This week, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Scholarship notified three graduating high school seniors that they received a full-ride to their college of choice. One of the “most generous scholarships in America,” the Coolidge Scholarship is awarded to three students who represent the “most promising and accomplished high school students in America today.”
The article caused quite a stir, as the recipients set a false standard for what students need to do to get admitted to the top schools in America.
With most elite and competitive schools utilizing holistic admissions, a Yale admissions officer sums up the process best: “Admissions is so holistic that there’s no specific advice to give applicants other than to just “be themselves.” I sympathize with not being able to offer detailed advice […], admissions at elite schools is typically highly subjective and case-specific.”
If you are that student who has poured his/her heart and soul into creating a nonprofit because you care about the cause or you’re the elite swimmer who swims in the Junior Olympics, that’s great. But if that’s not you, there’s no need to worry.
Holistic admissions is about expressing who you are and your fit with the university/school/college. It’s not about trying to fit yourself into a mold or formula to try to adhere to a points-based system that no longer exists.
To read more about the Calvin Coolidge winners, see here:
To read more from the Yale admissions officer, see here:

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