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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Does Your Admission Essay Really Matter
Newsflash: I can't really give you that answer. But in the media's ongoing mission to make the college-admission industrial complex a bit of salacious spice, Time magazine is here to tell you it doesn't. Well, sort of. Because all good articles promise answers in the title that rarely follow.

The gist of Time's abbreviated musing is this: the best essay in the world won't dig you out of a pit of bad grades and mediocre test scores BUT a terrible essay can easily become the final nail in your coffin.

The problem with this and every line of enquiry about the mysteries of college admissions is that the vetting process is inherently opaque. It isn't a science, no matter how much data is squeezed from it. There are a million variables at play depending on the school and its individual admissions system, the applicants, the admission cycle, and the other unknowns.

Every affirmative action lawsuit is steeped in our inherent belief that it is possible to quantify a person's worth based on a litany of extrinsic qualities. If we had a perfect GPA and played water polo but didn't get in, it must have been because we were X race. Because we have to find a way to explain it.

So deciding that a personal statement is or isn't a deal breaker seems virtually impossible. Even Time's article notes that some people think it matters and others don't. Helpful? Nope. But so long as the college industry continues to plug along, one thing is for sure-if you don't try hard, you probably won't get in. So until then, pick up your laptop, and start putting your heart into that essay. You truly don't know how much it may count.


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