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College admissions consulting demands diligent continuing education- period. To stay on top of the ever-changing higher ed environment, I scour daily news feeds and list serves, visit campuses, take on relevant coursework, attend national college admissions conferences, and maintain an active membership in professional associations. With this in mind, last week I spent five days at the highly acclaimed Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions to gain perspective from top admissions deans from around the country. Faculty from Harvard, Princeton, Brown, Michigan, Claremont McKenna, Texas, Miami, MIT and Spelman were on hand to offer their take on a myriad of topics. I attended programs such as How Admissions Decisions Are Made, Recommendations, Early Decision/Early Action, Issues in Women’s Leadership, Financial Aid in the New Millennium, A Look at Changing Demographics, and College Rankings: Hurtful or Helpful. One of the best tips of the session came from Bill Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. On making admissions decisions, Harvard looks for students “who will be the best educators for each other…the best roommates”. What is the overall message to college bound students whether applying to Harvard or any other highly selective university? It’s more than just statistics. Many students are “wicked smart” in the words of Fitzsimmons. In building a college community, the admissions offices look for students beyond their GPA who possess intellectual curiosity, an open mind and proven integrity. Sounds like great roommate potential.