Get the inside scoop about life at U-M and applying to Michigan from Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff and guest student and faculty writers.


December 14, 2015
Erica Sanders

You’ve heard the word, of course. It’s very common. “Holistic.” But you’ve likely identified it more with health care or medicine, rather than admissions.

So when your admissions counselor at the University of Michigan tells you that we have a holistic review process, it’s natural to be a little confused. But in reality, it’s simple. Holistic means the viewing of a person as a whole, not a just a part.

November 17, 2015
Hannah Gordon

As an incoming freshman, you’ll no doubt have a million questions about college life. Questions like: why are my books so expensive? Will I ever decide on a major? Why is the library always crowded? How long can I survive on ramen noodles?

All of these uncertainties are perfectly normal. One question you shouldn’t have to ask, though, is how will I turn my ideas into action? There, Michigan’s campus-wide minor in entrepreneurship, administered through Innovate Blue, has you covered.

November 4, 2015
Melissa Purdy

Working in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions I get a lot of questions from potential Wolverines, but one is far more common than all the others: What are you looking for on my college application?

Is there a certain secret for success, eager applicants wonder? They – and sometimes, their parents – really, really want to know.

March 6, 2015
Kelly Cox

I was never really a big art fan. But years ago, when I was a freshman at the University of Michigan, a couple of guys in my residence hall decided to check out the U-M Museum of Art, and they invited me to tag along. It was great – I saw amazing things. Truthfully, I didn’t really know a lot about what I was looking at, but I knew that I liked it.

It broadened my horizons. And it was the just the beginning of my college life. That’s one of the advantages of attending a large university like Michigan – experiencing things on campus that are new and exciting to you.

January 15, 2015
Joseph Gore

Senioritis might not be considered a bona fide disease, but it can be hazardous to your academic health.

You’re familiar with the term, right? It’s so prevalent, it’s even in the Urban Dictionary:

Senioritis: noun. A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as “graduation.”

November 6, 2014
Melissa Purdy

I take calls – lots of calls – from prospective students (and their parents) interested in knowing how we evaluate the admissions applications we receive at the University of Michigan. And we receive a lot – nearly 50,000.

I don’t offer long-winded answers or flowery prose. I don’t need to. Because facts are facts: Michigan gets applications from many more academically qualified students than we have space to admit, so we look for students who also have the drive and motivation to challenge themselves and take advantage of the many opportunities we have to offer here.

October 30, 2014
Pamela W. Fowler

All students hope to receive grant money in their college financial aid package: Grants are gifts, so money that is not repaid. They are generally awarded to students with financial need as determined by the University of Michigan or another institution. 

Financial need is defined as the cost of attendance less the expected family contribution as determined by a student’s aid application. Grants reduce the cost of education and can come from the federal government or the institution.

October 23, 2014
Julie Simon

It’s not an easy decision. Do you take the easier class – the one you’re pretty sure you can ace, or do you take the tougher, advanced placement class, that might earn you a lower grade?

The advanced class would definitely look better on your transcript. But you want that high grade point average, for sure.

October 16, 2014
Melissa Purdy

When it comes to writing a stellar college application essay, my advice is fairly succinct: Be yourself.

I know there are lots of articles that tell you to watch your grammar and punctuation, to use correct capitalization, to stay on-topic - and those are all great pieces of advice. But I’m going to assume you know all that because it’s common sense.

September 22, 2014
Erica Sanders

There was a time, perhaps not so long ago, that students graduated from college, found a job—or maybe even a career—and stayed in that career until retirement. They earned a gold watch, collected a pension, and walked slowly into the sunset.

But the world has changed. Life isn’t like that anymore. Life isn’t about one job, one direction, one career. And college isn’t about that either.

I speak to groups of students and parents all of the time; groups unsettled by our constantly changing, fast-moving, high-tech world. They’ll ask me—is college really worth it?