Asians in college admissions should dare to be different. Yes, we are addressing an entire ethnic group…even if this isn’t as PC as you’d like it to be. At Ivy Coach, we’re not necessarily always PC, but we always give it to you straight. We are unapologetically honest, even if it risks upsetting you. The fact is that stereotypes are often based on truths. Just read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” if you don’t think this is true. Stereotypes are survival instincts. They are hardwired into our brains so that we can process information quickly, so that we can survive. The psychologist Robert Cialdini calls this processing “click whirr.”
And college admissions officers stereotype just like the rest of us. When they come across an Asian or Asian American applicant, they look to see if he or she is first or second chair violin. They look to see how many years he or she has run track. And they look to see if his or her SAT scores are perfect or just close to perfect. Yes, these are all stereotypes. But people stereotype. The sooner that you accept this fact, the sooner you can start preparing a fantastic college application that will distinguish you from the pack.
If you’re an Asian or Asian American applicant to a highly selective college such as an Ivy League college, avoid things like the violin. Avoid running track. Dare to defy the stereotypes of your ethnicity. Dare to be different. Dare to do something that many Asian and Asian American applicants would never think of doing. Maybe this means being a lover of classic literature. Maybe it means being an amazing water polo player. Find a hook that distinguishes you from the rest. And, yes, helping students find their hooks is what we do best at Ivy Coach.