My DS24 is filling out the common app, but not sure how to approach the Additional Information Section regarding two issues:
- His received his only two B in a particular class (B 1st semester, B+ 2nd semester). But he actually liked the class a lot and thought it challenged him intellectually. His teacher liked his efforts too. He was planning to have this teacher write him an LOR, but unfortunately this teacher went on leave of absence due to personal reasons since the summer. Should he mention any of this?
- He had an interesting twist on his No. 1 activity, which won’t fit into the word limit. In some of his supplemental essays (for couple of schools), he actually wrote about this. But for majority of the other schools, it was not possible to bring it out. His school counselor is aware of this and may write about it in her rec letter, but we are not sure…
With the wisdom of this community, I would love to hear your thoughts about whether or not it is appropriate to mention these two in the Additional Information section. Many thanks in advance.
#1 - no
#2 - possibly so, depending on what it is and what it could potentially add to the application and the AOs understanding of your son as an applicant
No and no.
Definitely not about getting a B. It’s not a crime and everyone assumes there’s a ‘but’. But nothing - he got a B.
On #2 - I would not. Use the space provided and get the gist out from his #1 activity. For those he can discuss more in supplementals, definitely not.
No to #1
#2 - writing about an activity/activities in more depth in this section makes sense if it adds color/personality/depth/perspective/character to the student’s application. If your S does this, I would delete it from the additional info section when he sends the common app to the schools where he covered this in supplementals, so there is not overlap.
My daughter expanded on one of her activities in the additional information section where there wasn’t enough room - her counselor liked it and she had good admissions success.
I agree it makes zero sense to discuss B grades
I agree…NO to mentioning the B grades.
If the twist was that he won an Olympic medal…fine. Otherwise, think carefully about what is so special about this twist that it wasn’t mentioned in your kid’s essay or by his school counselor.
I’ll add to #1 it’s no and my goodness people today act like a B is a jail sentence. It’s not.
#2 - try not to overthink. What matters is that your student was involved, made an impact, developed etc. depending on your school list, ECs may matter or not but I suspect adding above what is permitted imply doesn’t move the needle. But I’d also guess no one will say - they wrote in the extra so we are taking them down a notch.
If you truly feel something is appropriate and it wasn’t mentioned elsewhere, then make your decision and don’t second guess. It likely won’t impact one way or another.
I can’t remember my daughters but sue had 3 short paragraphs on 3 topics - one was about being selected for the district’s pilot program in entrepreneurship with kids from all over - and more about her business.
Another was the school cancelled Chinese 3. Nothing she could do.
I’ll have to look up the other if we kept a pdf but she wanted to use the section and it was her app, not ours.
I imagine her admit decisions would have been the same regardless.
I think these schools have too much to read already and everyone thinks their story merits more but unless you were ill or lost a parent etc I’m guessing it’s best left unused. But if the student is more comfortable, it’s fine too. It likely will have minimal, if any, positive or negative impact.
Blaming outside influences for a grade - many might see that as excuse making which is why it’s a no. And there’s no assurance it’d be an A even if the teacher was there. Teachers love many of their B students. The grade and admiration for the student are two different things. And who knows - the teacher might note the circumstance in the letter - but don’t ask them to do so.
Thanks everyone for your very helpful input.