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The Word on AI from Admissions Offices: We Don’t Use It and Neither Should You, plus "Standing Out"

Chat GPT was a popular topic at the Independent Education Consultants Association Conference in CT last week. 

Boston College, Wellesley, and Tufts declared that AI is not used in their admissions offices. These colleges, plus the University of Connecticut (which has recently added an ED application option) stated that students should not rely on AI for their essays because it accomplishes the opposite of what we want essays to do: help a student stand out.

I say the same in the LCS Essay Contract I just sent out to students and families. Chat GPT essays are generally atonal, predictable in language, and overly wordy. Will its capabilities improve? Perhaps, but it does not convincingly replicate human thought and language now. 

I help students dig back and uncover personal stories to show admissions readers that they are more than the rest of their application. “Standing out” is tough to achieve when it does not come from genuine student action. Worry less about being "different" and focus more on being authentic. You can't fake doing what you enjoy.

I have shared some of these in blog posts, but here are some more ideas from the conference:

What are you good at? What makes sense to emphasize?

  • Join professional organizations that have high school chapters and can lead to an internship. Start a youtube channel/videos and/or a podcast.

  • Earn a Seal of Biliteracy Certification.

  • Did you quit the band/orchestra? Play music for seniors.

  • Do you love robotics? Become a play-by-play announcer for a middle school robotics team. 

  • Attend library author talks on a topic that interests you, including simply “writing.”

  • A community service idea you may not have known about?

  • Sign up for Lasagna Love, to cook and deliver food to needy families as often as you like.

  • Create a LinkedIn profile, and once in college, use LinkedIn to follow alumni who majored in your subject.

Next week…more info from the colleges!


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