Think you’ve got a handle of your daughter’s college admissions profile? One question we sometimes hear during free consultations with prospective clients (we don’t hear these kinds of questions with our clients — they know better!) goes something like this: “My daughter is white, she’s from the northeast, she’s got great grades and great scores. But does she have a chance at the most highly selective schools since there are so many others with her profile?” It’s a question that is indeed a bit irritating. After all, the subtext of the question is that it’s very hard for Caucasian students to earn admission to America’s most elite colleges. And that’s not untrue. It is difficult for Caucasian students to earn admission to America’s most elite colleges. It’s also difficult for Indian American, Chinese American, African American, and Latino applicants, among others to earn admission to these institutions. We had to say that. It doesn’t go without saying.
But the other subtext of the question is whether these schools are even looking for Caucasian applicants. And that is ridiculous. Of course they’re looking for Caucasian applicants. The vast majority of every class at every highly selective school continues to be Caucasian. They’re looking for intellectually curious and talented Caucasian applicants just as they’re looking for intellectually curious and talented Native American applicants. Now does it help in the admissions process to be an underrepresented minority? Of course it does. You weren’t born yesterday. We don’t have to tell you that. But to suggest that it’s near impossible to get into these institutions if you’re a white applicant from the northeast is preposterous. And we’ve got a body of work (a body of work that includes many Caucasian students!) over the last quarter of a century that counters this suggestion.
Which brings us to the “similar profiles” component of the question. One’s race and geography does not a profile make. Ridiculous. There are oh so many more components to a “profile” and that’s a big part of what we at Ivy Coach do — we help shape students’ profiles so they are interesting, so they are compelling. Indeed we consider it our task to dare admissions officers not to admit our students with their unique and wonderfully weird college admissions profiles.
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