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46 minutes | May 31, 2021
Season 2 Episode 9: Podding Together
In our series finale, Dean Coffin invites Charlotte Albright, the producer of "The Search," to reflect with him on what they have learned together over the course of 22 episodes stretched across two seasons. Among the surprises: applications to selective colleges surged during the pandemic. Coffin's last words of advice to the next class of high school seniors: Be your own best advisers, and follow your hearts as you plot the next chapter of your lives.
45 minutes | May 10, 2021
Season 2 Episode 8: An Applicant Interviews the Dean
When Heath Monsma applied to Dartmouth College, he wrote beautifully in his essay about what he learned by creating his own podcast in high school. So Dean Coffin decided to switch seats with this engaging applicant. Heath asks the dean about his own youth and about what drew him into college admissions, picking up, along the way, some insider tips about how to become the first in your family to attend a selective college.
45 minutes | May 3, 2021
Season 2 Episode 7: Major Minor
"What's Your Major?" The answer is likely to change, maybe even several times, during the first year in college. Dean Coffin invites three professors from Dartmouth to reminisce about how their own academic interests evolved as they found their true calling. Being undecided about what to focus on, they agree, can be a good thing for newly enrolled college students, because it keeps the door open to discovery.
48 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Season 2 Episode 6: Listen to Yourself
If you’ve just been accepted to more than one college or university, congratulations! Now it's decision time. Lee Coffin, dean of admissions and financial aid, advises you to listen to your heart as well as your head, as he asks three college counselors to share advice about making the best possible college choice, and feeling great about it.
47 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Season 2 Episode 5: Financial Fit
Getting accepted to more than one college is a great thing. But comparing financial aid offers—that’s a complex calculation. It’s not enough to know how much money is on each table. It’s equally important to calculate the true, full cost of a four-year education, beyond tuition, so that you can make a wise, financially informed choice. Dean Coffin invites two experienced colleagues to guide you through the maze.
41 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
Season 2 Episode 4: Finding Your Place
College acceptance letters have gone out. Now it’s your turn to choose. Listen to your heart, as well as your head, says Dean Lee Coffin. This week, he invites two vice provosts who work closely with undergraduates at Duke University to share advice about how to find the best possible home away from home, where you can find your place while continuing to grow and explore new ideas and interests.
43 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Season 2 Episode 3: Decision Daze
Every year, from mid-March to early April, college-bound high school seniors are on pins and needles, waiting for decision letters from selective colleges to land in their mailboxes. In this episode, Dean Coffin asks two fellow admissions officers, from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, to explain how they make those tough decisions, and what it means to be admitted, denied, or “waitlisted.” A Boston-area college counselor offers tips for receiving, absorbing, and sharing that news. A “no” in selective admissions, the guests agree, should not be taken as a personal failure; rather, it reflects the scarcity of seats as colleges shape and build diverse communities.
50 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
Season 2 Episode 2: My Neighbor Says
College admissions is a high-profile topic that invites speculative chatter. In this episode, “My Neighbor Says,” we debunk all kinds of myths, with a mother going through the application process with twins, a college counselor from a secondary school, and three college deans. Their perspectives differ, but they all agree on one thing: don’t believe everything you hear about getting into college.
40 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Season 2 Episode 1: Reading Season
As winter draws to a close, college admissions officers are wrapping up the invisible but critical process of diving into applicants’ files, reading every word, and looking for reasons to say “yes” as a new class takes shape. But what are they really searching for? Dean Lee Coffin pulls back the curtain with Vassar’s admissions dean and Middlebury’s admissions director for a lively discussion of what they call “the work of the work.”
14 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
Season One Highlights
Last winter, as COVID-19 struck, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial aid Lee Coffin found himself suddenly grounded. Potential applicants to Dartmouth and thousands of other colleges around the country were similarly stuck at home. So Coffin launched “The Search,” a podcast he calls as “an act of admissions citizenship.” In 12 lively episodes, a diverse cast of admissions officers, guidance counselors, students, and parents demystify college admissions. Here are a few highlights from Season One. Stay tuned for Season Two, which will debut, wherever you get your podcasts, March 22.
24 minutes | Aug 24, 2020
Bonus Episode: Ask Me Anything!
As he concludes his series of conversations demystifying college admissions in these unusual times, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, tackles questions from previous guests and listeners. What really counts in a college application? What are the pros and cons of “optional” testing? Join us for the final, bonus episode of The Search.
40 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
Episode 12: Admissions Then and Now
As the world remains gripped by a health pandemic and buffeted by economic distress, many high school juniors and seniors are wondering, “Is it worth it? Should I just take a gap year, and defer college for while?” The answer, of course, varies with each student. In this episode, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Lee Coffin invites a director of college counseling, a former dean of admissions, and a journalist who covers higher education to talk about what has changed in college admissions, and what remains the same.
34 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
Episode 11: Shaping a Community
One of the most important jobs of any school admissions team is also among the most difficult to describe: shaping a vibrant college community. In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and director of admissions and financial aid, invites two other deans to help him explain how they do it. The episode ends with a compelling collage of student voices, as they describe themselves in their own words.
41 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Episode 10: Practical Matters
While The Search has focused on liberal arts colleges, many students are applying to more specialized programs, including business and engineering. This episode focuses on what counts in those applications. Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and director of admissions and financial aid, also gathers a wide assortment of colleagues to address issues and questions that have surfaced from previous episodes and invites listeners to submit their own questions for a future episode, called “Ask Me Anything.”
43 minutes | Jul 20, 2020
Episode 9: Scholarship Dollars and Sense
Getting into the college of your dreams is one thing. Paying for it is another. But, too often, families don’t think and talk together about the full price of higher education—tuition, room and board, books, transportation—until much too late in their search. And the real cost of attendance depends on the availability of financial aid, which can seem like a maze of eligibility requirements. In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, and his Dartmouth colleague, Financial Aid Director Dino Koff, demystify the process.
36 minutes | Jul 13, 2020
Episode 8: Junior Jitters
In March, when COVID-19 closed high schools, eleventh graders found themselves stuck at home, unable to meet with advisers who would normally help them find colleges that are right for them. So, they’ve had to start their research remotely, visiting websites and using social media. In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, talks with three rising seniors from the Academy of the Pacific Rim, an unusual charter school in Hyde Park, Mass. Many of its graduates are the first in their families to attend college.
47 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Episode 7: Telling Your Story
In this episode, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid Lee Coffin, with guest Meredith Reynolds, associate director of college guidance at Roxbury Latin School in Boston, talks with two members of the Dartmouth Class of 2024 about how they crafted unforgettable essays that catapulted their applications to the top of a very lofty pile.
35 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Episode 6: What Counts?
Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid at Dartmouth, talks with Leigh Weisenburger, dean of admissions and financial aid at Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, and Sonia Bell, director of college counseling at St. Luke’s School, in New Canaan, Ct., about evaluating student applications “holistically,” considering test scores, transcripts, and recommendations within the context of students’ personal circumstances and the programs available in the secondary schools they attend. They also weigh in on the optional submission of SAT or ACT scores during the pandemic.
37 minutes | Jun 22, 2020
Episode 5: Avoiding the Parent Trap
At its best, finding and entering the right college is a team effort, including counselors, parents, and student applicants. But what is the best role for parents to play? In this episode, Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid, talks with three parents who, collectively, helped guide five teenagers through the admissions process.
38 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
Episode 4: Passport to Admission
According to the Institute of International Education, there are over a million international college students studying in the U.S., just over 5 percent of the total student population. But applying for admission from outside our borders can be daunting, because academic degrees and testing standards vary from country to country. In this episode, Vice Provost for Enrollment Lee Coffin talks with three successful applicants to Dartmouth—one from England, one from Zimbabwe, and one from Panama—about how they navigated that terrain.
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