Focus on What You Can Control in College Admissions

We are swimming in uncharted waters. With the Supreme Court decision banning affirmative action and Legacy under review, many prospective applicants are scratching their heads. What does this mean for my application? Will this make it harder for me to get in? Or make it easier for me to get in? How will this impact the diversity that I want on campus? What does it all mean? 

We’ve been in uncharted waters before very recently. When Covid first came out, there were more questions than answers. And rightfully so, we found a way to get through it. The old adage, “Control what you can control and let go of the rest” applies to this year. We can’t control what the Supreme Court just decided. Just like we couldn’t control Covid. 

On the College Application Wheel (see below), Institutional Priorities include the following variables that colleges may prioritize or deprioritize in a given year: legacy, underrepresented minorities, geographic diversity, economic diversity, first-generation students, athletes, specific majors, etc.  But what hasn’t changed is that despite this latest ruling, colleges still want to create a diverse community of learners who align with their missions.

So what can you control? 

You can control what classes you take, how engaged you are in the learning process, and how hard you work. You can control how you focus your Intellectual Curiosity and the things that you spend your time thinking about, learning about, and questioning. 

You can control developing your Leadership and finding ways to use your voice to become an agent of change, mentor someone, or lead a club or team.  

You can cultivate a Special Talent and use your art, music, dance, and theater to make statements to represent what you are feeling or connect with others to bridge gaps. You can use your interest in architecture and the environment to think about ways to make a sustainable community. 

You can work hard at your Athletics to hone your sport, improve your times, unite your team, or get stronger. 

You can demonstrate your Character through kindness, compassion, being a good friend, or show how you were resilient in the face of adversity. 

Colleges will continue to find ways to create diverse communities, regardless of what SCOTUS decided. It’s never one single factor that makes the decision in admissions. It’s a confluence of many factors that come together that demonstrate to admissions how students will contribute to their community and align with their missions.

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