Facebook Twitter Google Digg LinkedIn StumbleUpon Email

Booth's new interest in raising the percentage of alumni who give back, and the amount they give, can influence your admissions decision.

By Ben Feuer

A new initiative from Chicago Booth seeks to identify students who are likely to be successful -- and loyal -- in the future by conducting surveys and analyzing key characteristics of popular students on campus.  If this sounds mildly absurd to you, well, it does to us as well.  If there was a magic bullet predictor of career success, and it could be found in a simple poll, it would have happened a long, long time ago.

More interesting is Booth's REASON for doing this.  In the 2011-12 school year, after the portion of alums who donated to Booth slipped to 16.8 percent, Booth began a number of new initiatives to boost alumni donations, and this was one of them.  The number the following year was back up at 18.6 percent, but the reasoning remains the same.  Clearly, Booth is trying to attract loyal students with a successful financial future ahead of them, and clearly, they are factoring this into their admissions decisions this year.

Does that mean you should make loyalty your watchword in writing the essays?  Not if it wasn't already.  But if you consider loyalty one of your primary virtues, and if you have a history of donating to institutions you've been a part of, this would be a great application to mention those things.