Let’s not forget, these are people making decisions about people.

When you break it down, that’s what college admissions is at competitive colleges. Yes, there are academic standards such as grades and scores that must be met, but most students in the applicant pool for any particular competitive college share similar grades, scores, class rank and wonderful extra curricular activities. And certainly if you possess a specific talent (athletic, musical, leadership, academic achievement) that the school recognizes and needs, they’ll take notice. And if you’re a legacy, that can also help. But among groups of students who all share characteristics deserving of admissions, what makes one student get in over another?

Often the difference is whether your admissions officer (at the college) knows who you are. In other words, do they know you? Have they heard from you? Do they know you are interested in attending their college? And by the way, what’s critical is whether they know you, the student…not you helicopter parent who might be making all the calls and sending all the emails on Missy’s behalf.

With all the technology we have that has made so many things easier, including applying to college, success often comes down to the human touch, or whether the other person knows you and likes you.

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