That just having the numbers will get a student admitted; students whose numbers are lower than last year’s average have no chance of being accepted, an interview isn’t important & neither are a resume or outrageous LOR’s.
In an article that has been called “unbelievable” and “completely unprofessional” by college admissions counselors all over the country, the Daily Beast reveals what they call the “true secrets of college admissions.”
1. It’s best to set your heart on one school and really go for it.
2. The tuition price listed in brochures is what everyone pays.
3. The admissions department adores you.
4. It’s best to crowd your application with a volume of extracurriculars.
5. It’s better to have a high GPA than to take difficult classes.
6. Essays don’t really matter much in the end because grades and test scores are so dominant in admissions decisions.
7. Recommendations from famous people can give an applicant a huge boost.
The most common myth about the admission process is that admission officers are looking for reasons to DENY students. That is categorically NOT true.
Only “A” students can get into college. There are schools for all students. You just have to find the right fit for you and the application you are presenting. There are plenty of “good” schools for those students who have Bs and Cs on their transcripts. Work with an admissions expert to find campuses that will be a good fit for you and provide you with the education and experience you desire.
Just having the numbers will get a student admitted; students whose numbers are lower than last year’s average have no chance of being accepted, an interview isn’t important & neither are a resume or outrageous LOR’s.
There are certainly many myths surrounding the admissions process. Just a sampling from my years at a highly selective school include:
* Testing will make or break an application (absolutely false! Testing is just one set of data points that help officers understand an applicant’s academic potential. Taken alone, testing is not too helpful, but when combined with the transcript become a more powerful tool to understand an applicant’s academic potential).
*I should try to get face-time with the admissions officer for my region (totally depends on the school. Meetings with admissions officers make be important at one school and at another may just make you a bit of a nuisance. Some schools organize themselves regionally so every applicants has an officer handling her/his case and other colleges read applications in a committee where no single officer is guaranteed to read specific applications).
* I need to be perfectly well-rounded OR the best at one things to get admitted (absolutely false! You need to be yourself! You should convey your interests, talents, passions, and experiences and share them in a compelling manner that makes the admissions officer say “Wow! I really feel like I know this applicants and s/he’s someone who will add to our school.” Trying to check off different activities for the sake of becoming well-rounded or submitting yourself to gruelling experiences trying to become the best at something you don’t love just isn’t desirable by an admissions committee).
Everyone exclaims about the extreme selectivity of colleges, so people begin to think most colleges are ultra-selective. But by far, most colleges admit more than 50% of their applicants. Another myth is that if colleges don’t have a well-known name, they must not be of good quality. In fact, there are thousands of fine colleges–places that aren’t always in the news–that make a good match for thousands of students. Incorrectly, many students have the impression that small colleges are boring. Check out the wide variety of opportunities and you’ll be surprised how interesting they can be!
Students and parents over-emphasize the importance of getting into one particular school. The pursuit of a “hot ticket” in admissions leads students (and parents) to make poor decisions. A student’s commitment to maximizing the opportunities available in college has a far greater impact on the post-graduate career landscape than alma mater name recognition.
Probably the biggest myth is that the admissions process is so competitive that an average student will never get into a good school and even the stars are unlikely to go where they want. There are also many myths concerning quotas of all kinds, the power of connections as well as the power of certain talents. While all of these things can influence decisions, their importance is usually vastly overstated, especially as they are discussed in the word of mouth exchanges that are so much a part of the college admissions world. Indeed, it is critical to realize that once prospective students separate myth from reality, recognize that there are literally thousands of colleges and universities in the United States each with their own set of admissions standards and different program and that there can be a home for every qualified, college ready applicant. Once they recognize that and start to focus on finding the school that is right for them, the process will not only be much smoother, but the likelihood of it ending in a productive and rewarding way is much greater.
One common myth is that computers are the only measure for accepting applicants. While some colleges use computers to process information, more often than not, actual admissions officers are reading applications, essays, and evaluating transcripts and test scores. Students are really mistaken if they believe that “no will really even look that close at my application anyways. My GPA is really all that matters”. This is certainly far from the truth! Admissions officers spend countless hours closely examining applicants and the materials they submit for admission.
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