“Is that it?” she said, and sighed and shook her head when her assistant pushed five more envelopes across the desk. Part of the job, she thought. The hard part.
As Director of Admissions at an elite college, she spent many long days sharing coffee and discussions with her team. There were too many qualified teenagers with similar credentials vying for the limited available spots still unfilled. Now, she needed to make final decisions on this last batch of applications left in the Yes or No pile.
Opening the next envelope, she read the name on the cover letter. “Ah, a male applicant,” she said. “We need more males to balance the freshman class.” Her assistant nodded and wrote in a notepad.
The letter consisted of eight sentences: My transcript shows I am an excellent student and more than capable to continue my studies in a stringent college environment. All awards, civic activities, inclusion in sports teams, summer employments, and teacher recommendations are attached as well.
As for my personal essay, when I was in first grade, my teacher had us write on note cards as part of an assignment. We had to say something we admired about our fellow students. Enclosed are the cards written about me. They were true then. They still are. Thank you for your consideration.
She shook the envelope, and a confetti of brightly colored laminated cards fell onto her desk. She glanced at her assistant, who held out her hands palm side up and shrugged her shoulders. Spreading them as if playing a game of solitaire, she looked at each one.
-Brian is smart and reads lots of books.
-He is fun and loves to sing.
-Brian knows lots of big words.
-He is kind and knows how to fix things.
-Brian helps anyone. Even if he doesn't like you.
-He brings good snacks. He shares his lunch if you forgot to bring one.
-He is good at sports. And wins!
And this one from his teacher: Brian is a leader.
She read all the rest, and put them and the supporting documents back in the envelope. Placing it on the small pile on the right side of her desk, she looked at her assistant, who smiled and handed her another one.