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Sweet Briar College Application Essay

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Sweet Briar College Essay

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Racism In Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings"
Racism in Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” ;Maya Angelou, the current poet laureate of the United States, has become for many people an exemplary role model. She.

Sweet Briar College is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, in Sweet Briar Virginia. This college is highly known for its honors program, science program, and its junior year abroad program. Sweet Briar believes that women are vastly underrepresented in the areas of math, engineering and sciences, their number one priority is preparing women for careers in these fields. Sweet Briar�s students consist of about 600 women representing more then 40 states and

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15 different countries. The campus consists of 35 buildings stretching over 3,300 acres. Tuition for the 1996 through 97� school year is about 14,990 dollars for full-time students, room and board fee charge is 6, 510 dollars ;student activity fee is 125 dollars. Sports that offer competition at the Varsity level include field hockey, lacrosse, riding, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Sweet Briar is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and competes in

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the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Non-competitive sports teams are also an option, many recreational sports include basketball, badminton, fencing, softball, canoeing, squash, golf, and dance. Sweet Briar is one of the �International 50� colleges, which refers to a group of private colleges that are noted for their contributions to international affairs. Sweet Briar was listed as Money magazine�s 150 best college buys in the nation.

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Different pictures emerging of Sweet Briar College financials

There are 2 very different pictures emerging of an imploding college's financials

Two sharply distinct pictures have emerged about the financials of Virginia's Sweet Briar College, which abruptly announced its impending closure last month.

The all-women's college blamed its closure on insurmountable financial obstacles. However, a lawsuit from the state of Virginia and a professor at the school have claimed Sweet Briar was in much better shape than it led the world to believe.

The lawsuit filed last month by the Commonwealth of Virginia - through Amherst County Attorney Ellen Bowyer - claims the 114-year-old college didn't do enough to stay open.

However, "insurmountable obstacles. ultimately caused the College's closure," Sweet Briar's lawyer, Calvin "Woody" Fowler, said in a statement last week before the suit was filed.

In the statement, Fowler responds to claims that Sweet Briar's endowment reached nearly $100 million, which reportedly would have been enough to sustain the college for years.

"There is currently about $84.8 million in the endowment, roughly $65 million of which is restricted as to time and/or purpose. The College has approximately $25 million in debt in two outstanding bond issues. Thus, the debt exceeds the unrestricted funds in the endowment," Fowler said in the statement.

Moreover, he wrote, Sweet Briar needs to have 800 students enrolled to be sustainable but had just 532 students at the beginning of the current semester when the board voted to close.

The school was affected by an increasing tuition discount rate, Fowler said, as Sweet Briar went from covering 42% of tuition through scholarships and grants in 2008, to 62% for the current freshman class. Net tuition revenue was "eroded" by the increasing discount rate, Fowler writes, dropping from $11 million in 2009 to $8.5 million in 2014.

As local Virginia newspaper The Roanoke Times noted in an editorial last month. though, "Something just doesn't add up here."

After reviewing Sweet Briar's financial forms, The Times found that over the past two fiscal years, the college's assets actually grew - from $160.6 million to $163.9 million. Additionally, Sweet Briar's liabilities dropped from $30.7 million to $29.5 million, according to The times.

With this new lawsuit against the college, it seems like there may have been some merit to questioning Sweet Briar's claims.

As Amherst County Attorney Bowyer bluntly writes in the Virginia lawsuit against Sweet Briar, "the College's financial condition does not warrant closure."

Bowyer expands on this claim in her lawsuit, detailing how Sweet Briar's financial situation may have actually gotten better in the past few years:

A review of the College's annual financial statements from 2010 to 2014, shows that annual operating deficits were more than offset by the endowment's investment gains, grants, gifts and alumnae giving. This pattern resulted in an increase of the College's net assets (total assets minus total liabilities) over the last five years from $126 million to $134 million. During the same period, the College's debt load decreased from approximately $42 million to $25 million while its endowment increased from $85 million to $95 million.

"Assuming the College's finances are handled in a prudent and responsible way going forward, it would still remain financially viable," Steve Spitzer, a CPA and certified fraud examiner, writes. "Our preliminary conclusion upon a review of the publicly-available data is that, as of approximately eight months before the closure announcement, the College was financially viable, and there was not an urgent financial reason to close."

Sweet Briar College psychology professor Dan Gottlieb has also been putting together some charts that show how the school has stayed relatively stable over the course of the past decade. In particular, his charts on the cost of college and the endowment stand out.

In this chart, Gottlieb looks at how much students are actually paying for college, which, if it had dipped, means that the college is subsidizing more of tuition:

What people really pay. Looks pretty flat, and I think it would be similar if I had previous years' data, too. Data from IPEDS.

Sweet Briar College: GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores

Sweet Briar College GPA, SAT and ACT Data

Allen Grove is the former director of a program for new college students, a professor of English with 25 years of experience, and a college admissions expert who has been helping students with the college admissions process for over a decade.

Updated February 07, 2017.

Discussion of Sweet Briar College's Admissions Standards:

Sweet Briar College is a private women's liberal arts college in Virginia. The college has a fairly high acceptance rate, but applicants will still need to have solid grades and standardized test scores to be admitted. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. The data show that the majority of successful applicants had high school GPAs of "B" or better, combined SAT scores of about 1000 or higher (RW+M), and ACT composite scores of 20 or better.

The college tends to attract strong students, and you'll notice that many applicants had grades up in the "A" range.

Test scores and grades are just one part of the Sweet Briar application. Whether you use the Sweet Briar application or the Common Application, the admissions folks will be looking to see that you have taken challenging high school courses. written an engaging essay. and participated in interesting extracurricular activities. They will also want to see strong letters of recommendation -- one from a teacher and one from your guidance counselor. Be sure to get to know the college so that you can provide compelling answers to Sweet Briar's supplement to the Common Application. You'll want to be specific when answering the question, "What excites you most about attending Sweet Briar." This is a great place to demonstrate interest .

To learn more about Sweet Briar College, high school GPAs, SAT scores and ACT scores, these articles can help:

If You Like Sweet Briar College, You May Also Like These Schools: Articles Featuring Sweet Briar College:

The Answer Sheet - Question 2: What should students NEVER write in their essay?

Question 2: What should students NEVER write in their essay?

By Valerie Strauss

What should students NEVER write about in their essays?

Henry Broaddus
Dean of admission
College of William & Mary, VA

Never write about anything you would reasonably expect other 17- year-olds to be writing about commonly, such as the first time you fell in love or the first time you lost a grandparent, unless you can do so in a way that reveals distinctive insights about yourself. No matter what the topic, you’re ultimately the subject.

Eileen Brangan Mell
Director of Public Relations
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA

It probably won’t help their cause to share any homicidal tendencies. Other than that, I would caution students from writing about topics of global importance like nuclear proliferation or climate change unless you can speak to your personal involvement in the issue. My general advice to students is to write an essay that no one else can write, whether it means talking about your part-time job at a Mediterranean market, or your father’s never-ending stream of home improvement projects, or your first experience scuba diving.

Sundar Kumarasamy
Vice president of enrollment management
University of Dayton, OH

[Regarding the term “brutally honest”:] That may mean a different thing to a 17-year-old than to an admissions person; we don’t want to hear about the stupid things they’ve done as a kid. I would instead encourage them to be more authentic and more courageous about their experiences. Transformative moments are those experiences that take you to a new place, to a new reality. They are more final and deeper. When a student talks about change, they often only talk about only one part of themselves that changed.

Angel B. Perez
Director of Admission
Pitzer College

Most students approach the essay writing process the wrong way. They worry about what Admission Directors want to hear versus telling us what they have to say.
Well here’s the thing - there isn’t a magic story we want to hear. We are interested in the student’s voice, and the students experiences. Many kids worry that they don’t have enough to say but some of the most extraordinary essays I’ve read have been about ordinary, everyday experiences. It’s how a student writes about it (and the impact of that experience) that makes the difference. One of my favorite essays in last year’s applicant pool was about a young man who worked at a coffee shop. Most people would find this experience ordinary, but what he learned from that job (and the way in which he described it!) was so extraordinary, that I was jumping out of my chair with joy when I read it. I had to pass it around my office for others to read!

Ken Huus
Dean of Admissions
Sweet Briar College, VA

Never write about something you haven’t told someone else. Again, an application essay is not "therapy." It’s important to use this opportunity to communicate something about who you are as an applicant, but it’s not the time to reveal your deepest, most personal secret.

Erika Vardaro
Director of Undergraduate Admission
Bentley University, MA

We do see many essays related to a deceased family member or scoring the winning goal. Students should avoid just telling us the story of how the death occurred or how the goal was scored. They need to share more about themselves, what they learned from the situation and how that occurrence shapes their future. Overall, I would say that there’s no one topic that students should “never” write about. It’s how they write about it.


Christine Mica
Dean of University Admissions
The Catholic University of America

I am not sure I have a “never” write about topic. If the student feels it is relevant and important, then anything goes. That is why we ask essay questions- to see how students answer them! The one thing I do believe is the student should answer the question. If the student forces a topic of importance to them, but does not answer the question, then that is a problem.

Gail Glover
Senior Director of Media, Public relations
Binghamton University

We just sent out e-tips on writing essays and had over 10,000 students check them out. Top tips include:
*Narrow your focus – get your idea down to a single point and be concise.
*Say something new to stand out in the crowd. This is a chance to express your personality.
*Don’t list all of your activities, we already have them
*Tell an interesting story – be expressive and descriptive

Sweet Briar College Admission Requirements

Sweet Briar College Requirements for Admission

What are Sweet Briar College's admission requirements? While there are a lot of pieces that go into a college application, you should focus on only a few critical things:

  • GPA requirements
  • Testing requirements, including SAT and ACT requirements
  • Application requirements

In this guide we'll cover what you need to get into Sweet Briar College and build a strong application.

School location: Sweet Briar, VA

Admissions Rate: 84%

If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.

The acceptance rate at Sweet Briar College is 84%. For every 100 applicants, 84 are admitted.

This means the school is lightly selective. The school will have their expected requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores. If you meet their requirements, you're almost certain to get an offer of admission. But if you don't meet Sweet Briar College's requirements, you'll be one of the unlucky few people who gets rejected.

Sweet Briar College GPA Requirements

Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.

The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.

Average GPA: 3.51

The average GPA at Sweet Briar College is 3.51 .

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.51, Sweet Briar College requires you to be around average in your high school class. You'll need a mix of A's and B's, and very few C's. If you have a lower GPA, you can compensate with harder courses like AP or IB classes. This will help boost your weighted GPA and show your ability to take college classes.

SAT and ACT Requirements

Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.

You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Sweet Briar College. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

Sweet Briar College SAT Requirements

Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.

Average SAT: 1598 (New: 1150)

The average SAT score composite at Sweet Briar College is a 1598 on the old 2400 SAT scale.

On the new 1600 SAT. this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1150 .

This score makes Sweet Briar College Competitive for SAT test scores.


Sweet Briar College SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1020, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1280. In other words, a 1020 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1280 will move you up to above average .

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

Sweet Briar College has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit .

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1300, Sweet Briar College will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1300 to 2100 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and Sweet Briar College forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1398, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

Sweet Briar College ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, Sweet Briar College likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 24

The average ACT score at Sweet Briar College is 24. This score makes Sweet Briar College Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 21, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 27.

ACT Score Sending Policy

If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.

Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.

This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 21 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.

ACT Superscore Policy

By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.

We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Sweet Briar College, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 21.

Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.

SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements

Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.

Sweet Briar College considers the SAT/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.

SAT Subject Test Requirements

Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.

We did not find information that Sweet Briar College requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.

Final Admissions Verdict

Because this school is lightly selective, you have a great shot at getting in, as long as you don't fall well below average. Aim for a 1398 SAT or a 21 ACT or higher, and you'll almost certainly get an offer of admission. As long as you meet the rest of the application requirements below, you'll be a shoo-in.

But if you score below our recommended target score, you may be one of the very few unlucky people to get rejected.

Admissions Calculator

What are your chances of admission at Sweet Briar College?

Chances of admission with these scores:

Here's our custom admissions calculator. Plug in your numbers to see what your chances of getting in are.

Note: This is only an estimate for the average student, based on data collected from thousands of students. Other factors in your application may come into play, such as extracurriculars and recommendation letters.

How would your chances improve with a better score?

Try to take your current SAT score and add 160 points (or take your ACT score and add 4 points) to the calculator above. See how much your chances improve?

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Application Requirements

Every school requires an application with the bare essentials - high school transcript and GPA, application form, and other core information. Many schools, as explained above, also require SAT and ACT scores, as well as letters of recommendation, application essays, and interviews. We'll cover the exact requirements of Sweet Briar College here.

Application Requirements Overview
  • Common Application Accepted
  • Universal Application Not accepted
  • Electronic Application Available
  • Essay or Personal Statement Required for all freshmen
  • Letters of Recommendation 2
  • Interview Not required
  • Application Fee $40
  • Fee Waiver Available? Available
  • Other Notes Portfolio with courses taken, list of texts covered, essay about homeschooling, campus visit, interview for homeschooled applicants recommended for some freshmen
Testing Requirements
  • SAT or ACT Required
  • SAT or ACT Writing Optional
  • SAT Subject Tests
  • Scores Due in Office 1
Coursework Requirements
  • Subject Required Years
  • English 4
  • Math 3
  • Science 3
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Social Studies 3
  • History 3
  • Electives
Deadlines and Early Admissions Admissions Office Information Other Schools For You

If you're interested in Sweet Briar College, you'll probably be interested in these schools as well. We've divided them into 3 categories depending on how hard they are to get into, relative to Sweet Briar College.

Reach Schools: Harder to Get Into

These schools are more selective and have higher scores than Sweet Briar College. If you improve your SAT score, you'll be competitive for these schools.

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