The Holy Grail of College Admissions: A Compelling Narrative
Updated: May 14
When applying to college there are so many factors to consider. Buzz words include being well-rounded, unique, and overloading in community service. Here's the thing: not only do we realize that this might not be the most authentic depiction of a high school student, top tier universities do too. Our perspective on a college application and resume is one of authenticity and simplicity. The college application process is about creating a personal narrative that you can authentically sell to admissions. Beyond the basics of working towards exemplary grades and test scores that are essential for gaining admittance to top universities, building this unique story is of equal importance. T
The sad truth is that so many young scholars waste their high school years trying to fit a certain mold they think is their only way in the door to their dream school. This mold is so far from the truth and we hate to see bright, creative minds live a disappointed childhood simply to fulfill some non-existent mold. Top universities don't want this either. When speaking to my Harvard admissions officer, one thing she mentioned colleges consider when reading application files is how a student will be as a roommate. Are they interesting? This is such a simple question. When a top tier institution reads that a student is involved in twenty-five extracurricular clubs and plays 6 instruments they know this student is spreading themselves too thin. This student is not doing what they want to do, rather doing as much as possible. This kind of person could be kind and genuine but they are not as interesting as the pupil who dedicated all her time to developing that one project that they truly felt was their calling.
We at East End Tutors know that there is no one size fits all approach to a college application, and help our tutees find a passion and purpose. We then have our tutees sculpt this narrative into a compelling application.