The Spartan Podcast

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“As we look across the country at the thousands of colleges and universities, there’s a tremendous amount of competition for the best and the brightest,” MSU Admissions Director Jim Cotter tells Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon and Spartans Athletic Director Mark Hollis on MSU Today. “And one of the things that Michigan State does so very well is stress the importance of applying what we learn in the classroom outside the classroom, whether it’s in research or study abroad or whatever the case might be.

“So I think the leg up we have often times as we compete against the other fine institutions in the country is the fact that we really can walk the walk of teaching our students and then asking them to take what they’ve learned and use it in the real world.

“I think the heart and soul of this institution continues to be working together and coming together and, in the end, making a difference in the world.”

Cotter adds that honing time management and communication skills is crucial for high school students.

Cotter says the three questions parents and prospective students should ask about the college or university they plan to attend is making sure the university is a good fit for the student, are you ready for the academic rigor of college, and do you want to change the world?”

“One of the things we do really well here is help students identify their strengths and then correlate those strengths with their passions,” adds Cotter.

Cotter says “it’s not a game changer for us” when referring to Michigan’s transition from the ACT to the SAT in college admissions because MSU has been looking at both tests’ scores for a long time.

Performance predicts performance, he says, and students should focus on doing the job day in and day out in high school.

“I always tell students not to wait until their senior year to make a difference because our review is cumulative and holistic. I tell parents and students the junior year is the key year for students to focus on.” Maintaining rigor in the senior year is also very important as that strategy will prepare students for the rigor of college.

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