The College Application Process Isn’t What It Used To Be

Back when I was applying to college, if I was wait-listed or was deferred, I would just sit back and do nothing about it (luckily that didn’t happen; I applied to only three schools). Not today’s teens, however. Not only are they sending physical letters to colleges, many students are putting themselves out there via social media, making videos on YouTube, and the like:

Ms. Wolfbauer, of Carver, Minn., says she has written the admissions department to tell it “how much I want to go there and why Hamilton has been my No. 1 choice since the beginning of my college search”; she sent in “a lot of high school projects,” including one that won a statewide competition; and last weekend she started filming a video with friends — teachers to be added later — “basically telling them how awesome I am, talking about the positive qualities I have and why Hamilton should accept me.”

Does she ever worry it might be too much? “I more worry that I’m not doing enough,” she said.

Especially not while other students on waiting lists are bombarding their dream schools with baked goods, family photos, craft projects depicting campus landmarks and dossiers of testimonials from civic and religious leaders, to name just a few come-ons that admissions offices have seen over the past month.

The Times compiled some of the video pleas here. Below, a few of the ones I’ve watched:


Good luck to all the wait-listed students out there!

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