Some hooks you can control and some you can’t. Either way, hooks give the college admissions committee a reason to vote for you.
In this post, we explore fate and fortune hooks as an application strategy.
Fate and Fortune Hooks
Some hooks are baked into your candidacy by virtue of birth or good fortune. They fall into three types: diversity, legacy and development hooks.
You don’t get to pick and choose diversity, legacy and development hooks. But you you do need to develop a game plan for how to use them.
Race and Ethnicity
California excludes race as a college admissions “plus-factor.” However, every other state counts it as a college admissions “plus-factor.” So, if you’re a student of color, tick that box on the Common App.
Even so, in some instances students of color are the majority. For example, a Latina that applies to Texas schools doesn’t have an ethnic advantage.
But she has an ethnic hook if she applies to a northeastern private school. That’s because she would add to the northeastern private school’s diversity.
Since Asian-Americans apply to selective schools in large numbers, they don’t get an advantage. However, Asian-Americans that target northern liberal arts colleges would have an advantage.
Even a white student that applies to a historically black college could gain an admissions advantage. However, in most cases race and ethnicity work as a college admissions “plus-factor” when students of color apply to predominantly white institutions.
First-Gen and/or Low-Income Hook
Top schools favor students who have achieved without having had economic “privilege.” What does this mean for you?
If your parents didn't go to college, you count as a first-generation student. Click To Tweet If your parents are low-income, that also counts.
Many schools view socioeconomic diversity as important. The first-generation hook could apply in the case of a white coal-miner’s daughter or a refugee’s child.
A legacy hook comes into play when a student applies to his or her parent’s alma mater.
Positioning yourself as a legacy works best when your parents have remained involved as alumni. If your parents have donated both time and money, even better.
Even so, being a legacy works only if your academic credentials are competitive.
The development hook can turn even a borderline applicant with donor potential into an admit. The truth is, applicants from families with a proven track record of making generous financial donations to schools are favored by admissions.
Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage Hooks
Does your socioeconomic status make you an attractive first-generation low income student with grit? Or does it make you an affluent development prospect who could fund the school’s next building project?
Geography and Gender Hooks as Diversity
Apply strategically using geography and gender hooks as appropriate.
Are you strategically applying to schools more than 400 miles from home? If so, you would add to the geographic diversity of the school.
In some cases, applying to schools virtually anywhere other than the east and west coast is enough to count as a geography hook.
Are you a woman applying to a male dominated field such as the school of engineering? If so, you bring something to the table simply by being female.
Are you a black or Latino male applicant? If so, you are part of a vanishing segment of the college population. That makes you a rare find among a sea of applicants.
The hook is the thing that makes you memorable. Ultimately, your hook gives the college admissions committee a reason to vote for you. Click To Tweet
What’s your hook?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
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