Oberlin Blogs

Our awesome future Obies

April 4, 2011

Leslie Braat

Decision letters were mailed one week ago. By now, all of our first-year applicants should have received their letters. For those who received happy news from us, Congratulations!!! I'm excited that you may become an Obie, Class of 2015 ☺ For those who received waitlist letters, check out Elizabeth's posts for some good info. And finally, for those who received unhappy, news - I'm sorry. There simply isn't enough space for all the interesting, talented students who apply to Oberlin every year.

As all the decision letters articulated, this was the most competitive year for admission to Oberlin's College of Arts and Sciences. We received over 6,100 applications - our 12th consecutive record-breaking year (as a side note, I joined Oberlin's admissions team 12 years ago...just sayin'). Our freshman class will be about 640 students and we're trying really hard not to over-enroll as we have in years past, so we were more selective this year.

But back to those interesting, talented students. All, of course, present strong academic credentials. We can and should be impressed by students who took 10+ AP courses and are the valedictorians of their classes. But that's not what makes them interesting. What makes members of this admitted class interesting is that they have:

•had artwork exhibited around London or displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC
•written the screenplay for an award-winning short film about a mobile medical/dental clinic in South Africa
•been a world yo-yo S2 division champion
•created a television show that is currently in development
•hiked, solo, the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile medieval pilgrimage route through France and Spain
•coordinated the Military History Project on Wikipedia
•founded Cycles for Soldiers, a group that sends bikes to soldiers in Iraq
•written a play that won the Young Playwrights Foundation prize
•the ability to recite over 800 digits of pi in under 3 minutes
•competed on the US National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team
•been a New York State delegate to the Borloug Dialogue, which is part of the World Food Prize Summit
•played semi-pro roller hockey and can juggle 7 balls (but not at the same time)
•won a scholarship to do climate change study in the Arctic
•served as a guest panelist at a conference on unilateral and mild bilateral hearing loss for pediatric audiologists
•won 2nd place in the 2007 American Birding Association's Young Birder of the Year and also had an article published on lesser black-backed gulls
•founded an organization that gets people to knit squares to be pieced together into blankets and then donates the blankets to Afghani children
•served as an Emergency Room assistant in South Africa
•co-authored a children's book on global warming
•helped re-introduce an endangered gazelle to the Republic of Georgia
•created a kids edible garden at the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens
•completed a summer internship on the prevalence of MRSA at playgrounds and presented a poster at an international conference
•conducted independent summer research on West African influences in New Orleans
•published drawings in medical textbooks
•invented "green gum," a biodegradable, non-stick chewing gum; this work resulted in winning the Ice Edge national science competition in 2007

Interesting is an understatement when talking about these students! Roget would also suggest exciting, fascinating, out-of-the-ordinary, remarkable...

I hope all of our admitted students will visit campus for All Roads Lead to Oberlin, or, for those who live in the New York City vicinity, I hope to see you on April 10 for our admitted students reception. (Admitted student receptions will also be hosted in many other cities across the US.) Our events are designed to provide you and your families with an opportunity to learn more about the things you really want to know about Oberlin. It's also a great way to meet other admitted students from your area as well as Oberlin alums, faculty, current students and parents. You can also join Oberlin 2015 on Facebook, a great place to meet your future classmates and get questions answered by current students.

You have a big decision ahead of you in deciding which college to call home for the next 4 years. Of course I'm hoping that you'll choose to be surrounded by our remarkably interesting Obies.

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