This article was written by Dee Blackman, President of The Ivy Dean™. Her consulting firm can help your child identify the activities to pursue now as an underclassman and how these activities should be emphasized in their college applications once they are seniors.

What Is Application Positioning?

online college application Application Positioning™ is the art of identifying a particular strength, talent or experience that would be most valued by a specific college and presenting it in a manner that maximizes the chances of admission.

Colleges are not looking for the most well-rounded students, but rather the most well-rounded class. Admissions decisions are based upon what unique contribution your child is able to make that will add to the diversity of the entering class.

The majority of the applicants to selective colleges are academically qualified to be admitted. The decision on who will be admitted is made by assessing what unique contribution a student would make to the vibrancy, intellectual level of the discourse in the classroom and the quality of life in the dormitory.

The positioning, however, will only be helpful for students who demonstrate that their involvement in their unique area has been pursued for a substantial period of time. This makes the positioning believable. The earlier a student starts down the road of adding substance to his or her profile, the better.

Many families don’t begin to think about the positioning until senior year. Throughout high school, students tend to follow their interests without regard for whether their activities would differentiate them in the applicant pool. For positioning to be most effective, it needs to be considered as early as freshman year. And most families will need an objective eye to determine how to present their student.
Dee Blackman has 40 years of admissions experience at the highest levels.