Student at Penn Claims That Racism is Rampant

Are you considering diversity when selecting a college?

When making a decision to attend a particular college, students generally weigh factors such as academics, location, and cost. We usually don’t think of racism as a deciding factor. However, that might all change after a student at Penn was published last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian discouraging minority students from attending Penn because of his encounters with racism on campus.

In this article, Christopher Abreu recounts his humiliating experience in which he was taunted by other students based on the color of his skin. While the story is appalling, many disagree with Abreu’s solution. Discouraging other minority students from attending the university can only exacerbate a problem. Further, students have stepped forward to say that they have not felt racism to be as extensive as Abreu has indicated.

According to an article in The Daily Pennsylvanian, not everyone’s decision will be affected by Abreu’s advice. Black student Daniel McCord stated, “I’ve never gotten any negative feelings about [the University] in that way…If racism was a prevalent enough problem at Penn, I think I would’ve heard about it.” While your comfort level on campus is incredibly important in your decision-making process, make sure to get feedback from a variety of students, faculty and alumni before forming your opinion.

Does Commitment (to a college) Thrill Or Chill You?

Are you ready to commit?

As you anxiously await to hear back from colleges, you might still be daydreaming about your top choice. Perhaps you have gotten deferred from your early decision option, or you made a late decision on which college you really want to attend. Either way, wouldn’t it be wonderful to channel that energy into something tangible that could actually increase your chances of getting in?

Experts suggest that writing a Commitment Letter will not only help reduce your stress but might also be just what the college needs to tip the balance in your favor.

As the end of February nears and March approaches, college admissions officers are at their desks struggling to determine how many students will accept their offers. After all, they don't want to accept students that are not likely going to actually attend. A Commitment Letter lets the college know that you are passionate about enrolling, and that if admitted, you would definitely accept the offer. This love letter should demonstrate your enthusiasm for the school and important updates on your academic and extracurricular life. There's no need to repeat what you've already told them - this should be new info, along with the heartfelt expression of hope that you'll be accepted. Don’t you want your favorite school to know that you’re still working hard on your AP courses, and have now become president of the chess team, or whatever else you might be up to these days - and that all the while you’re dreaming of the day when you can pack up your things, leave home, and finally be on their campus?

Now is the time to write this one last college essay, and after this one, you really can relax knowing you’ve done all you can to get into your dream college. But beware not to be unfaithful. Committing to a school and not attending can reflect negatively on your high school, affecting future students’ chances. Also, colleges sometimes share notes on applicants, and if they realize that they have all gotten the same Commitment Letter, it might hurt you. No one wants a player.

Try to get your Commitment Letter out before the end of February.