Read the essay about pizza that got this student into Yale

Carolina Williams, who graduated high school in Tennessee recently, has been accepted into Yale University with the help of an amusing essay.

Williams says her Yale application included an essay prompt asking her what she enjoys doing. The first idea that came to her was her love of ordering pizza, especially from Papa Johns, so that's what she wrote about. Here's the full text of her essay, which was published in the Washington Post:

Prompt: Write about something you love to do

"The sound of my doorbell starts off high, then the pitch mellows out, and the whole effect mimics an instrumental interpretation of rain finally finding a steady pace at which to fall. I have spent several minutes analyzing its tone because I have had many opportunities to do so, as one thing I love to do is order pizza and have it delivered to my house. When the delivery person rings my doorbell, I instantly morph into one of Pavlov’s dogs, salivating to the sound that signals the arrival of the cheesy, circular glory. It smells like celebration, as I love to rejoice a happy occasion by calling Papa John’s for my favorite food. It tastes like comfort, since having pizza delivered to my quiet home is a way for me to unwind. It looks like self-sufficiency, because when I was young, ordering pizza made me feel grown-up, and it still provides that satisfaction for my child at heart. Accepting those warm cardboard boxes is second nature to me, but I will always love ordering pizza because of the way eight slices of something so ordinary are able to evoke feelings of independence, consolation, and joy."

It worked.

Soon, Williams received a letter in the mail extending her an offer of admission to the Ivy League institution. The admissions counselor who reviewed her application even included a handwritten note. "I laughed so hard on your pizza essay," the admission counselor wrote, adding, "I kept thinking that you were the kind of person that I would love to be best friends with. I want you to know that every part of your application stood out in our process and we are thrilled to be able to offer you a spot at Yale."

What's missing from today's college applications?

Pizza wasn't the only thing that helped Williams get into Yale. She had a high GPA after taking rigorous courses, was very active in volunteer work, and participated in several prestigious academic and leadership organizations.

Williams tweeted a photo of her acceptance letter to Papa Johns' twitter account, and they later give her a few gift certificates.

But Williams has decided not to attend Yale. Instead she plans to attend Auburn University, which she says felt like a stronger fit. "I've never met a person who went to Auburn that didn't like it there and I thought that spoke a lot about it," Williams said. She plans on majoring in business with a minor in economics—and is excited to have plenty of Papa John's pizza at the restaurant's location on Auburn's campus (Balakit , The Tennessean,  5/26; Henderson,, 5/31; Wong, Washington Post, 6/4).

How one college's unusual application helped them discover exceptional students they might have overlooked


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