Ishan Chatterjee (Clark University ´17) talks about the challenges of the College Application Process


What did you find most challenging about the college app process?

The process as a whole was something that I never had to tackle before in my life.  Right from getting standardized testing scores in order to writing and editing 50 odd college essays and even running after teachers for recommendations felt new and challenging. This is probably what makes it hard for me to pick out one particular aspect of the process and brand it as “the most challenging”. I feel everything took the same amount of effort and should be given equal importance.

What was your SAT and Subject Tests prep strategy?

I did not appear for Subject Tests.  As far as the Reasoning Test is concerned I took a lot of mocks and spent less time going through word lists and SAT guidelines. However, being someone who appeared for the test I feel that test prep is extremely subjective and what works for me may not be the best for someone else.

How did your college list change over time?

I initially made a list of about 25 odd colleges. Over time I cut it down basing my judgement on criteria such as quality of education, costs involved, extra-curricular activities, internship/study abroad opportunity etc. Since I was a financial aid applicant availability of funds was by far the most important criterion. Ultimately my list came down to 12 colleges.

What advice would you give future applicants?

Make a list of deadlines with respect to application documents, financial aid documents, general app deadlines etc. And make sure you complete everything WELL in advance of the deadlines. This goes the same for SAT/ACT.

What you looking forward to the most about college?

Meeting new people.  And I hear Boston has some great restaurants. The food bit mostly.

What major/s are you considering?

Marketing and International Relations.

What are your plans for summer?

Right now I’m serving as a Marketing Intern at a college consultancy firm. I plan on carrying on till August before I leave.