It’s no news that to be successful in life we all need a “package” of smarts, tenacity, sociability, and, yes, looks.  Most of us accept this as, if nothing else, the reality.  But what about college applications?  Should beauty be part of the “package” that students cultivate, along with sports abilities, academic prowess and social responsibility efforts?
In this month’s Marie Claire there’s a piece about young men and women in India who enhance their appearance, often times via expensive plastic surgery, to give themselves a leg up in the application process.  Ok, maybe that’s an extreme case.  But could it make a difference?  Do college admissions care about what applicants look like?  Maybe they won’t admit it, but could it play a role?
I thought about my young children and their process of getting into the competitive set of elementary schools in New York City.  I have no doubt that the schools consider many other factors, like test scores, school recommendations and social skills above all else.  But could it be that looks consciously or unconsciously play a role, even a small one? There’s evidence that teachers treat better looking kids differently.  Could the same be true when it comes to school acceptance?
Certainly no one in the admissions office would admit to it, even if it were true.  And most young kids are cute anyway, so I can’t imagine appearance factors in. But I guess you never really know.

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