If you are from a middle-class family, what would you think about college admission after you read the following articles:
- A College-admissions Edge for the Wealthy: Early Decision (Washington Post)
- Ivy League Admissions Are a Sham: Confessions of a Harvard Gatekeeper (WGWKER.com)
- Dirty Secrets of College Admissions (The Daily Beast)
- Many Colleges Offer Affirmative Action for the Rich and Powerful (Time.com)
College Admission Process is not Transparent Enough
Do you feel angry and say “It’s not fair”? You may be right. You are living in a world of comparison and scrutiny. “25% of college admissions officers felt pressure to admit influential slackers,” according to the article titled “Many Colleges Offer Affirmative Action for the Rich and Powerful.” The admission selection process of top schools has been criticized by many as a process of screening the rich and pool applicants. After all, even a top college needs money to operate and sustain. Favoring whoever could pay for the tuition in full is the most reasonable and sensible choice for colleges to do. Why? Read this article
The advantages of top colleges admitting rich students include:
- It could generate more endowment from rich alumni in the future.
- Rich students have more resources to become successful and powerful. In return, they could become their alma maters’ best marketing figures.
- It could result in higher graduation rate, and that is good for academic rankings.
Tips for Low- or Middle-income class students
What can a low-income or middle-income class applicant like you do to stand out against the rich for college admission consideration? Here are what you can present to the schools of your interest:
- Your excellent academic performance (which is the most crucial factor for many schools to admit a student);
- Your high ACT or SAT scores (more and more schools don’t need these two scores) or other test scores for admission;
- Your related work experience, talents, or ability;
- Your strong recommendation letters;
- Your extra-curriculum and leadership activities, and
- A well-thought-out written essay expressing your value of life, career, and college education.
Top schools want to see what efforts and differences you can contribute to their schools once you become a student of theirs. When they see accepting you as a student has a whole world to gain and nothing to lose, you are likely to be accepted.