30 Aug 2021 20:25 IST

Writing a ‘dazzling’ application

Grades, GRE scores, internships, life experiences, recommendation letters — all matter — to stand out.

What are some of the key criteria which colleges like CMU look into while giving admission? What can I do to make my application stand out while applying for such universities? - N Arun

The proverbial $64 million question. In the 2008 movie 21, the character played by Jim Sturgess sits in front of a professor pitching his chance to obtain a scholarship at Harvard Medical School as someone who would shortly graduate from MIT. The professor tells him that there are 76 applications for one scholarship award. “The Robinson Scholarship will go to someone who dazzles, someone who jumps off the page!” The scene captures Hollywood writing at its best, because, for once, it is not fiction.






This may sound like a cliche, but a degree from a reputed institution (IITs, BITs, NITs), outstanding grades, a 330+ GRE score, internship, project, and life experiences of leadership in the field, quality recommendation letters, and the all-important Statement of Purpose — all matter. The key, however, is that your application has to dazzle.