Thursday, December 5, 2013

Should You Come Out in Your College App Essay?

A very interesting Q/A-style article in the New York Times that offers more questions than answers on the issue of whether students should come out in their college application essays. Here's the question. To read the answer, and reader comments, click here.

""Q. Dear Civil Behavior: Our daughter is a senior in high school and quite comfortable with her lesbian identity. We support her 100 percent, but we know the world is not always so tolerant. As she’s writing her college application essays this fall, she’s “coming out” in them — and we think that’s a bad idea. You just never know who’s reading these essays, so why risk revealing your orientation to someone who might be biased against you? We’ve strongly suggested she think over the ramifications of what she’s doing, but she doesn’t seem to have any doubt about it. Deadlines are approaching and we are at an impasse. How can we persuade her to keep some things private if they might hurt her chances of admission?” — Anonymous  READ MORE

Sunday, December 1, 2013

JFK's Harvard College Application Essay

I guess it helped to be the son of the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, I mean, applying to Harvard in 1935, when John F. Kennedy applied. His grades at Choate were kind of grim - 62 and French and Latin - and his essay wasn't earth shattering. I can say with confidence that if you want to get into Harvard these days, you need something a little stronger than this. JFK's Harvard application and accompanying documents, including a priceless letter from his father, are now available on-line from the Kennedy Library right here. Fascinating stuff. 

This is his hand-written essay in its entirety:

"The reasons that I have for wishing to go Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definitive [cd be "definite"] to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a 'Harvard man' is an enviable destination, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain."  April 23, 1935