The Need to Read

The Need to Read


By Admissions Expert, Dr. Paul Lowe

You may ask yourself, why is a college admissions advisor writing about reading? What does reading have to do with college admissions? Everything! One of the first things I ask my clients is what do you like to read outside the required reading at school. Even the best students have difficulty answering this question. Why is the need to reed important in the college admissions planning process? I just provided an example in the previous sentence! There are several other reasons, a few of which are described below.

Common Application supplements, especially ones for the more competitive institutions, ask what types of books have you read or what books have influenced you. Types of books also demonstrate another character dimension of applicants by which the admissions committee might judge you. It conveys to the committee your interests, your passions and, most importantly, that you are doing something other than the norm. 

Reading helps you to improve your written communication and speech skills. This, of course, will be helpful during college interviews. Remember to only use the word “like” as a verb or in a simile, and not as a filler in a spoken sentence. One admissions officer told me that excessive use of “like” in a conversation is “Valley speak” and sounds cartoonish. Reading helps you to master the English language, obviating the need to use unnecessary fillers.

Studies show that there is a strong correlation between reading and a student’s ability to grasp math, science and abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. This may translate to better academic performance and even higher standardized test scores. Most importantly, reading contributes to the possibility of one’s success in all endeavors.

Research has found that when students read extensively they become better writers. Reading a variety of genres helps students learn text structures, language usage and vocabulary that they can then incorporate to their own communication styles. How does this relate to college admissions? As you master the English language, you will have less difficulty completing the personal statement and supplemental essays on the Common Application. You will also learn to express your ideas succinctly, accurately, and convincingly to admissions committees. When we review our clients’ Common Applications and supplemental essays, we can tell who are the avid bibliophiles.

Sew as you sea, their is a knead to rede. Buy the wey, “rede” and “reed” were spelled properly. They are homonyms of read (four those of ewe who use “spell check” for proofreading yore essays). Seniors, who are filling out their Common Applications, bee careful.

“Reading is to the mind as exercise is to the body. It is wholesome and bracing for the mind to have its faculties kept on the stretch…” Sir Richard Steele


Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Greenwich Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 542-7288, and founder of Private School Admissions Advisors a part of the Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network. 

Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to top private schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and combined BS/MD programs. Dr. Lowe also helps students gain admissions into their top choice private schools and colleges after they have been wait-listed and rejected. Dr. Lowe and his Greenwich Admissions Advisors team provide house-calls for families with extremely busy schedules who can’t come to their office.