Admission News

Well-rounded Students Need Not Apply

choosing-a-college

In Naomi Schaefer Riley’s January 2008 Wall Street Journal article A Desperate Need for Acceptance, she makes the point with Michele Hernandez’s advice in Acing the College Application that colleges don’t want well-rounded students—ones who captain athletic teams, who get all As, or who are leaders in high school activities. They want a well-rounded freshman class. That means each student the college accepts must offer some unique appeal. Ms Hernandez calls it passion, but it boils down to an unusual talent, experience, or expertise. Someone might speak Mandarin fluently, might have played in a national recital, might have created her own on-line computer business.

This is where Elizabeth Wissner-Gross weighs in with her book What High Schools Don’t Tell You. In her book she lays out four-year summer plans for enrichment. During the school year she recommends private lessons or submitting articles for publication.

Collegebasics offers perhaps a more balanced approach to standing out in several articles. Because the college application process is so competitive, you may want to start now defining yourself.

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