Use of Resources

A student of mine was applying to an expensive private American high school. We were discussing her motivational letter, where she had written that she wanted to study there because they offered photography and web-design classes – activities she claimed she could not practice at home. I asked her if her family had a photo camera or a computer, and she told me that they had both. Then I asked her if there was someone forbidding her from using them to take pictures or create web-sites. She said, “Well, no, but we don’t study these at school.” Well, this statement did not explain why she did not practice photography or web-design on her own.

Too many applicants from my country believe that complaining about lack of resources would somehow help them get into college. Too many of them have access the Internet, digital cameras, libraries and cell phones. Admissions officers are aware of that because they know Bulgaria is an EU member, so it’s plain clear to them that we are NOT part of the Third World. Furthermore, they are not interested in what you haven’t but in what you have done. They are not interested in how you haven’t used what you lacked but in how you used the available resources. Not making use of available resources cannot be justified by lack of other resources.

I had a student who had neither a cell phone nor home access to the Internet but was offered fabulous financial aid by fifteen colleges, 5 Ivies among them. She never mentioned lack of resources in her application.

Colleges will not accept you because they pity you; they will accept you because you have become their hero – someone who has done his best out of what he has where he happens to live.

Believe it or nor, “use of resources” is one of their criteria for admission 🙂


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