An admissions officer at Tufts University, Matt Wittman, recently sent out an email that reads: “Sometimes, it’ll feel like everybody has university application advice. Your guidance counselor, your mom, your friend’s mom, your mom’s friend, your teachers, your best friend, your best friend’s best friend (shouldn’t that just be you?). It’s hard to keep it all straight, and half of what you’re told probably conflicts with the other half. People want to help even when you don’t ask for it. The best advice I can give you (you know, advice you didn’t ask for) is this: trust yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in all the opinions people might have about your applications. But if somebody offers advice, or insists you change something, and it just doesn’t feel right to you, have the confidence in yourself to put that perspective aside. If your instinct is speaking to you, listen to it. It might not always feel like it, but we are in this together, and I (and the rest of Tufts admissions) want to help you put your best application forward.”
Well said, Matt! We’ve had a number of students (and parents) over the years who like to seek out the advice of teachers, school counselors, friends, checkout folks at Trader Joe’s, policemen, and old ladies on street corners when it comes to their college admissions essays. Word of advice? Don’t do that. There’s an old expression about there being too many cooks in the kitchen. Don’t put too many cooks in your kitchen when it comes to your college admissions essays.
Hire an expert. There aren’t many. There are many who claim to be experts but, really, dig through the website to gauge for yourself if they’re genuine experts. Read about them in the press if indeed they’re in the press. See if the website has information or if it merely lists services. Ivy Coach website has thousands of pages worth of information on highly selective college admissions. And then, once you hire the expert, trust the expert. Don’t invite other cooks into the kitchen. It doesn’t make sense and it won’t benefit your college admissions essays. Trust in your investment.