By Brett A. Mejia ’13 & Roan Enright ’13
With Director of Brophy Admissions Mr. Mike Ward’s 14th year of working in the Admissions office coming to a close, he recently wrapped up the decision process by sifting through 600 freshman applications and selecting the top 360 to 380 applicants for the class of 2017.
But it’s not just up to Mr. Ward to make the final decision on a student’s application; there is a committee that consists of four to five faculty members, each having a hand in selecting an applicant.
“Typically it is always going to be myself and Principal Mr. Bob Ryan and (we) have been the two consistent and we’ll invite teachers,” Mr. Ward said. “I want to get a counseling perspective, activities perspective and academic perspective.”
This committee, filled with Brophy faculty, spends about a week going through the applications, looking at the students’ grades, national testing, four academic recommendations and the students’ interview.
“Part of our admissions process is to get the entire faculty involved in the process,” Mr. Ward said.
At the beginning of each school year, Mr. Ward and a Brophy student or two travel around the state to visit different public and private schools to try and recruit students to apply to Brophy.
“I will go anywhere that they (schools) will let me in,” Mr. Ward said.
Once a future student is interested in applying, they are faced with an application process that begins with their middle school GPA, down to their extracurricular activities.
“Like colleges, we look at a lot,” Mr. Ward said.
As a part of the admissions process, a major supplement is the Brophy entrance exam that each applicant must take in order to be considered.
Then applicants schedule an interview so that faculty members can get a personal perspective of the applicant in a real world setting.
For Mr. Ward, he sees a student’s ability to control grades and GPA as being one of the most important factors because it something that a student has the option of making a high or low.
“If I have a really hard worker who gets A’s and B’s, who tends not to test particularly well I still like the fact he is really working hard,” Mr. Ward said.
Not only does the admission office look at an applicant’s background, but they also look into what that applicant is involved with.
“Give me a tuba player. I love to see a good tuba player as much as I like to see some guy run down the court or run down the field… I want diversity in what they do,” Mr. Ward said.
Incoming applicants also get the chance to shadow a freshman to see what life is like on a Jesuit high school campus. Students are able to experience a few of the classes that a typical freshman may take and what some of the teachers’ personalities are like.
The admissions office not only looks at incoming freshman, but also students applying to transfer to Brophy their sophomore year.
“Typically if they didn’t get in its grades or testing, overall academic student factor, maybe it is a year of growth, maturity academically,” Mr. Ward said.
Senior Dominic Olmedo ’13 was a student who didn’t make it into Brophy his freshman year, but he reapplied sophomore year and was successful on his second attempt.
“I knew if I stayed persistent I might get lucky and get in and with Mr. Ward he saw my persistence that I really wanted to get in,” Olmedo said.
While the incoming class of 2017 begins their fall semester the Admissions Office will be gearing up for another wave of applications.
“We have more people who are applying than we have spaces for and that’s a good problem to have,” Mr. Ward said.