A Russian Lesson For College Admissions

This is an exciting time in the college admissions cycle! I love this phase of the application process. For most of my seniors, their Common App was done over the summer. Right now we are putting the final touches on the last supplemental writing pieces. I find this stage so satisfying because it is the culmination of years of work. By now, I have been meeting with some of my clients since their freshman year. At this stage, when we sit down to work on writing, we know each other well, and the ideas come quickly. It is gratifying to see teenagers approach their writing with more confidence and experience than when we initially started. I also have the luxury of knowing them for a longer period of time, so the whole process is dynamic and we tend to move efficiently. It helps that we know that the end is in sight and when we get this work done we are crossing a finish line. And it is a satisfying thing to sit back after you have hit the submit button on your final application, confident that your applications reflect your best effort.

So where does the Russian lesson fit in? Ronald Reagan made the Russian proverb Doveryai, no proveryai, or “trust but verify” famous in the 1980s and it has its place in college admissions today. Once a student has hit the final button and sent their applications off to cyberspace, there is more work to be done. The onus is on the student to confirm that standardized test scores have been sent, as well as transcripts from their high school. Most colleges have an online portal where they can see if their test scores and transcripts have been received. It is critical that applicants monitor these portals and verify that the documents have arrived. And that is where the Russian lesson comes in. I have heard countless stories of supporting documents being sent, but not received by the institution. It happened to me last year as a parent. It is incumbent on the applicant to monitor their portal and resend the information if it does not arrive.

Most of the time you can trust the process and it goes smoothly but the Russian proverb has an important lesson; trust, but verify that your supporting documents are in.

Lots of luck to all the seniors!





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