"As an admissions officer, I analyzed students' personalities. If I read an admissions essay, and the student came off as arrogant, entitled, mean, selfish, or, on the flip side, funny, charming, generous, witty, I wrote that exact trait in my notes. It's not enough just to be smart at top schools. Students must also show that they'll be good classmates and community builders."—Angela Dunnham, Former Assistant Director of Admissions, Dartmouth College [Business Insider]Read More
Thanks to a racial discrimination lawsuit against Princeton, Buzzfeed got its hands on some secret admissions documents—and boy, are they a doozy.
As a result of that lawsuit, civil rights investigators at the Education Department examined allegations of racial bias in the school’s admissions system. Though they came up short and no racial bias was found, the comments below are not exactly innocent.
"Letters of recommendation are typically superfluous, written by people who the applicant thinks will impress a school. We regularly receive letters from former presidents, celebrities, trustee relatives and Olympic athletes. But they generally fail to provide us with another angle on who the student is, or could be as a member of our community."Read More
No matter what your political opinions, there is a palpable sadness in the air. The bigotry of the presidential campaign has made immigrants, minorities, women, and other vulnerable communities feel especially vulnerable and unsafe right now. So what can you do?
Let's establish something from the start: admissions essays are freaking hard. Most schools don't emphasize personal essays in their academic curriculum, so it's not surprising that many students struggle with the form. Unless you're a creative writing prodigy, you may not know how to be confessional without revealing TMI, how to impress strangers without being annoying, and how to write well without sounding like a blowhard. Here are five newbie mistakes any senior should avoid in their personal statement, from Ivy League valedictorians to veteran admissions reps.Read More
Admissions officers can seem like distant mythical creatures who are impossible to impress. The truth is, they're just trying to find the right fit for their college as much as you are. And luckily, they escape their mystical perch every now & then to spill some insider info. They recently spoke to The Washington Post about what they're looking for.
Show Your Personality
"I look for beautiful, clear writing that comes to life on the essay page and offers insight into the character and personality of the student. Beware of being someone you are not in the essay." --Martha Blevins Allman, Wake Forest University dean of admissions