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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!