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The College's bribery scheme announced by federal prosecutors raised questions about the influence of money, power and celebrity this week on the reception process. He also sparked curiosity about the internal work of host offices in elite colleges and universities across the country. NBC News talks with former employees in two of the most prestigious schools in the country to learn what's going on behind closed doors.
It is not necessary for the staff of the host services to know if the candidate has a chance to fight According to a former officer in one of the best schools in the country
"We see so many transcripts that for about a third of a second we can let's say what is the trajectory of the student, "said McGregor Crawley. Former Head of Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This does not mean that host school employees usually make judgments. In the interviews this week, former homeworkers said their former colleagues are spending piles of applications, browsing essays, looking at GPA, and trying to help campuses look at a huge number of candidates for elected.
They are the gatekeepers of what has become a profoundly competitive ̵
The case filed this week against 50 people, including chief executives and Hollywood stars, suggests that some wealthy and powerful families are using their wealth to illegally undermine the process and gain an advantage. The defendants, including actresses Felicity Hayfman and Laurie Lawlin, have been accused of a quick payout scheme in Yale, Stanford and other prestigious institutions.
"The process in college is so great, with so many different moving parts, so I have no expectation that this will be purely meritocratic," said Crawley, who is now working for the IvyWise consultancy. "If anything is done, what reveals that the process is not meritocratic, I am not surprised. "
But for the most part, middle-class employees seek to accept candidates in good faith and on the basis of their academic records, the former officers said. all the facts, I think they can "Crowley and Sherman gave NBC News a broad overview of the review process of behind-the-clock applications, ranging from school to school, and sometimes 19659015] The application
The review process usually starts with a factual "snapshot" of the student's academic profile – where they want to finish school, how they got them on SAT or ACT, and so on. n.
From there, reception staff dive into the Common Application, a standardized form that is accepted by hundreds of colleges, including Ivy League universities such as Harvard and Princeton. The application opens with prompts for biographical information, but most schools do not ask about family benefits, according to Crowley.
Below is a list of up to 10 activities, including summer internships. There is no successful formula in this section, Crowley says. What is important, he said, is whether the pupil participates significantly in the activities. "Have they begun an organization, run an organization, set up a non-profit organization, serve as president of the club for many years?" Sherman, who now works at IvyWise, says that most schools "do not care what you're doing, they care what you're doing," adding that many confessional employees are cautious about what he described as "resumption "19659022] File Glen Cooper / Getty Images
The next major component is an essay, also known as a personal statement. "This is a chance for a student to show they are interesting and introspective, and also to convey their intellect," said Crowley.
Readers are usually more focused on the essence than the style, but the writing technique is also important. The same applies to the number of words: Candidates have space for 650 words, so a student who turns much less shows that they are not a "serious candidate," Crowley said.
Candidates should use the essay to tell the reader something about themselves that was not covered anywhere else in the application, "Sherman said.
In the next phase of the review process, employees looked closely at the file the pupil, for whom Crowley says that approximately 50 percent of the weight of the application. "They do the same for standardized tests, reference letters, optional extra essays, and a portfolio."
Money and Status
As for the children of famous donors at the university, Crowley said the college development office could reach the dean of confessions to say, "Hey, just to know, Lisa's father was very generous to us in the past, or something like that." His family's financial contribution to the school is usually passed on to top officials in the reception service
"If it cold so the application is lodged that their grandfather has given building, it can lead to rejection – or at least will leave