 upended the way colleges recruit and admit students. On most campuses, things are slowly returning to normal, but it's a new normal. Some virtual programming that expanded outreach is staying in place as admissions offices continue to grapple with changing realities. What does the future hold? In "What's Next," the inaugural episode of a new series, Admissions Beat, Lee Coffin and producer Charlotte Albright tackle hot topics in admissions news. Then Coffin and his guests, Emily Roper-Doten, dean of admission and financial aid at Olin College of Engineering, and Diane Scott, co-director of college placement at Boston's Academy of the Pacific Rim, look forward as they ponder the lessons of the pandemic.

What's Next

A transcript is available for this episode.