Every student can recount the stress and work that went into their college essays. Indeed, some people hire advisers on the preparation of these essays. For Ziad Ahmed however repetition was the key. Asked by Stanford University to respond to “What matters to you, and why?”, his answer was to repeat the expression #BlackLivesMatter” 100 times. He got in.
The senior high school student from New Jersey is not African American. The school was enthusiastic in its letter: “Everyone who received your application was inspired by your passion, determination, accomplishments, and heart . . . You are, quite simply, a fantastic match with Stanford. You will bring something original and extraordinary to our campus – a place where you can learn, grow, and thrive.”
Ahmed said that he was “stunned” to get in and there are probably a few less successful applicants that were a bit ticked by his approach to the essay.
The Bangladeshi-American has an impressive resume, which includes attending the White House Ramadan dinner and an internship for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He has also done a Ted Talk.
I guess however is that a slew of hashtag essays will rapidly lose its cache with Stanford.