Each year some highly qualified students are rejected by colleges they should have been accepted to. Yet mysteriously, some less-qualified students are accepted by schools that were seemingly beyond their reach.
Do you want to know why?
THEME, NOT NUMBERS IS THE KEY TO ADMISSIONS SUCCESS.
Grades and standardized test scores are only the first standard by which admissions will decide to take a candidate seriously. Admissions’ interest in a particular student is only maintained if the application has a coherent theme.
“All roads lead to and from the theme.” -Karen Spencer, Georgetown Admissions Officer
The families that have not understood this critical point (THEME, THEME, and THEME), will be surprised and disappointed by letters of rejection.
If you rely on the data from college guides that list the median grade point average and standardized test score of a college’s attendees, then you are likely to be disappointed. If you grant expertise to your college counselor and accept his/her judgment of your child’s chances (which is based on one variable, those median scores), then you will be choosing the road of disappointment.
If life was only as simple as numbers on a transcript, admission to a college would be straight forward. Admissions counselors, though, think way beyond the numbers. They want to know each candidate personally.
“Admission officers are in the business of creating a school community made up of a variety of students with different backgrounds, interests, talents, and skills. Therefore, the best applications explicitly show where the applicant will likely ‘fit’ into a school’s community. The better you craft this message into a theme, the better (a student’s) chance (is) for a positive reception from an admissions committee.” -Karen Spencer, Georgetown Admissions Officer
Admissions staff want to see a single thread woven through essay topics and writing that reads authentically; the coordination of extracurricular activities; detailed recommendations from people who know a student beyond the classroom; and interviews where a student’s personality is coherent with the application. Putting together this montage, this package of student skills, traits, and experience is the art of succeeding in college admission.
An outstanding GPA in advanced classes, high class rank and excellent standardized test score are all great building blocks for admission success, but the expectations for advanced students are even greater. A coherent theme across essays, activities, and interviews is the only gateway to highly competitive colleges.