Anyone on the "inside" brave enough to answer...how important is the main essay?

Send them a note? are they a lawsuit waiting to happen. I’m a volunteer for a top 10 university admissions team (I interview). They hammer it home to give NO feedbacks to a candidate no matter how much you might care to.

Chiming in to say that referencing the essay in the admissions letter does not necessarily mean that the essay was great, or that it moved the needle.

It’s a way for the AO to insert a personalized note.

Of course, it doesn’t mean the essay wasn’t great either! But I think some are giving too much weight to the AO note.

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Agreed. I suspect they just look up admitted kids’ essays and mention something from them to personalize the letter. Doesn’t mean they remembered it or it made a difference.

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The times that the essays were mentioned with acceptances for my kids seemed like yield tools, not meaningful, substantive feedback.

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Ssssh. Don’t tell them that.

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I don’t doubt some of the comments from AOs could be yield tools. A letter my son got from an LAC, one known for their creative writing program, referenced his writing and I did interpret that as more flattery than anything. But in the case of the university he is attending, the ONLY thing that would have set his application apart was his writing and 2 minute video statement. I was told by his AO about the committee meeting where she fought for him to be admitted and based on that story, it’s clear to me his essays were a big factor. Without them, his application would have looked like any other high achieving kid from a suburban public high school.

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D20 received detailed positive feedback on her essay from her ED acceptance. That school already knew she was a ‘sure thing’.

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That might be the case for interviewers communicating with prospective candidates for admission. Here, however, the reference is to admission officers sending a note about an essay to an admitted student. That’s very different.

I don’t have personal experience, but there are tons of posts on CC where this has happened.

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Correct. This was my D21’s experience with 5-6 LACs. I don’t recall personal notes from any of the unis.

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FWIW, both of my Ds (different schools) who applied ED had a personal note on their admission letters. Each referenced something about the kid and likely had nothing to do with yield because, as recruited athletes, they each applied ED1.

I thought I was the resident cynic. :slight_smile:

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Coaches routinely go to HS games AFTER their targets have committed to show some love. I have seen this happen many times.
I am willing to bet that next we will see AOs “liking” LinkedIn posts and social media content of admitted targets.

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