The admissions and financial aids office this week for the first time began mailing a special newsletter to 10,000 high school guidance counselors aimed at bolstering their opinion of the College.
The five-page newsletter, which officials wrote this summer, is a response to a national decline in the ability of counselors to gauge an individual student's qualifications as an applicant, said Admissions Director William R. Fitzsimmons '67.
Budget cuts at the local level have increased counselors workloads, making it difficult for them to track students' progress and the admissions standards of competitive schools like Harvard, he added.
Fitzsimmonssaid that he "hopes [the newsletter] will improve our image" with counselors because they have a great impact on the quantity and number of applicants of the college.
The admissions office normally sends a brochure and sample application to high schools on its mailing list at the beginning of each academic year, said L.Fred Jewett '57, dean of admissions and financial aid said yesterday. Officials "felt that it was useful to try to address counselors on issues and concerns" that affect them as "part of a general attempt at bettering" Harvard's reputation. Jewett added.
The newsletter tries to dispel misconceptions about Harvard, officials said, including the belief that only once person in each high school class can get in as well as only the rich.
Admissions intern Lisa M Quiroz '83, for merly a minority student recruiter, says that high school counselors have often refused to see her. She recalled one man who "said no one could ever be admitted to Harvard from his outreach," When she went to the school and talked to students, quiroz found that several were "outstanding in ways which would get them in."
The five page newsletter includes sections on:
*profiling the class of 1987;
*describing the various financial aid options;
*recommending special high school programs for college-bound students;
*emphasizing the importance of detailed teacher and counselor recommendations.
*discussing early action versus regular action, and
*listing admissions officers and the regions they cover
The newsletter went out to high schools that during the past few years had requested an application brochure or sent Harvard one application, Fitzsimmons said.
Other Ivy League schools made no extra effort at reaching high schools. Brown Admissions Director James H. Rogers, said that his school decided against sending out extra material because "we were aware that a lot of other colleges were sending things out an we decided to let them do it"
Yale sent out its regular information bulletins and course catalogues to 3700 schools, from where three or more students had applies during the past five years, an official in the admissions office said yesterday