The report says that the college admissions process is contributing to a societal problem by appearing to focus more on personal success rather than concern for others and the public good.
Here's how a student can meet this new definition of achievement without stressing out:
- Avoid a 'brag sheet'. Don't feel pressure to list more than two or three extracurricular activities.
- Forget the service trip abroad. Admissions offices should not be impressed with "high-profile or exotic forms of community service" that have "little meaning" to the applicant, the report said.
- Tackle a community problem. Work with a group to clean up a local park or address bullying at school.
- Volunteer with a diverse group of people. Deepen your appreciation for diversity by working with students that don't look like you, rather than for them.
- Help out your own family. Caring for a younger sibling or finding a job to help bring in additional income for your family should be valued more than "stints" of service, the report says.
- Don't overload on AP courses. Students should not be penalized from taking fewer advanced placement courses. Some people benefit more by taking one or two.
- Remember, Harvard isn't the only 'good' college. Be more concerned about whether a college is a good fit, rather than a perceived elite status.