I distinctly remember the day the perky admissions counselor told my child and I, to our faces, that LEADERSHIP was the “single, most important” quality sought out by University of Florida admissions. As a matter of fact, I made her repeat that. TWICE. She told us UF takes a “holistic” approach to incoming freshmen candidates, further stating “we weigh leadership much heavier than grades or standardized test scores.” She even cited an example of an accepted candidate who had a B average (the average GPA of incoming freshmen is roughly 4.3) and borderline ACT scores, but showed leadership and a ridiculous amount of volunteer hours. So that’s exactly what we took away from our TWO visits to the UF campus. Our child began road-mapping her life story. Her foundation was being accepted to UF.
And that’s where the shit hit the fan.
Our kid did everything right. Worked hundreds of volunteer hours in a field directly related to her desired major. Busted ass and took advanced placement courses rather than the regular ones. Achieved a 4.4 GPA. Became the head honcho of a desirable extracurricular activity. The kid did everything exactly to the letter of what Ms. Perky told her to do.
And all my kid got was an apology e-mail from UF. Two other students — one of whom had zero intention of going to UF (she just wanted “the letter for her scrapbook”), with similar grades, LESS volunteer hours, and ZERO leadership — flaunted their acceptance letters in front of my bawling child. All that hard work for naught.
But what troubles me the most is the blatant lies from that asshole, Ms. Perky.
Our kid is not a strong standardized test taker. Many future leaders are not. I wasn’t either, and I am now a published author, the CEO a company, and on the board of two others. Several schools are now realizing introverted test-takers don’t always become successful or make the best philanthropists. Apparently, UF doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. If you’ve ever been to Gainesville, you too will realize they’re a little back-woodsy. Better check that water for lead.
It may not help that my kid happens to be Caucasian. This is probably the single worst time in history to be white. Ironically, or not, the two acceptees were both African-American. It is insane that public organizations still give people extra points simply for the color of their skin. My Puerto Rican best friend and I took the Philadelphia Police Exam in 1990 on my wedding day. He got ten points added to his exam because his parents were Puerto Rican. No worries, because I aced it anyway. But I thought surely that shit was over by now. Apparently, it ain’t.
The moral of this story is everyone lies. Admission counselors are horrible people. The single most important advice I can give regarding college admissions is to send your kids to Kaplan for SAT and ACT prep if college is in their future. And take a DNA test to prove you’re a minority of some sort, and slap that shit on your child’s application. It’s always better to spend your money on test prep and 23 and Me rather than depression meds.
FU, UF. I just bought a voodoo spell on Fiverr and wished fast-moving brain cancer to the entire UF admissions department. Enjoy your chemo, bitches.