What Does the Recent Harvard Admissions Ruling Mean for You?


This past Tuesday (October 2), the controversial and widely reported Harvard college admissions case got its verdict: Harvard did not willfully discriminate against Asian-American students in order to create diverse incoming freshman classes.

Perhaps the verdict comes as a shock to many who have always suspected that race plays a major role in college admissions and that Asian-American students, in particular, have often been targets of extreme discrimination. The judge, however, didn’t find sufficient evidence of blatant rejection of Asian-American students, so now the case most likely will head to the Supreme Court.

But besides the legal drama, what does this ruling actually mean for you, the senior applying to Ivy League colleges, including Harvard?

Unfortunately, it means that if you’re an Asian-American student, you still have to go the extra mile to highlight your background and experiences in a manner that convinces admission officers that you will contribute to the diverse class. (Of course, all students should take this approach!)

How might you do that?

Well, some good news is that Harvard has revamped its admissions rating system (somewhat), so the admissions officers will look for students with these traits:

  • courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles,

  • leadership,

  • maturity,

  • genuineness,

  • selflessness,

  • humility,

  • resiliency,

  • judgment,

  • citizenship, and

  • spirit and camaraderie with peers.

Sound like you? Hopefully, yes!

So now that you know more clearly what the Harvard admissions officers are looking for in college applications (and these traits should be what all admissions officers want to see), you can start tailoring your essays and resume and any other part of your application so that these traits shine through.

Piece of cake, right? :-)

Just remember to be true to yourself, highlight your strengths, and don’t settle for cliches. Authenticity is a big deal in college admissions. If you keep it real (and PG), you should be fine.

Good luck!

If you’re struggling to get your college admissions essays started or don’t know how to focus your application materials to give admissions officers the best picture of you, consider B2A’s College Admissions Services (CAS)! Our professional, qualified admissions counselors and essay specialists can help you refine your college applications and essays so that admissions officers see the traits that matter to them (and you) most!

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