Narrow Margin of University Application

By Lu


In the game called “University Application”, any marginal advantage wins!

It’s the time of the year again when US bound prospective students are trying to obtain a spot in the more competitive colleges. With 1990 being the largest birth population during the baby boom, I wonder how the universities’ admission teams are going to select their entries. I’m sure there are a lot of qualified prospects out there but spaces are limited. As the playing field turns larger and evens out, it’s hard to accommodate everyone and to pick out the gems out from the shards of glass.

So, in the modern game of university application, every minute details matter. That said, each part of the application, even those that are not considered important plays a role. Grades, test scores, community services, essays etc can be controlled, or in the slightest part, influenced by the applicants. However, other comparison method employed by the university such as interviews is more subjective although application process should be made objectively.

Assuming ceteris paribus, let say Interviewer A had a bad day but Interviewer B had a blast before the interview. It will certainly affect the mood of the interview and thus, affect the evaluation report they give to the interviewee. Other questions could include, is candidate A more beautiful, has a better background, thus exposing him/her to more experience. As far as interview is concerned, it’s all boils down to luck and that’s the one which makes all the difference.

But it does matter only if the applicant pool is really competitive. The more coveted places such as placing in business school or pre-med program certainly will have stiffer competition and lower placing to application ratio. Hence, it is here where the slight marginal advantages really show its worth. As a chess player piles up every small advantages they have into a large decisive victory, the same goes for university applicationĀ  because in the end, there’s no shades of grey, only that you’re accepted or not. And yet, this slight margin can be affected deeply by subjective comparison instead of a uniform objective evaluation. Universities should eliminate this ununiformity in the criterias, but diversity will ensure the human population never been through the same thing. Is there really no way to level the playing field for everyone?