Virtually every college counselor preaches the importance of discovering something, anything, and pursuing it passionately. The earlier in one’s high school career that one discovers this passion, the better, because the longer one dedicates yourself, the sooner you might gain mastery over a hard to acquire skill that just might place you near the top of the applicant heap.
During junior and the first half of senior year most high school students often find their mail flooded with solicitations from universities and colleges.
What is behind this flurry of marketing pieces? Each college’s enrollment management system collects student data from PSAT or PLAN registration, college fairs, or website visits (to name just a few sources) which are then used to aggressively solicit potential applicants. As Jack Maguire, the father of enrollment management systems noted over 35 years ago, “To the Organized, Go the Students.” (Bridge Magazine, 1976)
There is a tendency for many students to take ‘relevant’, pre-professional courses as they commence their college studies. After all, most want the quickest path to economic success after graduating: that is, after all, in their self-interest, which, according to Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations, is the backbone of our free enterprise system.
Ambitious students conduct research and develop plans for their undergraduate years to ensure that their careers and personal goals are met. Learning to write well and communicate effectively, along with securing meaningful recommendations from professors, are probably goals included in many plans. Yet, beyond setting goals, there are other reasons to plan. As Dwight Eisenhower noted, “plans are nothing, planning is everything.”
This article is a portrait of what Yale admissions is looking for in a candidate—most of which is taken directly off the Yale admissions website—how applications are reviewed, who makes up the admissions committee, and what elements of the application factor most highly, which, admittedly, is highly subjective.
While many might pine for the acceptance letter from one of the eight Ivy League colleges, few are actually aware of where many of the top graduates from the elite eight actually end up working.
Consider this mystery solved. Reddit published in its ‘Applying to College’ section research on where Ivy League alumni work after graduation.
This information was obtained from LinkedIn, and can be found at https://www.reddit.com/r/ApplyingToCollege/comments/6j6elm/have_you_ever_wondered_where_ivy_league_alumni/
Jeffrey Selingo, author of There is Life after College and former editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education in his January 28, 2017 Washington Post article, ‘Business is the most popular major, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good choice,’ questioned the benefit of a business degree for undergraduates.
Within the Common application is an ‘Additional Information’ section allowing you to share ‘relevant information about yourself that is not captured elsewhere.’
Most applicants do not need to add anything to the additional comments section of the Common Application (or the UC Application for that matter). Leaving it empty does not in any way imply that the application is half finished, incomplete or less appealing. 80% of the applicants I’ve worked with over the years don’t touch this section, which is as it should be.