How can students highlight their Polygence projects in the college admissions process?

Polygence will likely be the most distinct extracurricular in a student’s application. The following notes will help you and them showcase the incredible work they’ve done through the program. Many students applying to college compete on an athletic or debate team, play an instrument, perform in musicals, or hold a position in student government. Few students do Polygence projects. Their project gives the college a sense of what they care about, and who they wish to become.

Admissions results from our students indicate that highlighting their projects strengthens their applications. A survey of thousands of Polygence alumni revealed that students featured their Polygence projects at multiple points throughout their applications:

Acceptance rates from our alumni demonstrate the benefit of their projects on admissions:

Common Application Essay

Through the essay, every student has the opportunity (and is required to write about) what makes them different from the next applicant. Their Polygence project is likely one of the most distinct accomplishments, so the essay is a great opportunity to highlight their work with Polygence.

A general rule of thumb: students should feel free to focus on the work they did on their projects without mentioning Polygence in application essays, though many mention they were supported by a mentor.

Interview Topic

An interview is an opportunity for the college to see how articulate a young person is. Can they speak confidently and extensively about things they’ve done? Common interview questions ask about your life experiences, interest in the particular school, curiosities, and passions. After completing a Polygence project, students have at least ten hours discussing a topic, articulating their thoughts, and formulating questions with an expert in their subject of interest. For this reason, they should be well prepared to demonstrate their expertise in an interview.

During the conversation, there should be many opportunities to bring up their projects. Telling the interviewer about how they became interested in the topic you researched is a great place to start. They also have the opportunity to teach the interviewer what they learned -- whether it’s an academic insight or an introspective comment on personal growth. We have heard interviewers are impressed by the depth and maturity of students with these kinds of experiences.

Common App “Activities” Section