While many of our college counseling clients have been accepted to their first choice colleges through either Early Action or Early Decision, there are also some who have been deferred and some who have been placed on the wait list of their desired first choice. Every year, we work with students to give them their best shot at gaining admission even at this juncture.
Understanding the mindset of admissions officers is likely the area where we have our deepest advantage. I’ll provide a movie review metaphor to understand. If you have seen The Power of the Dog, you may have done so due to the great reviews provided by PROFESSIONAL MOVIE CRITICS. Audience members – the regular people – seem to have a very different reaction. Most found the movie boring. I watched due to the great reviews and kept waiting for the movie to get good. Since I’m at a certain age, I suppose I have one thing in common with movie critics: I have seen a lot of movies. So despite finding the movie boring – like most “regular people” – I also was intrigued by the fact that I had no idea where the movie was going. And I like that because after watching enough movies, I get bored pretty quickly when I spot a formulaic plot. Movie reviewers have seen thousands of movies so they likely have the same mental framework: (1) they overrate movies that are not predictable and (2) they underrate movies that are predictable. On that front – Don’t Look Up was savaged by critics but loved by the audience.
That’s a long walk to get to the point here but I hope the following makes sense: college admissions officials are like professional movie critics. They will not pay much attention to standard update letters and expressions of interest. Such letters are certainly better than nothing. But… one more letter indicating “I really want to attend your college….” won’t move them unless there is something unusual.
That’s where we come in. We would have to know you and your situation to help craft the unusually compelling letter. But I know with certainty that we can help give our clients the best shot at admission once we are involved.