Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of affirmative action in the college admission process.

Although race has been a factor in the admission process, it has been one factor among many. Morgan Park Academy’s college counseling team will continue to prepare students to stand out in the college admission process.

While colleges were previously able to use race as a way to shape the makeup of their admitted class, admission to the college has always depended upon a student meeting the academic criteria of the institution, regardless of race. Furthermore, a student’s accomplishments outside the classroom often are used in conjunction with their academic record during the admission evaluation.

As a result, we strongly encourage MPA students to seek out and engage in a variety of clubs, organizations, and athletics throughout all four years of high school. In addition, we will work with each student individually to make certain they are participating in a diverse group of clubs, sports, and activities.

As college application numbers continue to climb, now more than ever, MPA students need to differentiate themselves from their peers. Our Passion Project, which is a graduation requirement, is one of those ways our students stand out within the admission process. We plan to continue having students complete these projects to provide them with an advantage in the admission process as not every student applying to college will present themselves with a Passion Project.

Another important factor that all Upper School students need to focus on as part of the college admission process is their writing skills. Colleges have long used a student’s writing sample as a factor in the admission process. In this post-pandemic, increasingly test-optional world, where holistic review is used to a greater degree than in the past, the importance of a student’s writing has been magnified.

Furthermore, with the use of ChatGPT and other AI tools, colleges are keenly aware that more essays are no longer written by students. These AI-developed essays are being flagged and often negatively impact a student’s chance of gaining admission. Therefore, we strongly discourage students from using AI tools in the crafting of their essays. Instead, we will provide additional writing assistance for students to hone their writing skills.

MPA will remain diligent in working with all Upper School students to prepare them for the college admission process. We will ensure that each students’ application reflects their unique academic achievements, creativity, leadership skills, and other desired attributes sought by college and university admission offices.

By Em Joseph

Ms. Joseph is our Director of College Counseling.