Former Cornell University Admission Officer Says ‘Passion’ Will Make College Applications Stand Out


Applying for college or university is rough, and many senior high school students often face the stress regarding it. Thankfully, there are several helpful tips easily available for college aspirants, and some of these tips come from the experts themselves.

One such expert, an Ex-Ivy League admissions officer, shares a key to making a college application stand out, the Business Insider reported. He said it's simply "passion."

"Whether those things are academic, intellectual or social you need to be able to convey passion through your involvement in these activities," former Cornell University admissions officer Nelson Ureña said in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). "The advice that I often give students is 'don't just follow your passions, turn them into assets.'"

Ureña explains that a passion can be turned into an asset by looking for "ways to create tangible evidence" of one's passion. These could vary, but it is tangible, such as: trophies or awards, projects, letters or recommendations, and transcripts. These assets can add value to a student's application.

Ureña, founder of college application mentoring company Mentorverse, explains that admissions officers want to make sure that the student applying to study in their school will have a positive impact in their school, and that these applicants will have continued participation in the things that bring a positive influence in the school culture.

"Admissions officer want to get to know you, they want to understand your capacity to handle the academic, social, emotional, and intellectual rigors of their particular school," he said.

One example of a passion-turned-asset that Ureña gave was that of a student applying for Cornell's Meteorology program. He said the student actually built a weather station at his house, and was giving weather reports to a local news channel.

"This student very brilliantly turned his passion into an asset," he said of the student.

In the same way passion helps make a college application stand out, passion will also help one to succeed in his career. Finding one's passion, then, is a very important thing to do - both in studying and in working.

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