‘Tis the season to get those college applications into tip-top shape. Schools are looking at GPAs, test scores, and essays to narrow the field of applicants, but what else? In order to get into the mind of admissions counselors, this blog suggests you take a look at two students who both have very different backgrounds and pick the one who's the most impressive. It’s a pretty easy choice, but why is it easy? Apparently, there's a particular type of psychology going on here. When we’re asked to evaluate somebody else’s work, there's a natural tendency to see yourself in the task as a kind of jumping-off point to make your decision.
Admissions counselors are no different. Truth is, they probably see a ton of athletic and academic all-stars. What they don’t see a lot of are kids who also got involved in their community, took part in a special learning experience, started a small business, etc. They’re on the hunt for something intriguing. So take a look at your application and be sure that you’re letting them know how unique and compelling you are. (This is so not the time to be humble.) Remember, colleges like high percentiles—but they LOVE thought-provoking people much more.