The 13-step college admissions process — Onion-style

(Nuri Vallbona/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
(Nuri Vallbona/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

You think you know how the college admissions process works, right? Well, you are wrong.

Here, from our friends at the hilarious Onion, are the 13 steps that tell us how the process really works.

From The Onion:

This week hundreds of colleges across the country will be notifying applicants whether they’ve been accepted, waitlisted, or rejected. Here’s how college admissions departments determine their incoming freshman class:

Step 1: Admissions officers immediately reject all applicants who have the same first name as anyone they don’t like

Step 2: Colleges dispatch officials to monitor students while they sleep to see if they actually dream of going to their school

Step 3: School calculates a raw ranking score for each applicant based on all the standardized tests they took, including the SAT, ACT, SAT II, PEMCAP, GANT, Intermediate Bovis Assessment, ATK, PDB, Advanced Bovis Assessment, and the BLIM

Step 4: Colleges automatically accept anyone whose essay deals with a life-changing experience of some kind

Step 5: Twelfth application received on December 12 is granted admission for that particular candidate and four of their friends

Step 6: Wealthy father sits down with dean of admissions to see if they can’t straighten out this whole hit-and-run misunderstanding

Step 7: The final decision is made as to who is admitted and who needed just one more extracurricular

Step 8: Once an applicant is rejected, admissions officers call all other universities and warn them against accepting him or her

Step 9: Admissions office throws out big stack of applications they didn’t get to

Step 10: Before acceptance letters are mailed out, the dean of admissions places a personal red lipstick kiss on each one

Step 11: Stationery suppliers assist colleges in finding the exact envelope size to psychologically destroy applicants

Step 12: Your parents, relatives, and friends spend the next five months convincing you that the school you got into is actually pretty good and it’s really more about what you put into the experience than anything

Step 13: Soup kitchens go back to being understaffed and patiently hold out until next year’s application cycle

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
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Valerie Strauss · March 26