One of the colleges where I applied (Princeton) asked me to submit a graded paper. I sent them a paper I wrote that got an 80 but it is from a really rigorous class where the teacher is a hard grader and it was really well written. I mentioned it to my counselor and she was not happy. She said I should have sent them a paper that got an "A," even though it wasn't as well-written and the teacher was an easier grader. Should I submit this one now? Was I wrong?
<p>Nope, you <em>weren't </em>wrong. "The Dean" can easily imagine those admission folks down in <u></u><u></u>New Jersey<u></u><u></u> staring at a stack of "A" essays with glazed eyes. However, a "really well-written" paper with a lower grade will provide a breath of fresh air for a jaded admission committee. It will also send them a message that suggests that you're not afraid of criticism from a teacher or of making a choice that isn't the obvious one that your counselor wanted you to make. </p><p>So this could reflect well on you, and I applaud your decision. I promise you that, if you don't get into <u></u><a href="https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/princeton-university/" target="_blank">Princeton</a><u></u> (and the vast majority of qualified candidates will not), it won't be because you didn't send the right paper. Good luck!</p><p><em><strong>About the Ask the Dean column:</strong> </em><em>Sally Rubenstone is a veteran of the college admissions process and is the co-author of three books covering admissions. She worked as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years and has also served as an independent college counselor, in addition to working as a senior advisor at College Confidential since 2002. If you'd like to submit a question to The Dean, <a href="https://www.collegeconfidential.com/editorial/contact-us" target="_blank">please send it along here</a>.</em></p>
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