Diversity enriches an education.”While surprised that her essay has received so much attention, Stinson said she thinks it may have resonated because of the universality of its thesis.“I’ve seen negative comments online from people who weren’t familiar with the literary devices I was trying to use.
I’ve seen people say that it’s ‘ridiculous’ that my essay involved Costco, but I don’t think they’ve even scratched the surface,” she says.
After being posted on Business Insider last week, her essay was read over a million times and shared many thousands more on social media.
Many have found it charming and compelling, while others have attacked it as an example of the antics holistic admissions practices encourage among applicants hoping to stand out.
I think my background likely made my application stand out and impacted it positively,” she says, noting that she is also a proponent of affirmative action policies.
“Many who criticize affirmative action think that nearly all minority admitted students are somehow less qualified, undeserving, or that ‘they took a spot’ from a more deserving non-minority student.
Meanwhile, she participated in highly competitive STEM programs, loaded up on AP classes, was a competitive cross-country runner, and an active participant in her local community.“I’d definitely fit in with the nerds, although the kids at our school would probably categorize us as the overachievers, instead,” Stinson says. I volunteered in a research lab working on a genetics project at the University of Delaware. I’m definitely pursuing research in college.”All of these factors mark her as a strong candidate for an elite university.
Of course, tens of thousands of other applicants had similarly outstanding academic and extracurricular profiles this year.
I think that affirmative action makes a well-qualified minority student stand out, but it will never cause an unqualified student to be admitted.
Non-minorities are still benefiting from a system built in their favor.”At the same time, as clearly evidenced by Stinson, striving for diversity isn’t just about redress for past and present inequities.