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Character Counts Podcast

2 Minutes Read


Many schools went test-optional for the Class of 2021 and are continuing that policy for the class of 2022  – now more than ever, the essay and other components of the application will play a larger role in the admissions process.

I recently shared some thoughts on how and why "Character Counts" with Moira McCullough on the College Scoops Podcast. In the episode we touch on: 

  • What do colleges look for in terms of “character” on a college application?
  • How do you define character attributes?
  • How do you evaluate character attributes on an application?
  • Do colleges really value “character” as a deciding factor in the decision-making process?
  • What are some tips for high school students going through the process now as to the most effective ways to demonstrate their true self and character? 

Listen to the full episode: 

A few key takeaways:

  • Organizations such Character Collaborative and Harvard's Making Caring Common Project are actively working with colleges to elevate the role character plays in admissions decisions 
  • Students are better off focusing on less activities with a higher level of engagement
  • Thinking about the character traits you want to highlight in your application can help you tell the right stories
  • Colleges are looking at character traits such as integrity, resilience, and civic engagement to determine what you will bring to their community


Hot Tip🔥
19:51 Moira McCullough: "If you have top tips, for seniors now and we're even looking at Juniors
coming into the process. What would be some pieces of advice that you would give to them?"
20:00 Benjamin Caldarelli: "The number one piece of advice that I really think is important is to look at the college admissions process and the result as a byproduct, not as a goal. If the goal is to really be the best person, your best self, pursue your interest and your passions, college admissions will take care of itself. I think flipping that is easier said than done for people who are going through it as you are, but I think if you really view it that way, it changes everything."

View Full Transcript


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