Getting the Answers
A colleague wrote to ask me about using the topic of anorexia in a common app essay. Was it appropriate? Would it work against the student in the admissions office? I explained how this topic, like most others, can be structured to tell a powerful, positive story under certain circumstances. Her student was able to develop a strong essay that showed her commitment to her recovery, both emotionally and physically.
One reason I love being part of a network as a professional Independent Education Consultant is the support of my colleagues. Every day, we help each other with questions like these:
“My student only has three years of a foreign language, but he’s applying to ___ for CompSci. Most other applicants will have four or five. In your experience, will it matter? And is it better for him to apply to CompSci in the School of Language Arts or the School of Engineering?"
"My student visited ___ and loved the campus. But she is shy and prefers to have a small group of friends and I know the intense Greek culture will not be a fit for her. Have you had similar students attend ___? Any girls? Would they be willing to talk to my student?"
"Have you spoken to the NJ ___ rep? What's going on with engineering admit rates? How much did they drop last year?"
"Why is ___ running out of dorm space? Are they overenrolled? What's going on?"
How do we get the answers? We develop professional relationships with each other as well as admissions officers, who share information with us in webinars, on campus visits, or simply through emails and calls. We cannot “get students into colleges” because we subscribe to a code of ethics. But our valuable network means we can help them better.