Connections and college admissions are not mutually exclusive. Shocker, we know! In a survey recently released by “Inside Higher Ed,” as reported by the “Chicago Tribune” in an article on connections and college admissions, “About a quarter of college and university admissions officers experience pressure from senior-level administrators, trustees and donors to admit some applicants, according to a first-of-its-kind survey of admissions leaders.” The only surprise to us is that only a quarter of college and university admissions officers were forthright in their responses! The cold hard fact is that connections can indeed matter in the college admissions process.
Does that mean that your kid is going to get in if you convince your local congressman to write a letter on your son’s behalf? No. In fact, we’d advise you not to do that! That will only hurt your son’s chances of admission. Does that mean that your kid is going to get in if you’re a CEO? That depends. A CEO of what? Influence talks, too! GE and a mom and pop bookstore aren’t exactly apples and apples in the game of college admissions.
And what about if you have a relationship with a trustee at the university to which your daughter is applying? If you really have a good relationship, we’d encourage you to milk that relationship if you feel comfortable doing so. Trustees have influence…at some colleges more than others, but they do have influence. Donors have influence as well. If you’re good pals with the guy whose name is on five campus buildings at the university to which your son is applying, it’s about time you two caught up on old times.