• July 14, 2023

To AI or not?

The short answer is no. Chat-based AI bots make for great publicity videos and have their place in shaping how we learn in the future. However, when it comes to composing essays, what they do is basically surveying a vast trove of existing content and then create sentences by pattern matching.

  • July 2, 2023

Demonstrated interest

Not all elite colleges observe if applicants take additional action besides applying to show that they are already interested in becoming students of a given college. However, there are several, such as Dartmouth, Duke & Northwestern, that supposedly pay some degree of attention. While applying early is the strongest sign that an applicant really wants to join the student body, there are a few other ways to demonstrate interest:

  • June 12, 2023

Legacy consideration

Typically, when evaluating applications, the admissions staff of an elite college do pay attention whether an applicant has family members who are alumni. MIT, Caltech and Johns Hopkins are exceptions. What is considered legacy even varies between colleges, with factors like:

  • May 31, 2023

Admission essay pointers

College admission essays are crucial because that is how admission staff gets to know applicants without ever meeting them. Bear in mind that admission essays are fundamentally different from essays that applicants normally write in high school. Here are several pointers to help craft a memorable essay:

  • May 7, 2023

Red flags

When the admissions staff at elite colleges have to examine an ever increasing number of applications without the benefit of more time, it comes as no surprise that applications are rejected more quickly. With that in mind, here are some items that can be perceived as red flags when they review applications: