One of the most competitive processes a modern-day American can ever go through is the process of applying to college. Today, more kids than ever are qualified to go to institutions of higher learning, which makes it that much more difficult to stand out and catch an admissions officer's eye. As a freshman at Santa Clara, I went through this process recently, and now it is my sister's turn, along with some of my friends who are still seniors in high school. I remember how frustrating it was to try and build my student resume, to scrounge for every opportunity to make yourself seem interesting. However, the obvious fact can't be denied that in addition to one's accomplishments in the classroom, many other factors play important parts in one's admission decision. Some of these factors are earned by merit. Others are simply part of the student's life, independent of his or her work or effort. For many, these factors give one an  advantage, while to others, they are simply worthy of a reward. All these different types of students have reasons why they should be given acceptance over others. The reality is, many of these factors ultimately have to do with race or some other aspect that the typical white American applicant does not have to face. Is it right that these factors are considered? Some think that these situations should be considered in every application, while others believe students should be judged first and foremost on their accomplishments, regardless of what their situation is. Whatever the argument, it's ultimately the school's responsibility to decide who is or is not qualified to enter their institution.
   
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