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Cycling: 50th Amstel Gold Race 2015
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3 Ways to Stand Out to Admissions

At many top universities, 2021 has been a historically selective year.

With more applicants applying during COVID-19, colleges and universities have more applicants than ever to choose from. Mimi Doe, co-founder of Top Tier Admissions and contributor at Entrepreneur, recently offered a few tips for applicants on how to stand out in an overcrowded, competitive admissions landscape.


In recent years, the liberal arts have seen an increased focus. With the rise of automation, Mark Cuban has predicted that workers with a liberal arts background will be in high demand.

In college admissions, artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs are taking the spotlight for the first time in years.

“First, the arts and creative cultural expression enliven all communities and bring people together,” Doe writes. “Second, today’s most pressing problems need creative solutions, so colleges seek students who think differently. Top business colleges are flooded with STEM kids who long to land in Silicon Valley, so don’t be afraid to stand out and take a non-traditional path.”


For applicants with an entrepreneurial spirit, Doe recommends highlighting ways that you’ve utilized technology to pursue your business.

“The customized sneakers you paint in your spare time or your branded water bottles can be marketed and sold via a well-considered Instagram page,” Doe writes. “Going through this process is a great exercise in all aspects of setting up a business.”


Top grades can demonstrate that you excel in learning, but they don’t necessarily convey that you love to learn. Doe says that demonstrating an authentic passion of learning can help an applicant stand out to admissions officers.

“These schools want students who love learning, not just those who get good grades,” Doe writes. “Show your scholarship by taking college courses in the summer, scoring high on standardized tests (including the Math 2 Subject Test and the Calculus AP exams), and ranking at the top of your class.”

Sources: Entrepreneur, Inside Higher Ed, Forbes

Next Page: How college admissions has changed.

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