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potential hook?

stress4collegestress4college 11 replies5 threads Junior Member
This might be a stupid question, but humor me. Is being an bilingual immigrant a hook in terms of college admissions? I don't want to say what country for privacy reasons, but *Genovian/insert whatever country* culture is truly a big aspect of my life, and I plan on making it a big part of my college application. With that said, will colleges take any interest in this?
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Replies to: potential hook?

  • SybyllaSybylla 4508 replies56 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2019
    Do you not go to a public school? This is America. It is THE melting pot.
    edited July 2019
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  • stress4collegestress4college 11 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited July 2019
    I go to a public school in one of the most diverse areas of california. I was just wondering if it would even be worth mentioning during the admissions process. thanks for your response!
    edited July 2019
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 30018 replies59 threads Senior Member
    Of course, it’s s wonderful attribute to have. Colleges using holistic processes for admissions want a diverse community, so a strong connection to an unusual country or culture will be a plus. But a hook? I don’t think so.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35300 replies399 threads Senior Member
    Lots of kids are multicultural. Lots treasure this. Now, why does your own connection make *you* the right candidate?

    Don't get so hung up on hoping for a hook that you miss all it takes.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6117 replies26 threads Senior Member
    Not stupid question but no hook. Mention it as part of your interests or put it in your essay but that's about you and why you should be admitted.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7454 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I'll go further and say, no, not a hook and no, not even a tip.

    A "hook" is something the college values and you have. That could be a special talent (often in sports, but also some of the major prizes), high stats in a URM, donor $$, etc.

    Bluntly, bilingual applicants who love their cultural heritage are plentiful so there isn't even enough novelty to be a tip. Of course, it *can* make a great essay (pro tip: the 'clash of cultures' trope is well worn, so if you want to go that route be sure to go past the first cut of 'it was all so different & strange but I persevered and now I have found a happy balance and am better for the experience').

    From other threads, you are focused on "ivies" for the prestige and "fantastic" programs for your intended major. You have already been given the advice to read "How to be a High School Superstar" and "Applying Sideways" (which give great advice for how to approach HS), but you are still spinning out anxious questions looking for admissions tips and tricks.. That energy would be better used on the ECs that are closest to your heart, but if that doesn't feel proactive enough, do some more research on colleges and what they look for, and on yourself and what makes you tick.

    Because it is irrational to only apply to "ivies", you will have to at some point identify schools that you are likely and certain to get into (aka matches & safeties). This is not a 'just in case'- this is 'more likely than not', simply b/c there are too many extraordinary students chasing too few seats (or beds, as a Harvard AO once pointed out: they can't take more students than they have places to put them).. Since you are prestige driven, figure out what the top 20ish schools are for your intended major. Research them, categorize them (which do you instinctively like / not like - and why? which ones are affordable / where might you get financial aid or merit money?). Look for commonalities in the piles. Try to figure out the differences in what each college is looking for: even people who get into tippy tops rarely get into all the ones they apply to.

    And finally: allow yourself room to grow. You have an intended major and have identified 'fantastic programs' for that major, which is great. However, unless you choose a direct entry program (such as engineering, some CS programs, etc.) you are as much as 5 years away from declaring your major. You will be changing a *lot* over those 5 years- at least much as in the last 5 (think back to mid-primary school). By all means pursue what interests you with all your heart. Just be aware that following your interests may take you in directions you haven't even imagined yet. The glory of the US university system is that it allows for that.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35300 replies399 threads Senior Member
    If OP is a rising soph, far to early to be stressed over this. Use your time more wisely, to learn what match is, what does enhance chances. And not from forums. Start with what the colleges say and show. Be savvy.
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