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My aunt was a Columbia admissions officer till a few years back. Will mentioning it help me get into Columbia?

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I will not be applying early as MIT and Harvard are my top choices. Also, I am an International student. Should I write it in my Why Columbia essay and tell it to my interviewer?

Columbia
international
admissions

2 answers

answered on
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No it almost definitely won't—and I imagine it would have a better chance of hurting your chances than helping them to mention it, unless you were to do so very specifically in the context of how it got you interested in Columbia (e.g., if you have any memories with her surrounding the school). But if you're thinking about it as a hook of some sort, it's not going to work like that in practice, and I can easily imagine it coming off to them as shallow.

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I can't imagine this helping, especially since it sounds like she hasn't been an AO there in a few years. Really the only way I can see this benefitting you is by subtly working it into your essay (I'm talking like 1-2 sentences) or your interview. And that's only if you have some great memory with your aunt while visiting Columbia that made you interested in the school like @jcdenton said