Application as Portfolio

We will work on putting together an admissions portfolio that will present you as effectively as possible to the colleges to which you are going to apply.

Your application will consist not only of the actual application, but

  • a resumé,
  • essays,
  • interviews,
  • a record of each of your individual contacts with colleges,
  • your interviews,
  • the recommendations that your teachers are writing for you

and, for want of a better word, we’ll call

  • your portfolio: a collection of your work, representing your strengths, that you can send in with your actual application.

We hear a lot about the “well-rounded student”. Colleges are looking for a well-rounded freshman class, but that does not mean that everyone in the freshman class has to be “well-rounded.” It does mean that everyone will contribute a specific strength or talent to the class and thus round off the class. The portfolio gives you a chance to highlight those unique qualities that you can contribute to that class.

You will want your portfolio to reflect your genuine strengths and interests. You will amass a collection of portfolio items from which you will be able to send the specific “portfolio” for the specific college. That collection should consist, as a minimum, of two graded papers, complete with teacher comments and corrections.

It could also include art work, creative writing, recordings of drama, dance and music performances, newspaper articles, photographs, computer programs you’ve written or graphics you’ve designed, or even journal accounts of noteworthy experiences.

College admissions committees do not want to wade through voluminous amounts of additional materials, but a carefully selected and artistically rendered representation of your accomplishments outside of the usual classroom venue will help round out your profile. The admissions department may choose to send your portfolio to one of the departments at the college, e.g., the drama department, the art department , the computer science department, a sports team coach….It’s always good to have someone in a specific department pulling for your admission.

It’s never too early to start pulling out materials that you could use; the sooner you begin to compile your collection, the easier it will be to have it ready when it’s necessary to submit to the colleges.

Of course, some of you may be putting together an actual portfolio, for an art school. In that case, you’ll work with our art department as well as with me to come up with one that will represent your best efforts. If you’re applying for a performing arts program, you will need to prepare for an audition, again something you’ll work on with the professionals you work with here and with any outside music, dance or drama teacher/professional with whom you may work.

Those of you who are submitting a full-fledged arts supplement or portfolio will also need a “professional” resumé (a resumé listing your accomplishments, activities and educational background in the particular arts area for which you are submitting your portfolio or arts supplement) AND a recommendation from the arts professional with whom you have been working.

For most applicants, however, the regular resumé and the extra “portfolio”, along with two teacher recommendation and the RCDS profile will be all that is needed. We will discuss this on an individual basis to be sure we have the best possible “portfolio” for your applications.



Rockland Country Day School   34 Kings Highway Congers, NY 10920   Tel: 845-268-6802
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