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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.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Adding Value to your Admission Essay
Lots of fuss has been made, in this blog and elsewhere, about the high premium placed on third-level education in this country. The increasing competition at the top institutions has created a massive market for college admission prep, and a culture of anxiety surrounding the college admissions process. Most people view college admission as the ticket to success in life, but most young students don't fully appreciate its value.

Kicking in for tuition teaches young adults key life skills and makes them appreciate what they're getting for their money.

Let's take a look at this idea in the context of the admission essay. Most students look at the essay as an obstacle, rather than a ticket in. Like standardized testing and form applications, it is just another aggravating factor in the college admissions drudgery. But let's imagine for a minute that the student composing the essay knew that, wherever they got in, they'd be paying all or some of their tuition.

First of all, it might help take some of the sheen off of the elite institutions. Want to go to Yale? Got $40K for the first year? Secondly, it reminds students that attending college is as much of a privilege as getting in. The road doesn't stop at the admissions letter. Neither do life lessons of budgeting, time management, and following through on commitments end with college graduation.

So while college is a reward for a student's efforts, treating it as gift can undermine its real value. The admissions essay is just a tiny piece of a tiny era in a student's life. It is not a long-term responsibility.

Teaching young students how to apportion worth to every component of their college education is a vital lesson that will help them through the admissions process and well into their future.


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