I found this article in the Huffington Post’s online blog. I am not going to put the title, because I really think the content of the article is more valuable than what the title suggests. When you’re thinking about applying, researching colleges and what admission offices are looking for, especially at elite institutions, I liked this article as something to consider. I’ll put a few snippets below and to read the entire article click HERE.
How will you know where to apply? Here’s the homework. Study the college’s website and its writing supplements for clues about the kind of students they’re looking for. Read the entries in The Best 380 Colleges, and in The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges – and look honestly at your own record. Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and the other top universities don’t make decisions based exclusively on top grades and top SAT/ACT scores. Keep in mind these words from the Yale admissions website:
“We estimate that over three quarters of the students who apply for admission to Yale are qualified to do the work here. Between two and three hundred students in any year are so strong academically that their admission is scarcely ever in doubt. But here is the thing to know: the great majority of students who are admitted stand out from the rest because a lot of little things, when added up, tip the scale in their favor. So what matters most in your application? Ultimately, everything matters. The good news in that is that when so many little things figure into an admissions decision, it is fruitless to worry too much about any one of them.
“Every applicant brings something unique to the admissions committee table. Perhaps one application stands out because of sparkling recommendations, while another presents outstanding extracurricular talent; maybe your personality shines through a powerful written voice, or maybe your keen mathematical mind packs more punch. Our goal is to assemble a diverse, well-rounded freshman class, and that means admitting exceptional individuals of all types. You may find this answer unsatisfying, but we assure you that it is true: the part of the application that carries the most weight is different from applicant to applicant.”