How to stand out and stay true to yourself when applying for college?
On April 28, MSB was thrilled to invite a former Ivy League admissions officer to give us a behind-the-scenes look at how best to prepare for the college admissions process and offer actionable advice to parents.
“Focus on what you want, not what admissions committees want,” said Becky Munsterer Sabky, former Director of International Admissions at Dartmouth College, as she shared with parents 10 pieces of advice, gleaned from her 13-year experience in making the tough decisions at the gate.
Among hundreds of thousands of recommendation letters that Becky has viewed, the candidate who has demonstrated qualities of kindness, curiosity, and generosity is more likely to prevail during this grueling process.
Comparing to a student with higher grades but teacher says it comes naturally, we are more interested in the one who thrives as a community member on campus despite slightly lower grades, said Becky who will launch her book Valedictorians at the Gate in August.
“We look for lifelong learners who seek opportunities inside and outside of class to enrich your intellectual experience. Don't obsess over grades, but do consider your holistic academic experience,” she said.
Students don’t have to tick every box and worry about a laundry list of extracurricular activities. Instead, find activities that matter to you.
“You don’t have to be a champion at everything. Focusing on how to present the things you love makes a difference.”
When researching schools, she suggested that reading online college newspapers would give you a better sense of what’s happening on campus instead of relying on rankings alone.
She encouraged students to make the most of high school, find out what you love, and get involved in it.
A college doesn’t choose you, you choose it.