Opinion: Admissions Essays Require a Voice ChatGPT Doesn’t Have

(TNS) — The advent of artificial intelligence software such as ChatGPT has led to discussions whether colleges will drop or amend their admissions requirements. I asked Atlanta college essay coach Patti Ghezzi for her thoughts on the question. A former journalist who also worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ghezzi now works in nonprofit communications. She also advises high school students on their college essays. By Patti Ghezzi: I hope AI doesn't drive colleges to get rid of the admissions essay, as some experts, including Rick Clark, director of admissions at Georgia Tech, have predicted . As an essay coach, I have seen how the process of 650 words requires students to think about who they are and how they want to present themselves to the world, something they would not otherwise have the time, opportunity or inclination to do. Writing requires you to be still, think and reflect. I used to start by advising students to demonstrate self-reflection in their essay. But I stopped mentioning self-reflection because I realized I didn't need to, at least until I saw their first draft. Their essays often reveal far more than students intend to share about their sensitivity, self-awareness and capacity to grow. In one of my favorite essays, a football player wrote about his four years on the team, an experience marked by coaching turnover and COVID-19 interruption. He wrote about the texts he sent to classmates who might be willing to play, imploring them to come to practice, and the multiple positions he covered when the team didn't have enough players. What he didn't write about was how the team only won a couple of games the whole time he was on the team. I was struck by his essay's absence of self-pity. He wrote about this experience with the joy of someone who played for a winning team uninterrupted by a pandemic. I wasn't surprised when he got into his first-choice school only to get recruited to play football at a school he was even more excited to attend. Another student wrote about his social life, […]

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