For seniors, while most of the stuff that will appear on your college application is set in stone, including grades and letters of recommendation, there are still a few things you can do to improve your admission chances.
Tip #1: Demonstrate some interest
Everyone knows there are a few key ways to boost your application to prestigious universities: having a parent on faculty, being a legacy or donating a building.
Most of these things are out of your control, but universities love to see prospective students demonstrate interest.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: “demonstrated interest” is just a fancy way of saying “simping.”
So, simp for your dream school. You want to go to Yale? COVID-19 be damned. Hop on a plane and take a tour. You may even earn bonus points for the increased risk.
In fact, one of the easiest ways of demonstrating interest is going to an online information session, where you can turn your video off and sit in silence the whole time, basking in the knowledge that you’ve done the bare minimum to boost your admission chances.
Tip #2: Exaggerate your achievements
If you’re like most Paly students, you probably didn’t do all that much compared to your peers. When everyone has great grades and mediocre essays, it’s hard to set yourself apart. One good way to stand out and better your admissions odds is stunning extracurriculars, or at least extracurriculars that sound stunning.
Sell yourself and exaggerate your most simple achievements. Even noble pursuits like volunteering can sound even better. You didn’t just tutor at-risk kids after school. You changed hundreds of lives because of your commitment to making sure that no one is left behind and your burning desire to see underprivileged students achieve their full potential.
College admissions is a game. And bending the truth is the name of the game
Tip #3: The sob story
Ultimately, the place in your application where you have the best opportunity to express your individuality is the essay.
The goal of the essay is to make your admissions officer root for you, and there’s no better way to make that happen than with a real tearjerker.
Spin a tale about the trauma you went through after you got a C+ on that English paper. Reminisce sadly about the price inflation at Town and Country, and don’t forget to mention how your pencil sharpener breaking led to your getting a B on your report card sophomore year.
Admissions officers will simply not be able to control themselves upon reading such a tragic tale.
If you follow my basic tips, you’re well on your way to continuing your academic career at the college of your dreams, provided you adjust the college of your dreams to something along the lines of CSU Bakersfield.