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What is a hook?

thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
edited October 2010 in Prep School Chances
Is a hook something that makes an applicant special? Like for example "national placing tennis player" or "award winning ballet dancer"? By the way, that is not me, last time I played tennis I let go of the racquet and hit my partner over the head with it. Totally accidental of course. :D Anyways, is it really just something that sets an applicant apart from others? Would it make a difference in the application process? Also, would it be better to submit in something(such as art portfolio or something) that is great, but not fantastic, or would it be better to just omit it completely? Thanks!
edited October 2010
37 replies
Post edited by thingslost on
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Replies to: What is a hook?

  • baseballmombaseballmom 1566 replies44 threads Senior Member
    Hooks:
    URM-under-represented minority
    Geography-you're from Idaho or Montana or West Virginia or Hawaii--some under-represented area
    Outstanding athlete, musician, etc.--not just good, award-winning
    OR you're a cello player and the school just graduated 3 of them so the orchestra is short
    You founded some kind of volunteerism or public service activity that helped others and gained notoriety
    You're the son or daughter of a famous person
    You have a sibling, parent, or grandparent who attended the school
    Your family made a substantial financial donation to the school (enough to build something!)
    You're a faculty kid or a faculty kid of a neighboring school.

    There are more, but that's all that comes to mind.
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  • baseballmombaseballmom 1566 replies44 threads Senior Member
    There is disagreement over submission of art, musical recordings, etc. If it is truly good and will give your application some personality in a positive way, I would submit it. It shows the admissions committee something about you that can't be conveyed on paper.
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  • hotchkissjinhotchkissjin 713 replies32 threads Member
    yeah i think baseball mom pretty much covered it all....or your like the prince of some country or something....
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    haha. thanks so much! I think I am going to submit music recording (only because the interviewers suggested it) omit the violin, and I'm still not sure about the art.
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  • baseballmombaseballmom 1566 replies44 threads Senior Member
    The geography hook MIGHT also work if your from another under-represented country, but not Korea, Japan, or China. There are already lots of students from those countries. So, if you're from Saudi Arabia or New Zealand, that's probably a hook.
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  • joeybill34joeybill34 6 replies2 threads New Member
    Just wondering, does Malaysia or Singapore count? And if you studied abroad in such countries would it count as a hook as well?
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    I personally don't think studying abroad is a hook. Many people do it.
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  • neatoburritoneatoburrito 3373 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a lot of applicants who are applying for FA who have studied abroad.
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    Why do the applicants need to be apply for FA for them to be special? It doesn't make a difference, a lot of schools like Exeter and Andover are need-blind. Please explain.
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  • neatoburritoneatoburrito 3373 replies76 threads Senior Member
    I meant in no way that applying for FA made one special at all. You stated that "many people" have studied abroad. I don't think that's true. Studying abroad is expensive and not something that a lot of middle class or low income families can afford. Same thing for sports camps and community service projects in Brazil, private tutoring for ssat and really good private middle schools that have placement offices and connections with top boarding schools. These are advantages that parents with more money can give their children.

    I'm not being bitter about these things. I think it's great that some kids have these opportunities. Private music lessons and decent instruments, for example, are very expensive and when a family is working as hard as they can just make ends meet, these things are often cut or not even considered.

    Groton, for instance, states on their website that the admit rate for FA applicants is around 20% while full pay is around 25%. This does not necessarily mean that they aren't need-blind. It could mean that they favor candidates who have "done more," and often "doing more" requires more money. That's all I'm saying.
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    I understand, and completely agree with you. It just seems as if you were saying that by being a FA applicant, it gives them an edge over everyone else.
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  • PhotoOpPhotoOp 1181 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Isn't a "hook" something that makes you stand out against the pool of applicants? Maybe it's your pink hair (see thread about hair color) or your gay parents (another thread) or your fifteen siblings. If the schools are really looking for diversity you need to point out the special thing about you that they need at their school. It can be anything. You need to point something out about yourself that makes you stand out against the huge pool of applicants so that in January and February when the adcoms are combing through the applications they say - oh, her/him, he/she has blank, we need that in our school.
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threads Senior Member
    First in family to attend college (potentially) is another hook. I assume it depends on the school as to how strong a hook it is.
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    Thanks! first in family to attend college wouldn't be a hook would it? I mean the applicant would be applying to high school, which is before college.
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  • GemmaVGemmaV - 278 replies10 threads Junior Member
    Yes, at certain schools which actively seek to diversify their student body in terms of students' socioeconomic status and family backgrounds, being the first in the family to potentially go to college is indeed a HOOK.
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threads Senior Member
    If none of your immediate family attended college, you are potentially "first in family."

    I assume, however, that many of the applicants working with Prep for Prep, etc., have this distinction. It does not mean that it will get you in. It might be a tipping factor.
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  • SenaySenay 1121 replies9 threads Senior Member
    how do you tell them that you're the first person who is going to college in the family?
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  • thingslostthingslost 877 replies19 threads Member
    perhaps write under accomplishments: "potentially first person in family to go to college" but also under the section that your parents are supposed to fill out, it asks for highest level of education attained. I'm not sure, does anybody else have any tips?
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  • mpiczmpicz 2341 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Find a way to get those hooks in somehow. I got most of my "hooks" in through the essays and little questions here and there where I dropped some information. I wouldn't think that it would be frowned apart, they try and ask questions that allow them to know ALL of you, so im guessing they want you to find anywhere to drop it in, in a scholarly and not ignorant way of course.
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  • GemmaVGemmaV - 278 replies10 threads Junior Member
    No, not a "hook" in the traditional sense. But it gives you interesting, more worldly perspective, perhaps.
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