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Read our exclusive interviews with admissions insiders from these top U.S. colleges

“Being able to see something on the resume that has actually evolved over time and helped the person into a better individual as opposed to having 10 to 15 on their resume, I think that the former is way more valuable than the other.”

— Jerilyn, Harvard admissions interviewer  

“…only keep one set of eyes on your personal statement, whether it’s Northwestern or anyone else.”

— Justin, Northwestern admissions director  

“There are still students now who think that they could get a spot off the waiting list, even though it’s like beyond statistically unlikely.”

— Deborah, Carnegie Mellon admissions director  

“I read her essay and I told her, ‘Your essay is horrible. You have about a paragraph and you’re not saying why you’re interested in University of Michigan.'”

— Bryan, UMich admissions director  

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Top Admits: Justice Wooden, USC Admit

"Because my family is a well-known Black family in the Black community here in Charleston, I sometimes am also trying to uphold a certain standard and not fall into the peer pressure and environments that people sometimes are pushing me into," says full-ride USC admit Justice Wooden who was raised by his grandma and seen as the "nerdy kid" of his community.

Dear Socrates, Feature


Teacher Columnist: Get great college recs with a low GPA and shy personality? Yes, it’s possible.

TEACHER COLUMNIST: "Just like how the fashion industry continues to perpetuate unrealistic beauty characteristics as the majority look, education often perpetuates a reality of a student with an excellent GPA, involved in sports, and involved in all the extracurricular activities as the norm." Teacher Columnist Daniel Lieu shares 3 ways students with low grades and shy personalities can still receive meaningful teacher recommendations for college.

The Skinny

College enrollment plummets in California

  • This state has the biggest drop in college enrollment in the U.S. Which one?
  • Which East Coast college is slashing tuition by 50% for everyone?
  • Here's another employee perk: free tuition for college employees. Where?

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