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The Ivy Coach Daily

September 29, 2011

College Admission Counselors

For college admission counselors, the thicker the file…the thicker the student.

College admission counselors don’t like thick files. In fact, there’s an old saying in college admissions that predates submitting applications online. Yes, there really was a time when students mailed in their applications via snail mail! That old college admissions saying is: “The thicker the file, the thicker the student.” But what does that mean, you ask?

It means that college admission counselors don’t want to read the extra letter of recommendation from your local congressman. They don’t want to watch the DVD of you hitting a flat on the piano when you should have hit a sharp. They don’t want to receive a book that you wrote as a precocious third grader. They don’t want to watch you play tennis in a forty-five minute video. Rather, college admissions counselors will think if you’re so good, how come you’re not on the coach’s radar?

In college admissions, stick to the real estate you are given. If you’re given 500 words in a supplement, don’t try to put in 800. If an essay prompt asks for five adjectives to describe you, don’t give them nine! The playing field is even when you are given 500 words max so don’t try to give yourself an advantage by writing more. It will do just the opposite to your candidacy. Less is more. Be precise. Succinct. Terse. Add whatever SAT word you want here but make sure you stick to the real estate afforded to you. You’d be amazed how many people don’t seem to get this.

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