Saturday, July 10, 2010

What Forbes needs to learn from Adam Wheeler

A piece in Forbes titled How to Get Into College written post-"Adam Wheeler" comes across as monstrously humorous, and naive, in light of the Adam Wheeler saga.

Adam Wheeler got into Harvard (and also Stanford). In reality, he was an above average student at a public high school in Delaware. On his admissions forms, he was a straight A student from Phillips Andover. Forbes notes:

Admissions officers are "social engineers, and they are looking for that kid from Montana who has potential, and they know that Harvard will rock his world," says Denver-based college consultant Mark Montgomery. "They are going to have a certain number of kids who come from the Deerfields and the Dalton Schools. That's great--we want them, too, but they are looking for that kid who is genuinely different."

"The boy who lives on a ranch in North Dakota," he adds, "is not judged by the same standard as the private school kid in New Jersey."

The correct statement might have been: admissions officers can't figure out that the boy who said he went to Phillips Andover is really the boy from Delaware public school, and they don't have the time to verify what's on your admissions form. One notes Wheeler even utilized, successfully, bogus SAT scores of 1600, which the admissions officers did not verify.

Of "admissions essays"-->

The experts also agree that essays are the most crucial part of any application, because it's one of the few chances students have to bring their application to life--otherwise it's just a laundry list of academic and extracurricular credentials.

"Make sure that every time you have the opportunity to write an essay, that it's about some different aspect about you," says Katherine Cohen, founder of the New York-based college consulting firm IvyWise. If a student's résumé says she is captain of the soccer team, and her coach wrote an extra letter of recommendation, then turn to another topic. Says Cohen: "Maybe I don't know that you're a vegetarian. Tell me about that."

At the end of the day, Adam Wheeler had a far better grasp of "how to get into a college" than Forbes does.


Adam Wheeler dupes Harvard

Oh, no, Stanford accepted Adam Wheeler!

Why Adam Wheeler wanted in at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.

Study: Medical Residency Applicants and Plagiarism

But a team from Brigham & Women’s Hospital wanted to know about a different sort of copycatting — using plagiarized material in a medical or surgical residency program admissions essay.

In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers report finding “evidence of plagiarism” in 5.2% of such essays by applicants to Brigham’s internal medicine, anesthesiology, general surgery, OB-GYN and emergency medicine residency programs between Sept. 2005 and March 2007.

The researchers used software that analyzed personal statements, seeking similarities with material including “Web pages, printed resources and previously submitted essays.”


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