If we had one sentence or less to express how we most significantly help our students earn admission to their dream colleges, it’s that we help our students tell their stories. We help them become masterful storytellers. We help our students shape their personal narratives so they’re compelling, so they’re interesting, so they inspire admissions officers to want to root for them.
And if you don’t think a student’s story matters, we wish you all the best in the highly selective college admissions process. In the latest issue of the “Dartmouth Alumni Magazine,” Dartmouth’s incoming Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin (the former Dean of Admissions at Tufts University and someone we’ve long applauded for telling it like it is) expressed, “‘Prospective students seem most surprised when I tell them that their stories matter as much as their own numbers. Your narrative and how you shape it can set you apart.”
The words of Lee Coffin aren’t only true at Dartmouth College. They’re true at every highly selective college across the nation. A student’s narrative is of paramount importance in college admissions. Do the numbers matter? You bet they do. But so too does the story. Students with perfect grades and perfect or near-perfect scores are so often denied admission by America’s most highly selective colleges. So often, it’s because they just don’t have interesting stories or maybe they did and they just didn’t know how to convey it.