Dear Admissions Director
Sometime soon, you and your counterparts at several other colleges will be reviewing my son's application for admission to your institution. As his mom I have few thoughts I would like to share with you.
First let me say that I know you have a difficult job. You literally can't take everyone. Ironically, if you did take everyone, then you wouldn't be a school that everybody wants to attend. But there are a few things about my son's application I wish to point out to you.
Your website and recruiting materials all claim that while grades are important they are not a sole determining factor. Please remember that when you look over the boy's transcript. He's an excellent student, but not brilliant. He is especially not a good test taker. He had a hard time with some of his classes early on but did better the last two years. He attends an urban school whose prime focus is on getting kids to finish high school and graduate. They have limited resources for the kids who pass all the graduation tests their freshman year. But he has taken the AP and honors. classes where offered. His teachers love him, even when he doesn't do well in their class. He only needed to take 2 classes this year to graduate, but he is taking 4 AP classes this year, partly to show he can do college level work.
Here is what your transcripts won't tell you:
He is compassionate (Well except maybe to his little sister). He is drawn to help people. He allowed himself to be dressed up as a purple dinosaur (Not Barney) for a breakfast for former patients of our local children's hospital. He likes doing these things.
He is a natural leader. Other kids follow him by example. He has taken leadership training in Scouts and then come back the next year and helped conduct the course. He teaches others well, with an enthusiasm they catch. He wants to do the right thing.
He is curious. He wants to learn new things.
He's a good worker. He's an average athlete, but he is a 4 year letter man in baseball because his coaches respect his work ethic and sense of fair play. He has been a team captain since he was a sophomore.
He is applying for your college's history program. He has a gift for it. I don't just mean the gift of keeping all the names and facts in order, though he has that too. I mean the ability to put himself in a particular moment and fell he is there, and communicate the feeling to others. It's a gift I don't want to see wasted.
He has a great feeling for places too. He carefully researched your school before applying, not only the programs, but your locations, your alumni, the history of the area around you. He wants to attend your school.
So I hope I consider all this when you look at that application. Look beyond his ACT score (remember what I said about test taking?) and his great but not tops in his class grades. Try to see the potential he has, what a great person he could become at a fine institution like yours.
On behalf of my son, and all the kids applying for schools this year, I thank you.