Today, we submitted the first application of the season. It was a momentous occasion as the application was to a very selective, ivy league institution that is truly in the 1% of top tiered colleges in the country. Once the words “congratulations, you have successfully submitted your application” came across the computer screen, the phrase “good luck” was conveyed. It made me pause and ponder if there is such a thing as luck when it comes to the college admissions process.

To me, there has never been such a thing as “luck.” However, there is the alignment of preparation meeting opportunity and that is when the road to college admissions becomes paved with “gold.”

For the student we were working with today, there has been 17 years of preparation. It is not the academic preparation that will impress the university she applied to, as many students have high gpa’s and test scores. It won’t matter that she went to an elite private school or had access to so many rigorous AP classes. What does matter, however, is how she was encouraged to cultivate her interests in literature, music, sports, science and research. More importantly, it truly matters that she chose to put in the time, effort, commitment, bravery, perseverance and sheer grit in cultivating each opportunity that was afforded to her.

The quality of the application that was submitted was exceptional. This student spent her entire summer digging deeper into who she is, what she values and what she will bring to a college community. Hours upon hours of reflection, crafting, editing, questioning and re-writing were spent on ensuring that she properly painted the picture and told the story of her excellence.

It is an honor and privilege to work with a student who values and trusts the integrity of the application process and is focused on how accurately it reflects who she is. Her wit, commitment and healthy snacks made the long hours fun as well.

Luck will not have anything to do with the admission decisions this student will receive in a few months. It will literally be all of her preparation aligning with the opportunity a school might offer her. If, for some random reason the admissions office, of this particular institution, does not offer her an acceptance, it will simply mean that there is even a greater opportunity waiting for her at another college of equal or greater caliber. A place, I am sure, that will continue to prepare her for the opportunity to make a meaningful impact and contribution to the world.

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