Being Nice in College Admissions

Being nice in college admissions matters a great deal. Just as it does in life. Nice college applicants don’t always finish last. In fact, they often finish first. Being nice, after all, will have an impact on a number of components of your college application. There are the teacher letters of recommendation. There’s the guidance counselor letter of recommendation. There is the alumni interview. There are your communications with college admissions counselors. And so much more.

Be Nice in College Admissions, Kindness in Ivy League Admissions, Kindness in University Admission

Being nice can matter a great deal in highly selective college admissions (photo credit: Jawed Karim).

How nice you are to your teachers will play a major role in their crafting of your letters of recommendation. Do you think they’ll go to bat for the student who gets the best grades but isn’t nice or the student who makes great contributions to their class and is also a nice person? If you have any doubt, it is most certainly the latter. And the same is true of your guidance counselor letter of recommendation. Are you the student who demands that he/she switch you out of courses? Are you the student whose parents complain if they don’t put you in the honors courses? This can all come back to haunt you in your guidance counselor letter of recommendation. Better always to be nice.

And being nice on your alumni interview and in your interactions with college admissions counselors should come easy to you — even if you’re not naturally a nice person. After all, most people know to be nice to those who are in position to make big decisions that impact your life. But also be nice to the receptionist in the office of admissions. Treat him or her rudely and there just might be a note in your file. It happens all of the time! Every interaction that you have at the office of admissions — you should just assume that it’s being recorded. Is every conversation being noted in your file? No. But some are. So just…always be nice. It’s as simple as that!

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