Am I Bribing the Admissions Committee?

Question: I am on a waiting list at a college that I really want to attend and which does seem to take a number of students off the list every year. In my application I talked about my home-made candy business. If I were to send the admission office a little box of my candies, might it be considered a bribe and work against me?

When a student's application touts specific passions ... such as photography, poetry-writing, oil painting, or cooking ... then "The Dean" actually thinks it can be a smart idea to submit a small sample, especially during this post-decision period when probably only a handful of wait-listed students will end up with good news and when almost every Hail-Mary gambit is worth a shot.

What I would NOT recommend, however, are random gifts. In other words, all "show-and-tell" items that are shipped off to admission folks should be representative of an aforementioned talent or hobby. Sure, nearly everyone likes candy, but it would be inappropriate to send it to the admissions staff unless it represents a significant enterprise that was already discussed in the application.

So when you send your candy, be sure to enclose not only your name and high school name (and an applicant ID number if you have one) but also a brief note reminding the admission folks of your culinary enterprise. And act fast because waitlist decisions are being made right now.

Wishing you sweet success!