There is a terrific piece in “The Atlantic” written by David A. Graham entitled “How to Get Into Harvard” that is worthy of sharing. In the piece, Graham cites Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, who states, “‘We could fill our class twice over with valedictorians’…That means admissions officers rely on intangibles like interesting essays or particularly unusual recommendations to decide who comprises the 5.9 percent of applicants who get in.” So what does the Harvard president recommend to high schoolers and their parents? He splendidly captures it all in a line: “Make your children interesting!” So. Very. True.
The fact is that the vast majority of students who come to us just don’t seem very interesting at all. Perfect grades and perfect ACT or SAT scores do not an interesting person make. Sorry. You’re still boring with that 2,400 SAT score. You’re probably even more boring than the student who scored a 2,250. It’s often the case! Test scores and grades, in our many years of experience in the highly selective college admissions business, do not in any way correlate with “interestingness.” We help our students become interesting. It’s a big part of what helps them gain admission to the colleges of their dreams…like Harvard.
Graham writes in his piece, “But the good news is that when colleges use this set of criteria, kids can focus on shaping their teenage years in a way that isn’t just about trying to build up resume line after resume line, and instead focus on a more holistic sense of self. That seems like a far more sensible way to move through high school than spreading oneself too thin trying to get a slew of positions one can’t really ever concentrate on. That encourages a dilettantish approach to learning and society that is just the opposite of what the liberal arts have traditionally tried to encourage.” We could not agree more.
Do you want us to help make your child interesting? We help students become interesting all the time. And guess what? Not only does it help them gain admission to highly selective colleges, but they learn a valuable life skill…how to be interesting going forward. Who wants to hire a job candidate who isn’t interesting? Who wants to date someone who isn’t interesting? No matter their grades and test scores. Develop a personality! It will serve you well in college admissions. And in life!