In the current college admissions landscape, it takes much more than good grades to build an outstanding applicant profile. If you want to impress the admissions officers, you’ll have to craft a unique admissions theme and narrative. The key is to use your personal experiences, extracurricular activities, and academics to prove that you will be a valuable asset to your target colleges.
If you have a talent or ability such as painting, photography, music, or another performing art, you can build your admissions profile around that skill. These Ivy League admission tips will help you use your talent to enhance your college applications.
How to Incorporate Talent into Your Admissions Profile
Your admissions profile should show how you will add value to your target schools. Unless your talent or ability is clearly linked to your admissions theme, it may not be worthwhile to discuss it at length. On the other hand, if you are particularly gifted and can demonstrate your high level of ability with third-party recognition and accomplishments, you should consider highlighting your talent even if it is not the primary focus of your admissions profile.
Building Your Theme and Narrative Around a Talent or Ability
If you are exceptionally gifted or have a natural ability that you developed through practice and training, that ability could become the focus of your theme and narrative. For example, if you love acting, want to pursue it professionally, and have the talent to do so, you could build your admissions profile around that talent. The key is to use third-party recognition to prove that you are highly skilled.
Including Exceptional Talent in Your Theme and Narrative
What if your talent or unique ability is not your primary focus? In that case, you may still be able to find a way to work that skill into your admissions narrative.
For example, if you are particularly gifted in music, you might integrate that skill into your profile. Whatever your career goal is—mechanical engineering, medical research, biology, computer science, psychology—you could draw upon your skill and love for music to lead a unique community project, develop a mobile application, or study the effects of music on the mind.
Don’t Focus on Talent or Ability at the Expense of Academics
Your talent or ability may help you stand out, but by itself, it will not gain you admission into a top college. Solid academic performance is an absolute must, so you should not develop any skills to the point that your academic performance suffers.
Should You Provide Supplemental Materials?
In general, you should not provide example material such as artwork or a recording of your music unless you are exceptionally talented and plan on using your ability to contribute to the school. In other words, don’t provide supplemental materials if your skill is just a hobby.
Since the admissions officers are rarely qualified to assess artistic ability, any additional materials you submit will be forwarded to the appropriate department. The department will then evaluate your skills.
Depending on whether the college allows it, you might consider sending materials directly to the relevant department. If you do, make sure to indicate that you are an admissions applicant seeking a recommendation letter. Moreover, you should be serious about developing your talent during college.
As we’ve discussed, possessing a talent or ability can certainly enhance your admissions profile. However, you should always make sure to link your skill to your theme and narrative. At the same time, keep in mind that your academic performance should be paramount. Schedule a meeting with Ivy League Prep to learn more about our Ivy League admission strategies.