December 2009 Archives

Application Deadline Extended!!!!

Greetings from Olin!

Great news! We are extending the application deadline until Monday, January 4th!We realize that you are scrambling to complete all your college applications in time for the January 1st deadline, and we don't want this application to add stress to your New Years holiday. Plus, now that you have time to spare....

Play outside!

California Day

Take a nap!

And don't forget to submit your application and Olin Supplement through the Common App online by midnight on January 4th!

We realize that the remaining pieces of your application will continue to trickle into our office over the next week- and that's fine! It will probably be several days between when your mail is received in the mailroom and when it is opened. Please keep this in mind when you receive "missing items" emails from our office. We are working very hard to complete your application files, and taking time away to answer individual emails slows down the process. When your application is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from us. (likely next week, as we are auditing all the files before sending out the confirmation emails)

Good luck, and enjoy the New Years holiday!
The Olin College Admission Team (Charlie, Emily, Caitlin, Laura, Susie and Jessica)

I'm missing WHAT??!!??

Many of you received an email this week that informed you that you are missing one or more items that we need to complete your application file. Here is the rundown on each item, and some additional information that might help you.


Current Senior Grades

This means that we need to have something from your school with current grades. If you do not have grades from the first semester yet, please have your teachers estimate grades for you.


School Profile

This is a document from your school that gives us information on what your school offers. It is very important in order for us to put your school performance in context.


HS Transcript

This is probably the most important item! We need to know what grades you received in your classes. We cannot evaluate your application without this.


Additional Transcript (if applicable)

Please note the "if applicable". You need to submit this ONLY IF you have attended another high school or college AND the grades do not appear on your regular transcript. Most students will not need to submit this.


Secondary School Report-Guidance Counselor Recommendation

This item is vital! If you are quite sure your GC sent it in, please check with them that they included both a form AND a letter. We need both.


Math or Science Teacher Recommendation/Teacher of Choice Recommendation

Again, if you are sure that your teachers submitted this, please check with them that they included both a form AND a letter.


American College Test (ACT)

We need EITHER the ACT OR SAT. If you submitted your SAT Reasoning scores we don't need this.  However, if you think you have submitted your scores but we don't have them, please check with ACT.


Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

We need EITHER the ACT OR SAT. If you submitted your ACT scores we don't need this. However, if you think you have submitted your scores but we don't have them, please check with College Board.


Scholastic Aptitude Test - Math and Science Subject Test

We need the scores to these tests IN ADDITION to the SAT Reasoning OR ACT tests. If you haven't taken them yet please let us know so we can evaluate your application without them. The January 23rd test date is too late for submission. If you think you have submitted your scores but we don't have them, please check with College Board.


If you have any additional questions, please email and Caitlin, Laura or I will get back to you. Please note that we are currently on winter break. We will get back to you, but it might take a day or so. Please be patient with us, we are a small office.


Thank you!!!

Emily Moscol

Olin EXPO 2009!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending our annual end of the semester academic celebration known as the Olin Exposition. This year, faculty member Debbie Chachra and a committee of students and staff made some changes to the program. Instead of students presenting individually over two days, the event was condensed into one day and students could opt to present in groups. Parents, alumni, corporate partners, SCOPE sponsors and prospective students were invited to come and learn about our students' projects. I always learn so much at these events, and our students continue to inspire me with their creativity and technical talent! See pictures below, and read Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner's article about the event here.

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Welcome to Expo!

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Adam ('11) explains the design of his homemade snow maker

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Alyssa and Yiyang ('11s) discuss their Sustainable Design projects with Professor Jon Stolk

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Leah ('10) and Alex ('11), Sustainable Design

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Giulia ('10) explains her work in Quantum Computing

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Rob ('12) and Chris ('12) show off their interactive toy, which they hope to market and sell.

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I got to play tic tac toe using Daniel and Jacob's robot! (both class of 2012)

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The Wired Ensemble is a first-year first semester course where students compose original pieces and perform them. Pictured here are Andrew, Molly and Noah.

Olin Students and Project Presentations!

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I continue to be impressed by our students here at Olin.  Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend a portion of the AHS Capstone Extravaganza.  During this, seniors presented their final projects for their Arts, Humanities or Social Science courses.  The topics themselves and the variety of topics investigated were very interesting.   


Erik wrote an original musical with another member of the class of 2010 titled, "The Rise and Fall of the Blackbird Brewing Company."  Erik found that there is a real science to writing a story, and even more difficulty when writing a musical.  I think he has a point, do have friends who randomly break out into song and dance during an average day?! 


Katie showed off her video game design.  Katie has been busy this past semester writing a 30-page document detailing the three different races that make up the world Galaqua.  These three races are able to interact in specific ways based on skill levels and events that are occurring.  Katie had a lot of fun creating a "world guide" for Galaqua and figuring out the details of each character, the cities they inhabit and how magic in the world works.


Jonathan became interested in atheism and chose to study this topic for his senior capstone project.  Jonathan shared that this is not only the most under researched population, but also the least trusted group in society today.  Considering 35 million people state they have "no religion," this is a staggering statistic.  Jonathan researched whether being an atheist is similar to belonging to a religion, which he found to be true.  Jonathan also researched if being atheist is similar to issues seen in the gay rights movements.  Because of the social stigma attached to atheism, he also concluded validity in this statement.


Tim presented his research on community organizing.  He cited a book titled, "Radicals - A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals" written by Saul Alinsky.  The book delves into the idea of uniting and leveraging already existing power structures in a community to make events happen.  He drove home the importance of ensuring members of the community run the organization, rather political or professional organizers. 


Nikki spent the semester translating the works of Ana Maria Matute from Spanish into English.  It was clear from her presentation how much Nikki enjoyed the works of Ana Maria Matute.  While translating the short stories, Nikki had some trouble deciding if she should do a literal translation or if she should translate the story and then rewrite it in English to make it grammatically correct and understandable.  Nikki decided to do a combination of the two and focus on the reader's experience when reading the story.  She did not want to make the translation too polished and leave nothing for the reader to ponder. 


Amy studied typography and graphic design.  This interesting project is something she began during her study abroad experience in Scotland last year.  Amy was interested in the fact that many people simply read words for their understanding without taking into account the type base and the art of the type base.  She looked into the recent political campaigns with Obama, Clinton and McCain.  According to a research article Amy found, Obama used the type font Gotham, which represents Change and Novelty.  Clinton used New Baskerville which happens to be used in many papers, and represents credibility and tradition.  Finally, McCain opted for Optima, which is the same type font used on the Vietnam Memorial, and represents loyalty and patriotism.  For her final deliverable, Amy was able to make 6 different posters using type font and graphics to represent the meaning and needs of each organization or individual represented. 


I left the event feeling proud of our students, and excited about their projects.  Olin students love to learn, and that feeling was contagious during their presentations.  I am sure they are looking forward to the Winter Break, when they can rest up and come back for another great semester!  Happy Holidays!


I'm back!! I haven't written a blog in FOREVER, mostly because I was busy having a baby! Baby Moscol is the newest addition to the Olin Admission extended family, and she will probably be helping out with some mail processing and some reading this winter (she's very advanced for her age!).  I have to check on the child labor laws, but 3 months old doesn't seem too early to be able to file, right??? ;-P

Welcome to Admission Processing, our busiest time of the year! We have been getting a lot of your mail, and we expect more to come in the next couple of weeks. Don't forget, January 1 is our HARD deadline this year, and ALL of your recommendations and transcripts, etc. have to be in by that date. Last year we were more lenient, but this year we moved our deadline, so we can't wait around. We are going to be working over the holiday break to make sure that everything is processed in a timely manner so that we can start reading!!

Here are a few FAQ's:

Q: I am saving my materials until everything is together. They may or may not be complete by January 1. Is this OK?
A: You don't have to wait to send in everything at once. Send us your materials as they are available. We prefer to get things on time in drips rather than all together and late. In a perfect world scenario we would get things together and early, but that almost never happens!!

Q: I have an art project/Eagle Scout project/music performance DVD/really cool funky thing that I want you to see. How do I get it to Olin?
A: If you want to send us supplementary materials like artwork or a special project you may. Please keep these materials within reason. Something that can fit within a normal sized file folder is your best bet. We don't accept electronically sent attachments, because they could contain viruses. Please mail anything extra. Please keep in mind that additional materials are NOT required or expected!

Q: I have a third teacher/coach/music director/family friend letter of recommendation. The Common Application says you only accept two and they have to be from teachers. How can I send in this additional letter?
A: If you want to send additional letters of recommendation, that's fine, just print out the form and give it to your teacher to mail it in. Please keep in mind that additional recommendations are NOT required or expected!

Q: My friend applied last year and she told me she sent in her materials January 9th and it was OK. I'm planning on doing the same!
A: Because of our new deadline and compressed reading time, we are going to start reading applications on January 4th. If your materials aren't postmarked by January 1st, we might evaluate your application without them. This is likely not in your best interest.

Q: I didn't know about the December SAT. I'll take it in January and send you the scores then.
A: If you have missed the December SAT let us know so we don't wait for scores that won't arrive on time. The January test is too late for us to accept. All test scores need to come to us on an official score report from the College Board or ACT (and the December scores should arrive any day now).  If you haven't had your scores sent to us yet - contact the College Board or ACT as soon as possible and request that they be sent to Olin College; you may have to pay for a Rush Report.

Q: Do you take SAT or ACT "superscores" (combining your highest scores from each section of a standardized test)?
A: Yes, we do take your highest individual scores!  And yes, even on the ACT. If you choose to go the Score Choice route, that's fine. We'll evaluate whatever you send us.

Q: How the heck am I supposed to know what I am missing? Can't you just check for me?
A: We will be sending you emails with what you are missing soon. We are a very small office, so please be patient with us.

Q: My school is on a semester schedule. How do I send you grades I don't have yet?
A: If you are currently taking a class and won't have grades by January 1st, please have your teachers estimate a grade for you. Have your transcript sent to us with your official grades ASAP. We do not need a Mid-Year School Report!  As long as we have some kind of documentation of your academic performance in your senior year - by using your own first quarter/six weeks/trimester report card or some other document from your high school - that's all we're looking for.  Oh and be sure to send all of your transcripts to us, including those from any college courses you may have taken.

Q: Do I need to send an official AP score report?
A: We do not need official AP Scores since AP tests aren't required.  Just fill in the appropriate section on the Common Application and we're good to go.  If you'd like to send a photocopy of your AP scores from the College Board, that's perfectly fine.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email the office at Laura, Caitlin or I will get back to you.

Thanks, and good luck!!

Emily Moscol

Asst. Director of Admission, Olin College, Needham, MA

You are invited to EXPO!

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ho: Olin Students - all 324 of them

Where: Academic Center

When: December 21, 2009; 9:00am-3:00 pm

Details: Olin EXPO is an end-of-semester event in which every Olin student presents an individual or group project of his/her choice. During Olin EXPO our students will present a variety of topics, both technical and non-technical, ranging from human-powered vehicles and Mini Baja vehicle design to sustainability and entrepreneurship in engineering. EXPO is a time to celebrate our student's successes and we hope you will join us!

RSVP: Kindly RSVP with your name and organization information to if you are planning to attend. Thanks, and we hope to see you there!

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