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Ask the Dean: Explaining Learning Disabilities in Ivy Applications

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 137 Editor
This student's grades aren't as high as typical Ivy League applicants' -- how does he explain that he has a high IQ, but that learning disabilities have gotten in the way of his grades? "The Dean" weighs in.

Replies to: Ask the Dean: Explaining Learning Disabilities in Ivy Applications

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 3,710 Senior Member
    Good advice to expand the list to include more safeties and match schools but I thought the advice was usually to let the guidance counselor address an LD in their LOR?
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,776 Senior Member
    I don’t know what it would mean to have “earmarked” the Add’l Info Page for other things. No one should be putting extra essays in there, for example. And it can be used for more than one thing - just clearly label what each item is that you are including. So regardless of what else you might have in that section, it is feasible to add a brief comment on this.

    That aside, I think this advice does a disservice to the questioner. A kid with a lower GPA is very unlikely to get into top schools, and disclosing a learning disability doesn’t make it any more likely that the kid will be admitted. The very top colleges care about results to date. The best advice would be to suggest that they limit these applications to 2-3 schools on the kid’s list, and build the rest of the list as matches and safeties for the student’s actual stats.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,627 Senior Member
    The Dean does offer the advice he needs a more balanced list. That questioner needs to understand you don't get into an Ivy or other each based on explanations. Grades reflect learning and focus. And it's not about 'the diagnosis and how it affected him.' Rather, the goal would be how he overcame. IF a kid did.

    This is something too many kids don't understand. Imo, too often, it reflects not looking deeply enough at the reaches, to begin to understand what they're about and the bar peers set with their solid preparation. Dreaming and wanting- and being IQ smart- are just not enough. Unfortunately, results matter.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,616 Senior Member
    I agree with the Dean that it is not a good idea to list the high IQ - as it may work against him. There are an awful lot of high-IQ applicants who also are able to manage great grades. Unless the applicant had another hook, I don't think the Ivy league is likely.
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