Close

09/04/2019

If you were accepted to NYU……?

QUESTION
If you were accepted to NYU……?
What did you get on your SAT/SAT subject tests?

Oh, and did they say that your college essay “is what got you into that school?”

I’ve heard that some people get into really competitive colleges not because of their grades, but because of their essays!!!

ANSWER
I didn’t go to NYU, but I can tell you that I got into an Ivy despite having been in the bottom fifth of my class. The essay would have been part of that, along with other factors (I was told in essence that I was an extraordinary applicant in every respect except my grades). So yeah, I’d say that the essay can make a difference. Having seen some of the essays people post, I can see why: they tell me a lot about the person who wrote them, not infrequently negative (bad grammar, simple declarative sentences and limited vocabulary, boring topic, not creative, nothing to say, etc.). One can rapidly get a sense of the person (and that would go for a ghost written or adult-aided essay as well, teens think and write like teens and significant adult contributions will stand out like a sore thumb). If I read an essay by someone with the talent of a Hemingway, or someone who told how they’d studied for their SAT’s by candlelight while bombs rained down on their hut, I’d certainly take notice, think this is the sort of person who will make the classroom hum, or achieve great things.