Unexpected Admissions Successes
Thinking of my wonderful students, I have had some pleasant surprises but not many that were really unexpected. The reason is that colleges have many goals when they fill a class, and not all of those goals are academic. I have seen some students whose critical thinking or writing skills aren't at the level of others be able to choose from an impressive array of colleges because they bring something else to the game. That might include being the best on the ball field, even having a national rank. Sometimes I provide guidance and am very cautious with my suggestions for college, and those students wind up with more options that the very academic students who do not have connections of any sort. One of my students a few years ago threw in a few colleges, giving in to his parents, and wound up with significant scholarships. That same student became an admissions success by flying to a college which had waitlisted him and appearing in the admissions office. The admissions officer took some notes, and he was off the waiting list within a week or two.
I hear many stories in the business or through other students that do surprise me, for example, students getting calls from colleges the week of graduation asking them if they'd like to attend, sometimes offering them a spot if they're willing to wait a year - and those colleges include Harvard!