Last year, the United States of America’s educational system was wracked by the media dubbed as the college admission scandal. It was brought to light that wealthy parents routinely bribed and cheated their way to ensure their kids get admitted into elite universities and colleges.
Hollywood celebrities, including Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and Full House alum Lori Loughlin, were among the accused. Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and a two-week prison time, plus a fine of $30,000. Meanwhile, Lori Loughlin was sentenced to two-month jail time, which she served at Dublin, California’s Federal Correctional Institution.
Now, what does this scandal say about college application? Simply put, it gets rather competitive. And parents, for the love of their children, will go to great lengths to provide their kids with the best education, even if it lands them in jail. If you’re a son or daughter with a loving mom or dad, this should get you thinking. Are you ready to send your parents off to prison whilst you bask in the academic and romantic ambiance of, let’s say, one of the Ivy League schools?
Well, you do not have to. There’s a straightforward and ethical way to pursue your dream university. It does not involve paying large sums of money to school officials. On top of maintaining consistently high grades, here are proven and tested ways.
1. Get an IB education
IB stands for International Baccalaureate. This rigorous program prepares students for advanced academic pursuits. An IB diploma puts you at an advantage come college application. It is recognized internationally, which means you can apply to top colleges in foreign countries of your choosing.
The best IB schools dedicate their efforts to holistic education. That involves honing students’ intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills. The end goal is to develop a high-value person who can significantly contribute to an increasingly globalized world.
2. Be active in non-curricular activities
Do not focus solely on academics. Straight A’s will look better on paper if they are alongside proofs of your active engagement in your school community. So devote time to organizations that suit your interests best. Join an art club or a sports club and be an active and helpful member. Run for the student council, as class president, if you’re up for it, and set your eyes on the prize ala Tracy Flick.
You will have to list down all the non-curricular activities you have participated in high school for your college application. The more activities, the better.
3. Collect internships
While your classmates spend summer vacations for rest and recreation, why not spend a summer vacation or two completing an internship, whether paid or unpaid? There are many benefits to be had from these programs.
You will gain essential on-the-job experience. Your confidence and communication skills will get a boost too. And once you write your application letter to your preferred college, you’ll have more credentials to list than most of the other applicants.
4. Attend training and seminars
Extend your community involvement outside the campus. Join leadership training hosted by your local government. Sign up for privately-sponsored seminars on different topics, from climate change to feminism. The goal is to expand your area of knowledge and expertise.
5. Read and hone your writing skills
Reading voraciously will do you good. Most readers learn how to write well. And writing is a skill set you will need for a college application. If you’re an ardent reader, it will be easier for you to construct sentences, write linked paragraphs, and create an essay that is both readable and coherent.
Those in charge of college admissions enjoy reading these essays. They get touched by the diverse stories they read from applicants. If you wrote a winning essay, you might even get a slot in your top one college, even with subpar grades.
Once you get into your dream college, make sure to maximize the experience. Remember that while education should ideally be a right, it is, in reality, a privilege. That is most apparent in the last four decades, where tuition has tripled, making quality college education even more exclusive to the affluent and those willing to risk incurring gargantuan student debt.
If you have financially capable parents who will pay for your college, recognize and be thankful for that privilege. Show your gratitude by taking intellectual pursuit seriously. And once you move out of the university and into the world, put what you have learned to good use for yourself and the rest of humanity.