Admissions Problems

no, your kid isn't special at all actually...

Anonymous asked: No question, just a simple statement to any high school guidance counselors that read this. Please, use an online calendar for admissions counselors to schedule high school visits so we are not glued to our phones for three weeks. Most of you don't like talking to us on the phone anyway so it's a win, win.


It was bound to happen. We were just so used to not having to blog anymore, and it’s really fallen off our priority list. Between travel, dealing with the return of students to school, preparing to leave our small homestead for two months… you get the picture. 

Nevertheless, we want to make it up to you. This won’t be consistent, and we’re still trying to find a good balance (or a free weekend to catch up on things). 

More coming your way tonight.


Countdown to travel season: 11 days. Prepare yourselves.

As we have many new admission counselors among our profession preparing for their first travel season, we know one of the key questions all the newsies ask is “What do we wear to a college fair? Suit? Institutional polo and khakis?”

And the answer is…

Shredded shirt, red bra, blue tube top, fat roll, more tube top, patterned leggings, some sort of socks, and slouch boots. And by all means, pull your hair up off your neck to accent the fact that you’re pinky locked with the chick next to you. This is a purely professional look that says “I like colors and acting like I don’t care, so can you please point me in the direction of the Art Institute?”.

So, you’re sitting at your table at a fair thinking everything is going well. You’re meeting students, explaining your overly complicated travel materials produced by a marketing department that wouldn’t deign to ever carry their own brochure by the hundreds in a suitcase all over the damn country. You feel pretty good about yourself. As a reward, you allow yourself a restroom break. And then you see this post-hand washing.

WHAT. THE. FUCK. That’s like $100 worth of travel materials. And we still have sore biceps from lugging the boxes of those heavy pieces of shit into a college fair. And some little asshole throws them away? We’re throwing your application away, therefore your future as well.

Last up, not a college fair but feedback that provides us amusement nonetheless.

Oh, we’re so sorry. If you need more money towards TUITION, you should probably look into our merit scholarships. However, most of them require that you can SPELL TUITION. Just a starting point. 

Back on Monday with Monday Mournings. If we have time, we can get to some questions from the inbox… there are 4 questions already from this week. The snowball begins. 


Essays really are the gem of this job. Forget the bottomless Panera cookies (“Yes, I WILL take a 99 cent bakery item!”). Those big flower cookies with the neon icing just don’t even compare with the goodness that can be uncovered from the depths of an application. Even if you eat 12 of them in a single afternoon.

Noteworthy of all three of our excerpts today: they came from the same student! Three excerpts, one nincompoop. 

"I’ve always believed to give kindness to people that deserve it. For example, I met my girlfriend’s parents earlier this year. First of all, I’ve never meet these people before, so they deserve my respect and kindness right there, also because they do not have to let me date their daughter. They are giving me permission to date her and through that they deserve my respect. The way I gauge who deserves respect and who doesn’t is simply one: if I haven’t meet them, they get kindness. Two: if they are a decent person who doesn’t bother me, they get kindness; simple as that."

Well, he definitely got the simple part right. Call us predictable, but we clearly do not subscribe to this young man’s philosophy that every person you’ve never met deserves kindness and respect. So, he already lost us there. But, if we know 18 year old boys (and WE DO), he more than likely wants to spread an incredibly thick layer of kindness and respect all over his girlfriend’s parents so they don’t realize he’s also trying to finger her behind the football bleachers every Friday night. Simple as that.

Next up from Romeo, a deeper look into his soul that makes him the lover of all things kind and respect. 

This next relationship I’m not so proud of but I am thankful of it. It was my first girlfriend _____. She was an interesting person and she made the relationship interesting and I’ll leave it at that. However she taught that there are people out there that will use you. She made me grow up and realize that life is complicated and the way you deal with it is how your life is defined.

"She made the relationship interesting and I’ll leave it at that."

Let’s review. Our essay writer was all:


And his first girlfriend was all:


Yeah, she used you. And messed with your head. Yeah it was complicated. Bro. If you’re going to write about losing your virginity, at least hook an admission counselor up with more details than “I’ll leave it at that”.

Last up, you know we had to pick out a poignant grammatical error.

Probably the most important relationship of my life will be with my friend _____. ______ is a lazy student to say the least. He does no homework at all. All he does at home is play on his computer, watch television and sleep. However, he still got good grades on testes because he paid attention in class.

He said “testes”. I’ll leave it at that.


Back tomorrow for College Fair Musings. Those of you traveling should be sending us photos of fairs, info cards, scantily and inappropriately dressed students and more!


First up today, an email full of questions…without any indication via punctuation that questions actually exist.

"Hi this is me Jamie again. . Enjoyed touring the campus this past spring break. In terms of sending this e-mail. I have been applying to possibly transfer there next fall. By all means other then the 40 dollar application fee and filling the application out is there anything else that needs to be done. As well what types of scholarships can I apply for. On top of that how can I get out of a hold of the speech teacher to talk about being apart of her speech team possibly."

By all means, we’re certainly not a career counselor by all means. But we do know that being a speech teacher is most certainly not in Jamie’s color wheel. Maybe it was the continuous use of prepositional phrases to end sentences. Maybe it was the flagrant disregard for proper grammar and correct usage of the following words: then, a hold, apart…

We all know how Admissions Problems feels about grammar. It’s an epidemic, people.

Does anyone else have the very realistic fear of what would happen to your personal safety should you connect a “student” like Jamie to a faculty member? We’re fairly certain all our ribosomes would be ripped apart (CORRECT USAGE), and we would leak cytoplasm all over ourselves.

Second up, a student trying to see where a little flattery gets him.

"Hello, I keep getting letters that you need my ACT score to make a decision on my application. I can’t afford to have my ACT score sent to an additional school at this moment. I took the ACT-Writing In February and recieved a composite score of 19. I truly want to attend (name of school) this fall. Thank you"

Again, dead giveaway on the reason you RECEIVED a 19 on the ACT Writing - that damn “i before e except after c” rule. Gets you everytime. Thank you for the flattery, but we’d really just prefer you complete your application. Then, we can deny you, and you fulfill your undeniable destiny in this process - padding our application numbers and making our acceptance rate look more selective. Kthanks. Bye.

Last up, we don’t even know.

I wanna go to your school. But im gonna go on my own terms. 1. I get first dibs at shower everday.2. I sit whereever i want whenever i want. 3. I will show up to class when I wanna be there. 4. If i find a faculty member attractive i get first dibs. 5. If im sleeping in class DONT WAKE ME!!! 6. Everyone must stand when i enter and leave the room. 7. If i find out ur sellin coke on school grounds i want in and i run the operation. 8. Every man will get left behind!!!!! There’s a hero in all of us. U ever seen college wit (insert student name)? Queer!!!!!
Sent from my iPhone

There wasn’t really a question in there, but we were left confused and bewildered just the same. Strange. Best of luck in your future career, young, sleepy, irresponsible one, but our institutions (all of them collectively) are not the place for you. We hear the University of Phoenix is looking for revolutionaries…

Why was it necessary to shout “Queer!!!” at the end? Now there’s a questionable question.

Back tomorrow with your favorite and ours, Excerpts from Essays.


It’s been three months, and we’re back. We’re feeling particularly hopeful this Monday due in great part to the fact that travel season is around the corner. In late April, we would have wept openly when someone mentioned the words “Hampton Inn” or “Panera”, but fast-forward to present-day where we’ve spent all summer cooped up in our office with our “colleagues” listening to stories about each others’ summer vacations. We’re ready for Heavenly Beds, overspending our daily per diem and trying to discover new, clever ways to sneak alcohol into expense reports. 

To look forward to good things to come, we must look back to April. Here is a Monday Mourning story from a reader on Facebook…

After years in admissions, I’m used to dealing with obnoxious, overbearing parents who seem to be clueless to the fact that their habitual calling, insane requests and condescending natural is doing nothing but actually hurting their child’s application and making me resent their child for existing and applying to my college. However, I had a particular mother that took all these qualities to the next level…

…So I’m sitting in my office and I overhear a new, fresh-out-of-college-and-doesn’t-want-to-hurt-anyone’s-feelings counselor kindly explaining to someone over the phone that no, we do not offer SUNDAY tours, and she’s not sure if she could find a tour guide for such a request. Such requests make me LIVID when 1) the family is within a 3 hour drive of the school, 2) their student is a junior. I mouthed to her to transfer the call to me so I could kindly set the caller straight.

BIG MISTAKE. First of all, the mother attempted to make me feel bad because I did not want to humor her very “reasonable” request. I explained that it was APRIL (aka admissions hell month), and the Sunday she was requesting was sandwiched between two campus admissions events AND finals week. This, however, is NOT what made this a truly crazy call. 

She then, being curious about my institution, asked me how many HETEROSEXUAL MEN WE HAD ON CAMPUS. She explained “well, it’s just that we have visited a lot of art schools, and all the men on campus appear to be gay, and oh of course that’s fine we just want make sure there are other men on campus like my son, you know, straight.” It’s rare that I’m speechless in admissions—it’s our job to answer stupid questions and pretend they are not STUPID, but I audibly scoffed because I was truly speechless. I wanted to say “well did you see guys screwing in the quad at these art schools or just take a survey on your campus tour? And as for the breeders on our campus, well, they all start ‘straight’”…..

SO advice to parents, in case you were unaware, it’s fine to ask a college about their LGBTQ population on campus, particularly if your child is in that population and you want to ensure this a welcoming environment. It is NOT okay to ask if there are other straight kids like your special snowflake—it’s like asking if there are other white kids for my white kid to form a klan with. His mother is going to be destroyed when he brings his boyfriend home for thanksgiving….

We couldn’t have insulted or mocked parents better ourselves. And with that, we’re back where we left off. Still being amazed by parents’ audacity and lack of social grace (or boundaries). It’s a never-ending cycle, really. 

Back tomorrow with Questionable Questions. Hit us up on the Facebook page, here on the blog or on Twitter with your best ones from this summer. 


We admit it. Nothing incites the embers of our competitive edge more than someone who clearly and unabashedly steals our photos, logos, concepts, general thoughts and feelings and tries to pass them off as their own. Good riddance, Admissions Problems 2.0. You can’t replicate perfection, so it looks like we’re back to blogging. 

Why didn’t we blog for almost three months? Here are our confessions.


Translation: We’re not afraid to admit it. All these articles start getting published about Admissions Problems, people are losing their jobs, reporters are blowing up our message box asking for interviews and commentary… 

Yikes. We could literally feel the heat closing in on us. BUT we think we’ve effectively weathered out the storm. Or at least the first armband of a Katrina-esque squall. Either way.

We realize that we abandoned you now, especially in light of the Twitter frenzy today following our reemergence from the depths of a summer spent being somewhat productive (a practice that sits in direct opposition to every fiber of what summer is supposed to be). Summer can be a very transitional time of year in Admissions… those of you who’ve been in this field for at least TWO years know what we mean… hint, hint…

So, we’re back. NEW RULES.

1) We will no longer answer questions from high school students. If you want to know how to write a good college essay, talk to your guidance counselor. OR, NOVEL IDEA, drop an email to your admission counselor. Don’t expect a response though. Travel planning is all consuming.

Some of you high schoolers are nice kids and enjoy this blog. We tip our pseudopods to you. If you love Admissions Problems, please know in your heart that we support you and wish many blessings on your college applications.

2) We will NOT answer questions from parents. Your existence will only be referenced for blatant mockery, flagrant criticism and justification for using the F-word. And by F-word, we mean we fucking despise you. Unless you buy us Starbucks gift cards. Then, we tolerate you. Barely.

3) We will continue to post as we see fit in the following categories: Monday Mournings, Questionable Questions, Excerpts from Essays, and College Fair Musings. The general gif posts might work their way in, but if you’re really desperate, hit the “Random” button and think of those as “Admissions Problems Greatest Hits: Volumes I, II and III”. 

4) You are more than welcome to submit photos, excerpts, ideas, and thoughts to the Facebook page, here on the blog or on Twitter. We don’t have an email address that we’re willing to share because one of you sneaky brats would trace an IP address. Which brings us to…

5) The preservation of this amoeba’s complete anonymity. Stop asking. Stop talking about it. If you ask, we will stop. We enjoy eating. And sleeping in a small, furnished, electrified dwelling. And drinking. Let’s not forget the drinking. 

Are we all clear on the rules? We are wiping the message box clean, so we apologize to the 1,392 of you that will never get feedback from us. But please be comforted to know that we looked at each of your messages for approximately 0.02 seconds before hitting the trash can icon. 

Game on. Blogging resumes on Monday with Monday Mournings. We need a story. Who has the best one from this summer?


We scoured about 250 inbox questions tonight, and we have to give you all a big thank you for the ego boost found among your messages. Despite the busy spring, we appreciate you hanging in there.

There were quite a few questions about our identity in light of the UPenn article this spring, so we thought a little picslip was an appropriate display of gratitude. So, here we are:

If you look closely, you can see us winking at you with love in our vacuoles.

Thanks again for reading.

Anonymous asked: Can you please stop ignoring my "ask" submissions and inform me how this blog generates revenue? I don't see ads nor do I see any way to create income. I'm confused as to how it is profitable for you.

This blog doesn’t generate revenue. We do this for free. We realize it’s hard to grasp that someone would dedicate this much time and effort for nothing tangible in return… but we already do that in our daily job, so…

In all honesty, we think all admission counselors out there needed a place to vent. Admissions Problems is that “watercooler” for us amoebas. We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at the funny moments of stupidity, we love all the feedback, we even love all the parents and highschoolers that read.

It’s just a place of fun. And poking fun. And we’re willing to do that for free.

Thanks for reading.

Anonymous asked: I'm a senior and my mom applied to a school for me that I just honestly absolutely hate (and am pretty much guaranteed to get into). Is there anything I can do to make my application less attractive so I get rejected?

Step 1: Call and cancel application at the school.

Step 2: Tell mom to back the fuck off.

Problems solved.

Anonymous asked: I'm a senior admission officer at a school on the West Coast. I've been reading this blog since it started--I find it funny and sad and amazing all at the same time. I shared the link with my staff, because I know they all appreciate being able to share a laugh with someone who "gets it" sometimes. So keep on keeping on. I think counselors and students should take the advice on this blog in the spirit in which it's offered. If they'd read this, rather than bitch, they'd be better off!

Anonymous asked: Are you a moron? Looking forward to you getting outed (and fired). I will enjoy the irony of you going back to school to try to become "marketable." Until then, enjoy $42k, loser.

$42,000??? HOLY SHIT! WE WISH!!!

Anonymous asked: Are you from Wright State University...?

Here too!