top of page

College Applications and Marketing Yourself

David Coleman, College Board CEO, referenced in his chat with Yahoo Finance, 40% of students self-report straight As. I call current GPA's "squishy," or perhaps similar to the analogy that in some schools, everyone gets a trophy.

A squishy GPA becomes a squishy application if it is the only tool showcased and leaves admission counselors from quality schools asking these questions:

  • We need strong retention - Is the student likely to engage and transition from freshman to sophomore year?

  • We need students that graduate on-time - Will this student be able to handle college-level work?

  • We need successful alumni - Wildly successful alumni bring prestige (and sometimes money) to schools. Does this student have goals and a plan?

College applications are a sales job and marketing one's self is a life skill that most students have yet to develop. Lack of marketing skills is not their fault; they have not been taught the tools or how to use them.

Moreover, many of the holistic application tools take honesty and vulnerability to work. These traits don't appear overnight. It takes time and trust for young adults to peel away the onion layers and become less guarded to shine. Imagine your teenage son asking how he can show his more vulnerable side? Yeah right!

As my husband's dear, late Uncle Morgan Wootten, was known to say, "inch by inch lives a cinch, yard by yard, it's really hard." Most students are greeted with the application process when their English teacher assigns the personal statement as a writing assignment, challenging them to be unguarded and then requiring a peer review - ha!

I like to say, our process is akin to spoon-feeding your baby carrots with their applesauce. If done correctly, they don't know it is good for them, but it takes time.

  • Let go of time-consuming activities - Instead, have your student explore genuine interests like:

    • Building a 2,000 square foot organic vegetable garden

    • Mapping election results

    • Becoming the IT guy for your 8 person family

  • Tell Stories - Tell me a story that reveals something about you that can't be found anywhere else on your application

  • Ask for help - Write a letter or ask for an interview

  • Plan Ahead - Store graded writing assignments or research papers to recycle as application content

As in all things from cooking in a crockpot to building confidence, time is our friend. We give students attention and time so they shine. Schedule a no-obligation conversation with us today.

177 views0 comments


  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
bottom of page