How to Secure Top Admissionsby Patti Brugman

  By Patti Brugman   

Now that offers of admission have gone out, sophomores and juniors are probably wondering what it takes to be offered admission to a top school.  We all know from Suzy Lee Weiss that being “the slowest person on the cross-country team” or “as diverse as a Saltine cracker” doesn’t make it.  So what does?  Be yourself, yes.  But take the time to make yourself interesting.  Here are a few suggestions:

·      Do what works for you to become one of a kind.  (Ex: The student with excellent grades and scores, was the drum major at his big high school, and had a terrific essay, got into all of his schools.  Big schools are looking for drum majors so this makes this student one of a kind.)

·      Make yourself well-known.  Have you been in the news? Can we Google your name and see some achievements?  By blogging frequently about your service or life-struggle, a student can become well-known.  (Ex: One student who was in the news as a Rose Princess was able to secure admission to Vanderbilt even after the January Rose Parade.)

·      Be someone who will make your future school look good. It seems impossible, but it isn't.  Everyone has something big to give that is completely within his/her scope of ability. (Ex: The Hispanic, inner city student with great grades who is also gay, offers incredible diversity.  He went to Yale. The poor student who gave a concert to raise money to attend a top music camp, got the whole church involved, made $1000 over his target amount, then gave it to the food bank-- made people cry, made the local news, and got into all of his schools. Don't be shy!)

It's all a game!  Schools love kids who are in the news. Think of a headline with your name on it:  

       Sam Muscleman, Eagle Scout who Moved a Barn, Chooses University of Washington!

       Patty Careacat, High School Blogger on Animal Care, Chooses Cal!

Add energy, work within what you're already doing, and go for the top.  (But if gets to be too much, settle back.  There are lots of terrific schools out there!