Is it a good idea to be a well-rounded applicant?

As a high school student, you’ve likely heard that you want to be a “well-rounded applicant” in order to get accepted into college. But what if that wasn’t true? What if being “well-rounded” is actually hurting your chances?

In years past, sure, colleges were looking for well-rounded applicants who showed interest in a variety of different areas. But with the number of applications rising and acceptance rates falling, being “well-rounded” might really mean being “just like everyone else”. Instead, a student should strive to be a “pointy” applicant in order to stand out.

What Does it Mean to be a Pointy Applicant?

A pointy applicant is someone who shows interest and involvement in multiple ways within the same general category. For example, a “pointy” applicant looking to be pre-med would take multiple challenging science classes in high school like AP Chemistry and AP Bio. They would also get involved with a few different extracurriculars related to medicine like volunteering at a hospital. To be a pointy applicant does not mean a student has to only do things related to one area of interest. That area of interest also does not necessarily need to be related to what that student wants to major in when attending college. A pointy applicant picks something they’re interested in and does multiple activities to support that interest.

Why Being Pointy is Better Than Being A Well-Rounded Applicant

While being well-rounded used to work, being pointy is the new way to stand out when it comes to college applications. Admissions officers are looking for students who have an interest in something and have dedicated themselves to pursuing that interest. Pointy applicants are seen as having a deeper level of commitment to their interests, and as a result, are more likely to stand out in the application process.

In addition, being pointy allows you to develop a unique set of skills and experiences that can be highlighted in your application. You can demonstrate leadership, creativity, and problem-solving skills by showcasing your accomplishments in your chosen area of interest. This can help you stand out from the crowd and make a strong impression on admissions officers.


Another way of thinking about being a pointy applicant is to think about “finding your niche”. Universily helps students think about their story, and eventual college application, in this way by utilizing “Niches” in our product. When students add their classes, activities, and honors they can organize them under a specific niche. This is a helpful way to look at your whole story and similar to how admissions officers think about applications. With all a student’s activities organized by niche it’s easier to come up with ideas to write about in their essays.

In conclusion, being a pointy applicant is the way to go when it comes to college applications. By identifying what your are interested in, and then pursuing those interests, you can stand out in the application process and increase your chances of being accepted into your dream school. Good luck!

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