Graduate celebrating his future.
Class standing and SAT or ACT scores will always hold significant weight on a student’s acceptance into a college. However, in the last couple of years an increasing number of public universities are valuing a more comprehensive look at students.
Beyond the numbers, what kind of potential does a student have for a successful career in college? Grades and test scores will not necessarily give admission boards a clear understanding on who the student is as a person or how they will cope as a college student. Essays and recommendations can help provide a better picture of the student’s capabilities.
In a recent article in the New York Times, writer Lisa Foderaro considered why the new approach was being taken. In the article, Jim Conroy, a chairman of the post-high school counseling department of New Trier High School in Weinnetka, Ill., stated, “This holistic process is giving both sides, whether you’re New Trier or inner-city high, a chance to express something that isn’t on a piece of paper or on a test score.”
Mr. Conroy further stated, “Everyone has a story, and now both ends — the rich and poor — get to express that.”
This recent change in the admissions selection process places even more significance on developing a strong personal essay. Clearly communicating the student’s values and aspirations for the future could push a “maybe” for admission into a “yes.”
It also requires students to seek recommendations from mentors who can give an honest but complimentary depiction of the student.
Here is a link to an article for tips on picking, asking and thanking the right people for a letter of recommendation.