We will always love Tina Fey, but we here at Admissionado aren’t the biggest fans of her latest movie, “Admission.” Ms. Fey plays a member of the Princeton adcom who tries with all her might to score an admit for a “diamond in the rough” student. The kid has done well in school but hasn’t taken the top courses, and has kind of a fuzzy past record at his old school. But Fey’s character sees promise in the lad. Try as she might to persuade her colleagues, the Princeton committee rejects the candidate. Fey takes matters into her own hands; sneaks into the office at night to change the kid’s rejection letter to an acceptance letter. Hilarity (we were told) ensues, Paul Rudd shows up, and you can pretty much fill in the rest.
Of course the rules are often bent and pried this way and that in Hollywood to deliver light-hearted entertainment, but former Sarah Lawrence Adcom member Nicolaus Mills’s article isn’t so quick to give the film’s message a pass (here’s an excert from the CNN.com article):
What worried me — and will, I assume, worry high school students and their parents — is the film’s implication that the only way a diamond in the rough gets into a college such as Princeton is through an admissions officer willing to sacrifice her best interests.
Well, while this “implication” may make for good comedy (we were told), there’s good news for all you applicants who may be nervous: don’t worry… it’s not true. In fact, there are more qualified applicants than there are seats available at top colleges. Colleges by and large want MOSTLY diamonds in the rough, who somehow are able to distinguish themselves from the pack by NOT fitting the mold. Sure, test scores and grades and other conventional metrics are important for the selection process to work, but there is also an “x” factor with each candidate—where the intangible qualities have a chance to pierce through impersonal stats like SAT scores and class rank. A student can tell a story through a knockout essay or even choices made in extracurricular activities. Taken together, sophisticated adcom members will consider both the tangibles and intangibles in an effort to evaluate his/her future potential in adding value to the school community.
Don’t sweat the Hollywood tale. Trust the process. As long as you convey your unique story as effectively as possible, you won’t need Tina Fey to forge a counterfeit acceptance letter for you…
By Emily Herzlin, Admissionado Senior Editor
(Image from screenrant.com.)