Diversity is more than skin deep

Showcase your achievements on your college application, and more

Diversity is more than skin deep

Q: I hear colleges want “diversity” and “student achievement.” What are these qualities and how can I best share what I possess as an applicant?

A: Definitions of “diversity” might include phrases like “variety” and “social inclusiveness.” Achievements include academic, extracurricular and community service efforts, as well as honors and recognitions. But, your understanding that post-secondary success requires application as well as communication efforts will enhance chances for admissions.

Share in essays and applications how you can contribute to the school you wish to attend. Essays focusing on your diverse cultural and life experiences and lessons learned will provide insight on who you are to your readers. Questions answered reflect how personal diversity of experiences, thoughts, as well as deeds are presented in well-crafted words. And, words on résumés also reveal breadth and depth of academic, extracurricular, athletic and community

Admissions résumés take various shapes and sizes and represent your diversity of activities. Often applications, especially online versions, ask for information to be inserted into “text blocks,” but a one or two page résumé with an easy to follow format provides supplemental information to admissions professionals, faculty of potential schools and recommenders.

Communicating with potential recommendation writers (via email, in-person conversations and résumé) motivates them to include accomplishments in their letters.  Communicating via email with admissions professionals, current students (especially tour guides) and faculty at potential colleges and universities is a subtle, sincere, yet effective way to support your candidacy. Send thank you notes and update messages via email will remind those involved of who you are, the diversity of your candidacy and achievements that best reflect the person you will be if you attend their school. 

Of course, finish all application documentation early, prior to stated deadlines, but maintain appropriate communications (most often email) whenever motivated to do so. Remember, communication is key and will help you on the path to college admissions success!

Through books, articles and counseling, Burt Nadler, a career services professional, inspires high school students, college students and others to clarify, articulate and to attain career, academic and personal goals.


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