When students are applying to graduate school, is it fair for some of them to already have connections to schools through family members, friends, etc. when the other applicants have to start from square one?
Applicants routinely use that excuse to explain another individual’s success:
Oh, he already knew one of the adcom members at that school. That’s why he got an interview and will probably get in.
That’s not fair that she gets an internship at her dad’s consulting company when the rest of us can’t find anyone willing to give internships in this economy!
I don’t think any of my friends had “connections”, per se, and they like me still got into medical school. Now am I holding connections to people in higher places as a bad thing – of course not! If you have them, use them! You’d be a fool not to. By the same token, if you constantly find yourself tagging the success of others on the people they know, then you’re too insecure about your own chances of getting in. There are countless routes for getting into graduate school, so focus on using your own strengths to maximize the probability rather than worrying about why others succeed.