I have the pleasure of reviewing your application for admission. Do I read your application? Oh yes! Do I get lost in your essay? Sometimes I do. Have you touched me emotionally? On occasion, yes, you have. Do I learn about you though your counselor and the recommendations you provide? Absolutely, and I do not know if you realize they will brag about you more than you will brag about yourself.
I meet you at a college fair, high school visit or, (on occasion) at a Starbucks over the summertime. I read your application, I am a part of the decision process and I want to be your best advocate. When I look over your application, I want to learn more about you. I want to see that you will succeed. Are you expected to be perfect? NO! Please don’t be. It is the differences you share with us that make us remember you, and those differences you bring make campus interesting. I am curious about you.
I see the struggle in 9th grade. You are not alone. This is more common than you think. I wonder, was this thing (high school) so new to you? Are you a late bloomer? Did you overextend yourself? You didn’t tell me your story and I am curious. I want to know you and see your potential.
I notice the D you received in Pre Calc the first semester of your junior year. A hiccup really, since you raised it to a B+ second semester. This shows me you have stamina, you stuck with it and you persevered. Your Pre Calc teacher has written a recommendation and confirms you have put in the time and studied hard to raise your grade. I am cheering on the inside.
I am reviewing the transcript, a bit saddened. I see mostly Cs and Ds, with only a couple of As and Bs in classes you actually like and you were honest enough to admit you do not do the homework, but what is the trend I am seeing here? Homework is preparation for the future. As an adult, you will still have homework, but it will be part of your job. I am wondering, will you be successful if you are admitted? Are you really ready to handle the academic course load? I would not want to set you up for more than you are ready for. I am unsure.
A severe concussion (in a sport) took you out of school for a few weeks when you were a sophomore. You worked hard, kept up with the work load and managed A’s and Bs in your Honor classes despite the heath challenge you had. I see you are determined. I am impressed.
All A’s taking a good deal of Honor, AP and Dual Enrollment courses, I am excited! I get to the activities. There is nothing listed. Your counselor spoke of your involvement in Habitat for Humanity, your teachers say what a leader you have been in and outside the classroom. Why have you listed nothing? I have nothing to note.
You just emailed me a list of additional activities you did not have room for on the application. I add it to your file. You have been thorough. Your essay talks about your passion for music and how it has made you who you are today. You added an additional comment explaining anxiety over testing and fear the lower test scores are all that will be considered, but from your explanation and the strong grades you are showing in your classes, you do have an understanding of the material you are learning. You have given me some valuable insight. I am grateful.
I read your application.
You are more than your GPA and test score.
Tell me your story.
I want to know you.
I am curious.
Jenn Paar Gross - Midwestern Regional Director, Undergraduate Admission