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Is this considered a hook?

pinknthenitepinknthenite Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
I am the editor-in-chief of my school's newspaper, the president of my school's mock trial team, I tutor freshmen and sophomores who are in honors English classes, and I've won three writing competitions. Is this considered a "hook", if I'm considering to be a humanities major?

Replies to: Is this considered a hook?

  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,050 Senior Member
    edited February 19
    No that isn’t how most look at the term. What you describe are considered ECs. and awards. Or extracurriculars.

    Important too.

    Hooks are unique advantages for athletics, economic background - super high or really low, diversity and legacy at school. Can also include children of employees and professors. Celebrities and political leaders.


    Yours all sound great. So keep up the good work.
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,305 Senior Member
    None of them are hooks, but they are very nice extracurriculars.

    Hooks are such things as legacies (preferably the child of a major donor), being a URM, or being actively recruited (usually for a sport, but can be for any talent for which the school has a need).
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 4,912 Senior Member
    A hook is typically imposed on the admissions office. The ones above come from athletics, development, a mandate for diversity.

    Nobody is demanding that they take a student with your ECs. But... they are important because they show how you involve yourself in the community and how you act on your interests. It all helps!
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,647 Forum Champion
    What you have is a list of very nice ECs but not a hook. A hook is a reason why a college would take one particular applicant over other similarly qualified applicants. Some examples.of hooks include: recruited athletes, children of a huge donor, applicants with fame/accomplishments that would bring positive attention to the college etc. Very few people have hooks.
  • RW1RW1 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    " Very few people have hooks"

    Really? Although, I believe this is mostly true for most non elite universities and colleges, I think it is nearly opposite at the top. D1 at top 10 National University, D2 attending top 10 LAC: both used sport hook. Nearly everyone they associate with had a hook (definitely not all sports). That's not to say they don't have the academic credentials. They most certainly do. They just have something else as well.

    When you examine admission statistics - look at Princeton's (one example) early acceptance- very few truly did not have a bonafide hook. Hooks like 1st gen college or being an American Indian are just a few of the inherited ones that can't be controlled. Financial hooks(probably also cannot be controlled) matter too see Brown-http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODN/ProJo/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TPJ/2019/02/24&entity=Ar00103&sk=E9EC6152&mode=text.

    Many hooks can be developed and I would highly advise those brilliant students who are otherwise mainstream to work hard to develop one. Living in a small fly over state for past 21 yrs, I have even seen people move their kids into the state at the beginning of high school to improve admission chances.

    By no means do I believe that you can't get into a top school without a hook, but I'm sure the admission statistics would look much, much worse without them.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,452 Senior Member
    edited February 26
    Smaller colleges that field full sets of NCAA sports teams will have a higher percentage of "hook" students because the number of athletes for the teams is a larger percentage of a small college's students than of a large college's students.

    Not yet mentioned above, legacy is a commonly used hook, though it is smaller in effect than recruited athlete or relation to a huge donor; it is used by close to 60% of private colleges and 30% of public colleges.
    RW1 wrote:
    Many hooks can be developed and I would highly advise those brilliant students who are otherwise mainstream to work hard to develop one.

    Except for top-level athletic performance, most hooks are developed by or inherited from the student's parents (parents do often give considerable assist in the student's development of top-level athletic performance, but the student does have to work to earn it).
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 Registered User Posts: 1,305 Senior Member
    "Many hooks can be developed and I would highly advise those brilliant students who are otherwise mainstream to work hard to develop one."

    Perhaps you are confusing a hook with a spike? Certainly one can work on a spike by developing a skill or talent, preferably to the point of significant accomplishments/recognition with the suggestion of excellence or mastery. It isn't easy for a high schooler to do in four years.

    If that skill or talent is useful enough to the college where it will get you actively recruited, it then becomes a hook. As Gardenstategal mentioned, the hook comes from the admissions office, as they "go fishing" for an applicant with a particular skill or ties to the college (via alumni parents) - or can add new perspective by virtue of being an URM or from an under-represented geographic area.
  • Jleto18Jleto18 Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    I don't know about you guys, but doesn't it seem sad that nowadays some kids feel pressured devote 1/4th of their entire lives to get into college? I mean dang, that's a lot of pressure on 14-year-old kids, especially to the point where parents are moving states? Do parents really do that to their children for a slight boost in admissions? What does that tell their kids? That's just insane, and I feel bad for any person with parents like that.

    My advice is to just do what you enjoy. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc. aren't worth being miserable for a quarter of your life. Don't force yourself to be involved in all these different activities just so you can get a spike or hook for college. Just pursue what you're passionate about.
  • RW1RW1 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    Absolutely agree about passion. Let the kids try as many things as the family has time and finances to afford and cultivate any passion that arises. Mine went from singing to horse back to dance to sports. Each loves their sport and is absolutely passionate about them even in college. Having a passion that leads to a spike or hook is not a bad thing as long as improves their lives and gives them joy and confidence.

    Pressure, however is ever present in most peoples lives. Helping the youth learn how to deal with it effectively through adolescence is something I see that is currently lacking in society. Either parents push to their kids pop or don't push at all. Some balance with many reasonable approaches seems like a prudent intervention.

  • RW1RW1 Registered User Posts: 117 Junior Member
    Examples of hooks that can be achieved

    "Athletics
    Playing a sport can give you an excellent boost come admissions decision time. If you're a superstar you can earn a full scholarship, but even a less exceptional track record can up the odds for your college acceptance. However, some students (and parents) overestimate the weight that athletic ability carries in the admission process and expect an athletic scholarship to be their financial saving grace. Don't assume you're getting an award until you get one..

    Talent in the arts
    If you're a painter, poet, musician, or perhaps a dancer, you can really make your application stand out — unless you're applying to a specialty school in the arts. In that case, your talent must compete against the talent of all the other applicants. However if you're applying to a more generalized institution, being an artist may balance any weaknesses in your application and may improve your chances of receiving a college admission letter.

    Geography
    At a public college or university, being an in-state resident is obviously a hook. At many institutions, coming from an underrepresented region can also be an advantage. Southeastern colleges love to see North Dakota and Montana zip codes on applications, while Southwestern schools welcome candidates from Vermont and Maine."

    Forensics
    Developing debate skills to the point where national awards are achieved can definitely help set certain majors be in excellent position to attain admission and possibly even some money to certain schools.
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