Episode #3: How Colleges Admit Their Applicants With Mr. Jacob Bonnell

We've heard a lot in the news about flaws in the college admissions process. Here's a 2-minute lesson on how it should actually work with Mr. Jacob Bonnell, the asst. director of college and academic counseling at CM.

Mr. Jacob Bonnell

Mr. Jacob Bonnell is the asst. director of college and academic counseling at Catholic Memorial.

If you have more than 2 minutes ...

The Beyond CM Program ... takes a unique approach to college counseling, going well beyond creating a list. It is a process that is introspective and reflective. We encourage students to develop confidence in who they are. Then, we help them discover who they want to become, and use that awareness to create the right list. We focus on helping each boy apply and be admitted to the right school for him.

To see how this process plays out each year, click here.

The College Admissions Process ... is certainly not a uniform process - this two-minute lesson just outlined how it generally works, but each college and university may operate differently at any stage. Here's a specific glimpse inside the process at one school, the College of Holy Cross, in a 2016 NPR story.

Factors Weighed by Admissions Officers ... could make up a full textbook, and can certainly be controversial. Here's the non-exhaustive list that Mr. Bonnell came up with while filming this lesson:

  • Academic Factors
    • GPA
    • Test Scores
    • Essay
    • Recommendations
    • School (context)
  • Extracurricular Factors
    • Sports
    • Clubs
    • Fine Arts
    • Work
    • Intern
    • Community Engagement
    • Family Responsibilities
  • Biographical Factors
    • Address
      • In-state vs. out-of-state
      • Distance
      • Diversity
      • Citizenship
    • Gender
    • Race
    • Socioeconomic
  • Hooks
    • Recruited Athlete
    • Development
    • Legacy
    • Famous
    • World-Class

    • Mr. Jacob Bonnell

Together, we can give our students the programs and spaces needed to flourish and thrive. Together, we can be Edmund Rice.

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About Us

Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.


235 Baker Street
West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132
Phone: 617-469-8000
Fax: 617-977-5689