It is no longer sufficient for ambitious high school seniors, bent on impressing college admissions committees, to distinguish themselves through their accomplishments. Now they're being encouraged to make creative errors. Steven Roy Goodman is an independent college counselor who advises his clients to purposefully screw up their applications. "Sometimes it's a typo," he said. "I don't want students to sound like robots. It's pretty easy to fall into that trap of trying to do everything perfectly and there's no spark left." Admissions committees don't seem to echo Goodman's thinking. They are looking for authentic applications, sure, but most say authenticity usually comes through in creative essays or extracurricular activities that demonstrate passion. Gadfly thinks that high school grads should combine the two recommendations: i.e., make a mistake--a creative, authentic one--and then write about it passionately. For example, try robbing a 7-11 with a banana (perhaps in a banana suit), and then write your college essay about the experience, examining it through the lens of Neruda's "La United Fruit Co." Or just get good graids.

"A typo may help your college application," Associated Press, August 22, 2007

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