How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

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Our counselors answered:

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Selectivity is important to consider when determining if a school is a good match. It can be misleading however, since many schools are very self selective. Therefore, a school with a 10 percent admission rate is not necessarily better than a school with a 20 percent admission rate.

Angela Conley
College Admission Expert VentureForth

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Selective colleges are those with more than 50 applicants for every available seat. This simply means they are more selective in choosing their class because their research has shown which characteristics and preparation characterize successful graduates from their institutions. Just as colleges researched the metrics for successful students as they identify those they will admit, those applying should do the same. Applicants should selectively discern the intellectual and social environments where they are best suited to be challenged. In the midst of challenge, students and families should also identify which environments are suited to growing them from who they are, to who they hope to become. It is a fit and match process and with 4000 colleges and universities, those who do the research can make an informed choice. I tell students find the place that feels good on your mindset, your pocketbook and your aims. The answer varies based on your beginning and the experiences you bring to the enterprise that is college.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Selectivity of schools will help you understand the number of applicants that are accepted. I have heard stories of schools encouraging a larger number of applicants through promotions, but I would like to think that most numbers are genuine. The selectivity of a school will generally drive up its admissions criteria as the more applicants that apply, the more selective a school can be. Just as with any club or new restaurant, this increases the interest in a school and a cyclical process begins. This means nothing of its quality of education or fit for you, so use this number with caution.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

You should be as selective as selective colleges. Selectivity means how hard a college is to get into. It is determined by the number of applicants/numbers of acceptances. Some colleges are highly selective, while some are not. That does not always mean the quality is less with less selective colleges. You should match yourself to colleges that meet your qualifications and needs. Have a variety of colleges on your list. You should be selective to in which colleges you elect to apply to.

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

I would be very careful about using selectivity as the sole or major factor in evaluating a college. There are some wonderful schools that are not incredibly selective (often state schools fall in this category) and some not as good schools that spend a lot of time trying to expand their applicant base in order to become more selective. However, you should certainly look at the average test scores, average GPAs and acceptance rates to see if a school makes sense for you to apply to.

Emily Goldman
Founder and Counselor Grey Guidance

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Many colleges rely on Resident Advisors to live in student dorms and serve as links between the college/university and its students, especially around residential life. The official duties of the "RA" often include: helping roommates work through conflicts, organizing and executing relationship-building events, maintaining student safety and well-being, passing along school-specific information, and serving as a general resource for helping students find what they need on campus, usually during the first year of college. The extent of an RA's role often very much depends on the school itself....some have a much more involved and structured RA system then others. Because beginning college and thriving as a student often involves a large amount of change, your RA can be a great resource for helping your successfully navigate all of this change. You might even consider serving in the RA role yourself after your first year of college, especially if you find yourself taking advantage of your RA's support as a new student.

Henry DelAngelo
High School Counselor 20 + years Your Key to College

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

A schools selectivity rating is just one piece of information to consider when evaluating colleges. So selectivity ratings can be helpful but should not be looked at as the only way to choose a school.

Brittany Maschal
Founder/Director B. Maschal Educational Consulting

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

It is very important some some students/parents and less important for others. Not everyone wants to go to a selective school. Not every students is prepared for or would do well at a selective school. It is really up to you, but selectivity does not need to matter. More important is that you find a school where you can be successful, get the education you want/need to reach your goals, and have an awesome four years. Affordability is also a factor at the top of the what matters list.

Dr Sharon
Associate Professor and Program Director of the International Business Bachelor Program Friends University

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

If you want to attend a prestigious college, then selectivity is important. These are institutions that can command high tuition and turn away many applicants. However, there is a college out there for everyone, you just have to find it. If you choose not to cater to the whims or trends of student recruitment, you can find an institution that will fit the kind of person you are and your interests and values. On the other hand, sometimes being a unique character who doesn't say and do what every other candidate says and does can be the one thing that sets you apart from the rest of the flock.

Ronald Harris

How important is selectivity in evaluating colleges?

Increased selectivity means better students are going to all colleges, broadening your choice of schools with a high achieving student population.The number of applicants is rising, making admissions more competitive. Students and parents should consider a range of schools, rather than focusing on a specific institution.