College Application Essay/Personal Statement Rubric

College Application Essay/Personal Statement Rubric-43
A stand-out essay in which the reader learns a lot about the applicant can earn top marks, while a well-written essay that reveals little about the applicant can earn middle-of-the-road marks, and a poorly written essay where the reader learns nothing new about the applicant can get a low mark.Evaluating the strength of your extracurricular activities, course load, essays and other soft factors against the admissions standards of the college or university, however, isn’t as simple as checking the information on the school’s website.

A stand-out essay in which the reader learns a lot about the applicant can earn top marks, while a well-written essay that reveals little about the applicant can earn middle-of-the-road marks, and a poorly written essay where the reader learns nothing new about the applicant can get a low mark.Evaluating the strength of your extracurricular activities, course load, essays and other soft factors against the admissions standards of the college or university, however, isn’t as simple as checking the information on the school’s website.

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When making admissions decisions, colleges and universities in the US don’t just look at grades and test scores.

There are a myriad of factors that admissions officers consider when evaluating college applications, and it’s important to understand what colleges are looking for in order to have the best chance of admission to your top-choice colleges.

The Admissions Rubric Most US universities use the “holistic review” process when evaluating college applications.

This means admissions officers place emphasis on the applicant as a whole person, not just his or her academic achievements, so soft factors may be given just as much consideration as the empirical data present in hard factors.

If the subject doesn’t matter to you, it won’t matter to the reader. It might be why you don’t believe in evolution or how you think kale must have hired a PR firm to get people to eat it. In school, you were probably encouraged to write papers that took a side. “I love my mom even though she makes me clean my room, hates my guinea pig and is crazy about disgusting food like kale” could lead somewhere While the personal essay has to be personal, a reader can learn a lot about you from whatever you choose to focus on and how you describe it.

That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.

So, if a student whose test scores fall slightly below the average of previously admitted students, giving them a 1 in that category, but scores a 3 everywhere else, that student still meets that 20 point threshold. On the flip side, a student with above average grades and test scores might get top marks in those categories, but if he or she has a poor essay, little extracurricular involvement, an easy course load, and poor recommendation letters, he or she will most likely score below that 20 point threshold –not qualifying for admission.

The bottom line is, there’s not one factor – grades, test scores, essays, etc.

For example, if the average SAT score of previously admitted students is 2100, that then serves as the benchmark for evaluating new applicants.

If an applicant has an SAT score above 2100, he or she can be given the highest score for that particular category.

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