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  • Beth & Tim Manners

Admissions Tip: Character Matters

Brennan Barnard: "When it comes to college admission, everyone seems to be watching and according to a recent survey, character counts. This week, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the Character Collaborative released a research brief entitled Character and the Admission Process, which includes results from a survey of trends in college admission. For the first time, the annual survey added a section on the use of character attributes in the application process, and the results highlight what many professionals have known all along: character attributes are a factor in admission."


"Of the 447 respondents to the survey, 26% said character was 'considerably important' and 44% said it was 'moderately important' in admission decisions. The fact that 70% of admission officers deem character to be moderately to considerably important to an applicants’ candidacy should have students’ ears perking up. It reinforces the reality that it matters who they are beyond a grade or test score. Empathy, resilience, integrity, selflessness—these attributes are significant and could be factors that give an applicant the bump they need to land in the admit pile."


"The reality is that in the high stakes environment of college admission, few effective tools currently exist to evaluate these attributes in an application. In the absence of a formal tool, the survey found that admission officers were gleaning character from" personal essays, teacher recommendations, extra-curricular activities and interviews."