The false promise of 'holistic' college admissions

Thursday, December 19, 2013

College applicants these days take the admissions process so personally. Not because today’s youth can’t face disappointment, but because the system for applying to selective colleges in the United States asks students to view the process as, well, personal.

This begins when students decide where to apply. As an applicant, you’re urged to find the school that’s most in line with your “personality.” Then comes the college admissions essay. Even students not the least bit inclined to confessional writing are asked to spill to strangers (and to parents who may be reading the thing over). You’re invited to show your truest self by sharing a story you might normally reserve for close friends.

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