Something funny dawned on me the other day when I was preparing my notes for our upcoming bootcamp session.
A few months ago, the college advisor multiverse had their you-know-whats in a bunch over the upcoming, predicted use of Chat GPT for college essays. The sky was falling. But now it's like this never happened.
These days, all the buzz is about the Supreme Court's recent decision that the current practice of race-conscious admissions violates the Constitution. Current practice.
I want you to understand something: the Court did not shut the door on underrepresented minorities at the country's elite colleges. Instead, the majority suggested that colleges must recruit differently. Individually, not based on race.
One of the two obvious methods we all expect college admissions departments to implement has to do with supplemental essays. That likely means that there will be more opportunities for students to talk about their cultural and ethnic "lived experiences".
(I can't believe I wrote "lived experience" either.)
Does that mean that, if you're Black, Latino, Native American, etc. that you should "trauma dump" all over your essays?
God, I hope not. But I'm fielding more and more questions about this each day.
Here's what I'm going to tell my private clients and bootcampers next session: if you genuinely faced an obstacle, whether you're black, white or purple, AND it's significant enough to YOU to write about, by all means, fire away.
But as you write and rewrite, ask yourself one question, and answer honestly:
Are you making a mountain out of a molehill?
Just don't. Admissions officers can sniff it out when you're taking too much artistic license. As my personal go-to college guru says, there's a "difference between polish and fiction."
If the event or experience is small, keep it that way. It's ok to go small. You don't have to come off as a modern day Rosa Parks to write about feeling like a fish out of water.
It's ok if you're essay isn't an overly dramatic, after school special saga.
That ends today's public service announcement. Here are some ways we can help you:
Get College Ready Bootcamp. You missed the first session, but it was recorded for posterity. Plenty of sessions left for your kiddo to get his apps and essays D-O-N-E and out the door this summer, without screaming at or threatening him every day.
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1:1, private college advising. By application only. Reply to this email if interested. (Serious inquiries only, we are jammed up).
- Andy Lockwood
P.S. I BARELY do free consultations these days, but I can offer you something better:
A 45 minute meeting, in-person or Zoom, after which I deliver a written, easy-to-read Competitive Analysis and Positioning (CAP) Report that -- objectively -- tells you how your child "stacks up" to his or her competition, your odds of getting scholarships or other financial aid and answers all of your questions.
It also covers specific recommendations for your student, and for you re: financial aid and merit aid, strategies to optimize your child's odds of admission and more. Here's the page that describes it all:
The CAP Report has turned out to be one of our most popular offerings. It's the best way to dip your toe in the water with us.