No one would doubt that the college admissions system is a highly guarded secret and a daunting process. With the news that wealthy high-profile families allegedly bribed an unscrupulous admissions coach to get their kids into the colleges of their dreams, parents and students are feeling angry and frustrated. A new spotlight has been focused on the college admissions process so Dennis and I thought it would be fun to ask people what they did to get their application packages noticed. New Jerseyans are very creative and these are some of the ideas they used

Act gay

When one prospective college student wasn’t accepted to the college of his choice, he wrote a letter to the admissions committee with a sad story: Banking on the notion that most colleges would embrace a member of a protected group, he explained that he was gay (he isn’t) and came from a conservative Christian family and that he had had his hopes up to attend this college to be able to improve the quality of his life. He soon received an acceptance letter

Be white

This smart New Jerseyan knew that there were very few colleges that offered a strong library science curriculum. She also knew that one of the best was at a small traditional black college in the south. She applied, assuming correctly that it would be difficult for them to turn down a white applicant. She soon became the college’s only white student for the entire four years she was there.

Have a job at 10

This aspiring restaurateur applied to a college with one of the best hospitality Industry programs in the country. His grades and sat scores were average, but his work history, including restaurant jobs from the time that he was 10 years old was what put him over the edge.


Everyone wants a scholarship in football, basketball, or track but how many are dying to get into college bowling? Knowing full well that this was a sport with dwindling student interest, one mom trained her two sons to become above-average bowlers from the age of 12 or 14. By the time they were in high school, they were good enough to be accepted with full scholarships into one of the few colleges in the country with competitive bowling teams.


This single mom who was a recovering alcoholic looking to make something of her life took a chance. She wrote a letter to a college scholarship committee explaining that she had barely anything to show for herself but her desire and her tenacity. She explained her struggles, humbling herself before them and basically just asked for a scholarship. And you know what they say, ask and ye shall receive. Now she’s a doctor.

Only a New Jerseyan could pull that off.

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