The importance of your Profile in the year to come
- Written by UnivAdmitHelp
- Category: Mentoring
- Published on 09 Apr 2021
Thirteen months and counting since the pandemic began, with no end in sight, chaos in the economy amongst lockdowns - and uncertainty and fatigue in the academic world. These are not words one would have ever thought to string together. And in spite of everything, colleges have the absolute imperative now to open up, not only in order to keep education running, but also to stay afloat.
The past year went by in alternating periods of optimism and despair. What initially felt like a team effort to wait until July, slowly became a monstrous experience in surreal choices by the population of the world. Academic institutions were pinpointed as hotspots and all learning stayed online. Campuses were closed, the college experience was lost.
This year has already seen attempts at re-opening. Applications for overseas education hit new records and even lower acceptance rates. Harvard saw a record number of applications over the last year, a figure which increased over 43%. The total number of applications was 57,435, with 1,968 being accepted. The acceptance rate dropped to 3.4% from last year’s record low of 4.5%. The large number of applications in fact created a delay of a week in the announcement of the results. Yale too recorded a staggering 4.62% acceptance rate for the class of 2025, down from 6.54% in the previous year.
This pandemic fuelled surge in applications is a marker of the resilience of the population. In India, January was a fun time. The economy was looking up, the job market was looking up, even the Sensex was up until the new Corona wave. The previous lockdowns were indeed hard for families, for the single people, for the migrant population, for every working individual and fatigue might have set in a long time back. But by now everyone seems to have reached the end of their reserve.
What does this really mean for Ivy League aspirants and the likes? The Class of 2025 seemed to be a one off year when the pandemic began. The effect is going to continue for a while longer. The Class of 2026 might as well join the league of the previous batch as well. This means a greater rush, a higher volume of applicants in the coming year, especially because a certain number of aspirants might have put their plans on hold. This year will see the current applications plus the ones which missed out last year.
A higher number of applications means a lower acceptance rate. As we can already see the numbers from Harvard, Stanford, MIT reflects a more competitive scenario. Most academic institutions are test-optional even for the coming admission cycle. This actually creates a domain of uncertainty. Scores are traditionally used to identify a certain slab of applications. These go towards creating an Acadmic Index. Added to that, the profile can help to distinguish an application from the rest.
When scores were not optional, the admission process earlier used to be streamlined. SAT or ACT scores were a process writ in stone. Profile development was essential but as a complement to the application. The system seemed to be dependable and systematic. With everything thrown out of gear now, the admission depends solely on the strength of an applicant's profile. The scores from local tests are unreliable because they are either seen as too easy, or because of virtually zero proctoring. Testing is insufficient and in the absence of ACT and SAT scores, the weight of the application has to be borne by a profile.
To compound the problem further, the pandemic has drastically reduced the opportunity for profile development to a mere nothing. People lack the opportunities that they might have had otherwise for internships, projects, experiences and interaction which could have bolstered their profile. Insufficient testing and virtually no proctoring has led to an unreliability.
Going forward, starting right now, the best way to prepare for an overseas education is to begin work on a profile that can showcase your interests and strengths in a consistent manner. There are many ways to develop your profile even though covid has caused enough chaos. Amongst other suggestions, the first and most important one is to start, early. For the rest, read on!