The dreaded college application process is consuming most seniors as I, a freshman, write this article. The application itself is a package of materials, which includes your grades, standardized test scores, letters of teacher and counselor recommendations, lists of extracurricular activities and personal essays. My grandmother, Linda Rue, is a twenty-five-year member of NACAC, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and she kindly agreed to speak with me about applying to colleges.
“Colleges use the application to get to know the student; they use it to understand if you [the applicant] would fit in at their particular school.” Rue further elucidates the importance of fit, saying that colleges want a “…representation of the country and a coexistence of academics and social lives on their campuses.”
The College Application allows for colleges to attain balance and diversity, making the process for the student even more paramount. Colleges can see scores and grades, but they also can see the uniqueness of every applicant, permitting them to design their particular desired community.
Rue suggests that every student “invest in not only their education but in their community as well,” that they “build an outlasting legacy.” Rue explained how a boy named Dominic took it upon himself to collect various used household items (coats, socks, etc.) from his community once a quarter and donated them to charity – and over time a few boxes turned into a few truckloads. The College Application enabled colleges to recognize Dominic for his honorable actions, something that would not have occurred without the current, diverse application system. Another student, Emily, reformed the public transportation system in Savannah, Georgia. This endeavor gave many local children a chance to visit the ocean who were not previously able to and Emily built a legacy that outlasted her.
“Regardless of what college you go to, all schools can lead to success; every person has a place in a college where your life can be wonderful,” encourages Rue. If you, the reader, give back to your community and participate in extracurricular activities, you will be able to present that information to the college of your choosing, creating your “hook” in your application. If you have any questions regarding the College Application and its process, please schedule an appointment with your school counselor.