What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

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What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

That legacy students or those whose parents make substantial donations will be accepted in spite of their grades.

Patty Finer

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

The most exaggerated myths I hear constantly are 1) you can not go to college if you do not have the funds to go to college.abd 2) there is ONLY one school for me! The truth is money will follow the application, and there are probably several colleges that are “perfect”. Perhaps the school has a great football team, and a student wants to be among “great”, maybe the school has an excellent engineering department and has been recognized in the news, or maybe family members attended the school and a student has grown up knowing only that school. There are tons of reasons. Unfortunately, the number of students applying to colleges is staggering, so families need to be aware of the competition. Let me give you an example…UCLA get 45,000 applications for something like 4,000 spots, and of course colleges send out more accept letters than that because they know some will say no. USC is now at 30,000 applications for about 2,000 spots. The Ivies have even fewer spots. Most of the time, parents who have been to college are influencing their students with this idea that there is only ONE school, theirs. Unfortunately, Legacy status does not hold the water it used to at the schools. It is recognized, but not a guarantee. The competition is too keen. Parents who have never been to college may have an idea, but I find there are more open to choice, because they have never experienced the process themselves. One mother hired me specifically to get her child into a specific school. She thought that if I was an alumnus it meant I had connections and nothing can be farther from the truth when it comes to admissions. This woman’s son did not want to go there, and told me he liked the school but did not want to follow in his brother’s footsteps. He did not get in! Another mother was so upset because she wanted her child to go to college, and because this family was from Japan, the mother became frightened her child might not get in. She was so nervous her daughter just caved in and became non-responsive to the process. So parents are a pressure without meaning to be, and students need to be able to explore several options, not just one. There is no one school for students, and the job of the counselor is to not only work with the students but to work with the parents/family. Here is one sad story. A student said to me “I have to go to Princeton, my parents went to Princeton, and I am going to Princeton.” So we put it on our list. He got in! He was so excited. There was a big celebration. Just before he left for school, there was a going away party. He went to the campus, and not a lot was said. When the holiday break came, I saw him and asked how school was expecting to hear great things. Unfortunately, he moved home, and he had no plans on returning. I asked him what happened, he simply said “I HATED IT!” It would be two years before we could get him into another school and in the meantime, he would go to the local community college. That was a very expensive mistake not only in money, but in time. It is OK for students to look at pictures and the activities of a school, but there is more to a school than just a few pictures. Students need to visit campuses, talk to students, have a meal, and give a school a test drive.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

That fame and rank and selectivity equal good quality. A famous school is not necessarily a great – or even good – quality for undergraduates, and for you. And rankings are based on so many factors that have very little to do with undergraduate quality that they can’t be relied on as the only indicator of quality either. And selectivity? If it isn’t really hard to be admitted, it must not be very good, right? NOT! there is a school in the midwest which is ranked among the best in the country for engineering, yet which admitted over half its applicants last year. Make your own criteria, do your own research, and make your own rankings.

Rohit GoyalIvy League CounselorHarvard University

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

High Grades and Test Scores alone doesn’t decide your admission.

Rohit GoyalIvy League CounselorHarvard University

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

High Grades and Test Scores alone doesn’t decide your admission.

Joshua EarsleyStudent Assistance CoordinatorReach Out

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

One common and exaggerated myth is that the most important item on your application is your SAT/ACT scores. Whatever anybody might tell you, remember that the most vital item on your application is your transcripts. When an admissions officer is combing through all the applications, he/she is paying close attention to grades and classroom performance levels. High SAT/ACT scores help but they are by no means, any type of guarantee. Another common myth is as follows: Community colleges are for those students who aren’t ready for a 4-year university. The circumstances are different for every student. Whether financially or uncertainty of one’s future be an issue, from experience I can tell you that community college helped me prepare better for my transition into a private university. I was eligible to attend a few state schools, however I decided to take a route that allowed me not only to increase my organizational and study skills, but also gave me more time to consider what I wanted to do as a career.

Rebecca JosephExecutive Director & Foundergetmetocollege.org

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

That college is not affordable is an exaggerated myth for many students. Low-income students can find colleges all around the country that seek them and will pay the majority of their expenses. MIddle class students can find inter-state consortiums and apply to schools that have merit scholarships. The more strategic you are, the more options you will have.

Ronald Harris

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

Myth #1: Your SAT/ACT score is the most important thing in your application. Myth #2: Most universities accept only a small percentage of their applicants. Myth #3: A great interview can make up for a so-so academic record. Myth #4: Colleges want to see a detailed résumé.

Elizabeth PhDEducational ConsultantThe Education Planner

Who gets into Harvard?

Harvard’s admissions office is sorting through thousands of applications for students who applied to the College under an early action plan, Harvard has implemented Single-Choice Early Action this year and has received more than 4000 applications. Students admitted under this plan could not apply to other colleges under Early Decision or Early Action. Students’ fate and future are held hostage until Harvard decides, in mid-December, who is in or out of the first round of applicants. Harvard’s website clearly states that their isn’t a minimum SAT score required for consideration, but data drawn from their Common Data Set, reveals the facts on last year’s entering class. More than 30,000 applications were received last year for the entering class of 2011. Ninety-one percent of 2011 applicants submited SAT scores and 32% submitted ACT scores. The middle 50% of students’ SAT scores for Critical Reading: 690-800; Math 700-790; Writing 710-800. The ACT range for the middle 50% was 31 – 34. Harvard doesn’t consider class rank, a question asked on the Common Application, the online application shared by several hundred colleges. For students who attend highly selective public or private high schools, such as Lowell High School in San Francisco, Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, CA or Hunter College High School in Manhattan, class rank could put otherwise highly qualified students at the bottom of that list. Harvard’s practice is a benefit to students who might, for example, rank in the bottom 25% of a high school class that is made up exclusively of academically talented students. Harvard isn’t looking for students with just good grades and high test scores. Their admissions website goes into great detail about how they craft their entering class. Extracurricular activities, leadership, service, and work experience are all considered. They seek well-rounded students, “lopsided” students wtih achievements in research or extracurricular activites, students with unusual backgrounds, and most importantly, students who will in combination make for a dynamic learning environment. That desire for creating a dynamic learning community means that there is no way to game the system. While one student may have a flawless academic record, another student might offer the university a special talent in music or the performing arts, a history of scientific research, or speak four languages. Nonetheless, like other highly selective universities, the admission rates are low, and hundreds, if not thousands, of bright and talented students will be turned away. Last year 2,205 students were offered admission at Harvard. Most college deadlines haven’t passed. Students who aren’t accepted under Early Action or Early Decision plans still have time to complete applications to other universities. Students shouldn’t consider these other colleges “back-up schools.” They should only apply to colleges where they would be happy to go –even if it isn’t considered a highly selective school. Students who have done their research wlll find many outstanding colleges that will provide a terrific undergraduate experience. Within that well-chosen list, admission to any college should be considered a success.

Sandy McMasterCollege Admissions ConsultantMy College Hunt, LLC

Just how important is the college essay?

The college personal statement is one of the most stressful parts of the college admissions process for seniors and their parents. But can an awful essay kill an otherwise great applicant’s chances of admission? Likewise, can a truly awe-inspiring essay lift a mediocre student’s chances? An admissions director for a selective college once said that the essay is more important than admissions reps will admit, but not as important as students and parents fear. The personal statement is important because it gives the reader a chance to see a part of the applicant that the rest of the stats, test scores, facts and figures alone can’t reveal. So students, take advantage of this opportunity to show who you really are!

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

I think one of the biggest myths out there is that “Joe Neighbor” got a full-ride scholarship to such and such a school. Whether it be for academics or athletics, it overwhelms me the number of people I hear about that receive a full-ride scholarship to college. Most likely a function of Ego or just difficulty with telling the truth, I have personally heard about students that I have worked with, and now, they are receiving a full-ride scholarship to a college. Many athletic scholarships pay for books, maybe a thousand or two off of tuition. Many academic scholarships can pay a great deal of tuition, but seldomly do scholarships just pay for everything. So many underclassmen get misled about the exaggerated stories or students (or parents) about their scholarship offers! I have so many freshmen students or parents walk into my office and say, “I want to know how to earn a full-ride scholarship;” like there’s just one magic one out there to get. In addition to the myths of the availability of full-ride scholarships, is the myth that people are just going to give me a scholarship. Scholarship applications are hard work. The students I know that earn a great deal of money (maybe piecing together close to a full-scholarship when it’s all said and done) put in 100’s of hours in researching, writing essays, and applying for scholarships…scholarship committees don’t just “give” away scholarships.

Geoff BroomeAssistant Director of AdmissionsWidener University

But it’s so hard.

Applying is not all that hard. Too much pressure has been placed on the application process. Step back for a moment and let’s dissect it. You fill out our name and address. You complete a resume, which you should have been working on up to this point. You complete a personal statement less than 250 words. You complete an essay most likely under 500 words. No big deal. You write essays in high school that are 5 times the amount of a 500 word essay. I tell students to work on their essay about 10 minutes at a time. Don’t stress over it. Work on it, come back to it, revise it, and move on. If you have to fiddle with it too much, then the essay is not authentic. That is the biggest hang up students have about the application process.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

1) It is easy 2) It is hard 3) It is quick 4) You need all A’s 5) You have to take hard classes 6) You have to take classes that you can get an A in but not challenge yourself 7) The personal statement does not matter 8) Letters of recommendation are not that important 9) Only geniuses can get into Ivy League Colleges 10) Ivy League colleges are the best 11) Have to have a major when you apply 12) Have to make a lot of Money to pay for college 13) Getting into state schools are easier than private or vice versa

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

I think one of the biggest myths out there is that “Joe Neighbor” got a full-ride scholarship to such and such a school. Whether it be for academics or athletics, it overwhelms me the number of people I hear about that receive a full-ride scholarship to college. Most likely a function of Ego or just difficulty with telling the truth, I have personally heard about students that I have worked with, and now, they are receiving a full-ride scholarship to a college. Many athletic scholarships pay for books, maybe a thousand or two off of tuition. Many academic scholarships can pay a great deal of tuition, but seldomly do scholarships just “pay for everything.” So many underclassmen get misled about the exaggerated stories of students (or parents) about their scholarship offers! I have so many freshmen students or parents walk into my office and say, “I want to know how to earn a full-ride scholarship;” like there’s just one magic one out there to get. In addition to the myths of the availability of full-ride scholarships, is the myth that people are just going to give me a scholarship. Scholarship applications are hard work. The students I know that earn a great deal of money (maybe piecing together close to a full-scholarship when it’s all said and done) put in 100’s of hours in researching, writing essays, and applying for scholarships…scholarship committees don’t just “give” away scholarships.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

Probably the biggest myth is that the college admissions process is so competitive that that an average student will never get into a good school and even the stars are unlikely to go where they want. It is critical to realize that there are literally thousands of colleges and universities in the United States with each having their own set of admissions standards and different programs. The result is that there can be a home for every qualified, college ready applicant. Once a prospective student gets past the myths, the scuttle butt, and the outside perceptions and focuses 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.

Mark GiesmannCounselorCherry Creek High School

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

The biggest myth I would like to dispel is that there is one perfect school for each applicant. Most of the students with whom I work are great students who will be happy and successful at a vast number of schools throughout the country. Keep an open mind and you will end up with multiple great options.

. .

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

This can vary by school, but a lot of people who haven’t worked inside college admission offices think that at even larger schools 15,000 students and beyond, you have some suit-wearing admission committee that sits around a mahogany table and scrutinizes every applicant. This typically doesn’t happen at larger schools simply because there is not enough time. Fact of the matter is, many students who apply are either accepted or denied pretty quickly, just based upon things like their GPA, test score, and strength of curriculum. At the smaller schools, however, admissions committees do spend more time evaluating each applicant.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

College admission myth

Students think colleges are looking for well rounded people. Really what they are looking for is a well rounded class. Schools are interested in the student with a “spike”, that something extra that makes them stand out. They aren’t as excited about someone who knows a little about a lot, as they are about someone who has a real passion for something. Colleges want to create a class with diverse interests, so they need some who are politically active, others who are creatively oriented, some who are leaders and others who are worker bees. It is not possible to create a perfect profile, as the applicant pool is a dynamic entity. One year they may really need tuba players, so that matters; another year they may need divers for the swim team. Just present yourself honestly and the admissions folks will decide if your profile is the best fit for their insitution.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

Seven and Counting…

Short Answer: There is no short answer to this question, because the myths are countless. Detailed Answer: Here are my top seven myths. Myth #1: Admissions counselors care. A lot of admissions counselors love their jobs. But look around a college fair a half an hour before it’s over. Note how many tables are empty. Many admissions counselors don’t want to be there. In fact, it’s amazing how many admissions counselors just leave their materials on the tables and take off for the entire event. If you are there and the representative for the school you are interested is not there, call that college’s admissions office and tell them. Myth #2: Admissions counselors know what they are talking about. I once sat next to a fellow counselor at an Open House who told a student our college accepted the Common App. That counselor had worked at the institution for 15 years. I had been there 2 years. Even I knew we didn’t accept the Common App. Myth #3: Your application will be reviewed closely. Nonsense. That would take time. Many institutions are now moving to an algorithm on the back end of their data system that makes decisions on applications solely based on numbers. No human being ever sees any part of the application. At one institution I worked at, they were so concerned about increasing the speed of application reading, we were told to shred essays and letters of recommendations to keep the paper down to a minimum, so we wouldn’t be tempted to take the time to read them. This is an excellent question to ask the admissions office of any college you are considering: How will my application be reviewed? Unfortunately, the ones who won’t ever see it will tell you that it was carefully reviewed. And there is no way to verify any information you are given regarding this part of the process. Myth #4: The buzz words in college marketing materials are true. “Student centered.” “Academic excellence.” “Small classes.” “Diversity.” Just like any big business, their marketing and communications group has researched your generation and come up with the marketing phrases they believe will attract your interest. That’s why everything you receive in the mail looks the same. That’s why you want them to turn off their messages to your email (that have been coming in huge quantities since your PSAT scores became available to them in your Sophomore year.) Colleges are desperately competitive with one another and equally desperate to convey that there is something special about them…but somehow they all end up looking and sounding the same. Your job is to see behind the words to ascertain who they really are. (Want to visit a college that puts forth an admissions message that is completely contrary to the truth of who and where they are? Check out Tulane University, New Orleans. ) Myth #5: If you begin your degree at your community college, your life is over. Don’t be ridiculous. The fact is that approximately 40% of students entering college today require some type of remedial coursework. Even the top students coming out of high school these days are weak writers and non-critical thinkers, no matter the results of their SATs and ACTs. Many, many students simply are not prepared for the rigor of higher level academic work. So why would you put yourself and/or your parents into financial peril by shelling out big bucks for coursework that won’t even count for credit? Because you want to party on a big campus? Because you want freedom from home? Because your friends are going away to school? These are all reasonable, emotional answers, but in the long run, none of them is as valuable as sound financial and academic decisions. Unless you brag about your lack of student loan debt, no one in the job market will know that you started out at community college (by the way, there are just as many fabulous instructors at community colleges as there are terrible professors at elite colleges; want an example? Google poet Stephen Dunn, who was teaching at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey when he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize). The fact is, future employers will only know where you received your undergraduate degree. What people will recognize about the community college choice is 1) financial intelligence, which will be evident by the fact that you have less student loan debt than students who did all four (usually five) years at a major four-year institution, and 2) a determination to nail your upper level coursework and be ready for the job market and/or grad school. Sure you won’t have had the social experience of a traditional, over-programmed, anxiety producing, first-year college program. But that first-year experience often turns out to be a liability for many students that is hard to recover from. Myth #6: Net Price Calculators are accurate. Nope. This is a huge topic and one I won’t go into too deeply here. Suffice to say, colleges are under a great deal of pressure from the federal government to provide families with an accurate idea of how much it is going to cost them to attend College X and College Y. At the NACAC conference in September of this year, I attended a seminar where Diane Cheng of the California non-profit organization Institute for College Access & Success spoke about the development of these net price calculators. Dr. Cheng stated that institutions appeared to be developing their calculators in a non-uniform manner in order to meet their marketing needs. That tells you everything you need to know about how much faith to place in them. Not much. Myth #7. The college that rejects you defines you as a loser. Forever. Many of the most interesting, accomplished, creative, deep and innovative thinkers in our world (indeed, in the history of the world) didn’t go to college, didn’t get into college, bailed on the college they got into, or failed out of the college they got into. If your college admissions process doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, roll with it. Maybe life has something a lot more meaningful and productive in store for you.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

Seven and Counting…

There are many, but here are my top seven. Myth #1: Admissions counselors care. A lot of admissions counselors love their jobs. But look around a college fair a half an hour before it’s over. Note how many tables are empty. Many admissions counselors don’t want to be there. In fact, it’s amazing how many admissions counselors just leave their materials on the tables and take off for the entire event. If you are there and the representative for the school you are interested is not there, call that college’s admissions office and tell them. Myth #2: Admissions counselors know what they are talking about. I once sat next to a fellow counselor at an Open House who told a student our college accepted the Common App. That counselor had worked at the institution for 15 years. I had been there 2 years. Even I knew we didn’t accept the Common App. Myth #3: Your application will be reviewed closely. Nonsense. That would take time. Many institutions are now moving to an algorithm on the back end of their data system that makes decisions on applications solely based on numbers. No human being ever sees any part of the application. At one institution I worked at, they were so concerned about increasing the speed of application reading, we were told to shred essays and letters of recommendations to keep the paper down to a minimum, so we wouldn’t be tempted to take the time to read them. This is an excellent question to ask the admissions office of any college you are considering: How will my application be reviewed? Unfortunately, the ones who won’t ever see it will tell you that it was carefully reviewed. And there is no way to verify any information you are given regarding this part of the process. Myth #4: The buzz words in college marketing materials are true. “Student centered.” “Academic excellence.” “Small classes.” “Diversity.” Just like any big business, their marketing and communications group has researched your generation and come up with the marketing phrases they believe will attract your interest. That’s why everything you receive in the mail looks the same. That’s why you want them to turn off their messages to your email (that have been coming in huge quantities since your PSAT scores became available to them in your Sophomore year.) Colleges are desperately competitive with one another and equally desperate to convey that there is something special about them…but somehow they all end up looking and sounding the same. Your job is to see behind the words to ascertain who they really are. (Want to visit a college that puts forth an admissions message that is completely contrary to the truth of who and where they are? Check out Tulane University, New Orleans. ) Myth #5: If you begin your degree at your community college, your life is over. Don’t be ridiculous. The fact is that approximately 40% of students entering college today require some type of remedial coursework. Even the top students coming out of high school these days are weak writers and non-critical thinkers, no matter the results of their SATs and ACTs. Many, many students simply are not prepared for the rigor of higher level academic work. So why would you put yourself and/or your parents into financial peril by shelling out big bucks for coursework that won’t even count for credit? Because you want to party on a big campus? Because you want freedom from home? Because your friends are going away to school? These are all reasonable, emotional answers, but in the long run, none of them is as valuable as sound financial and academic decisions. Unless you brag about your lack of student loan debt, no one in the job market will know that you started out at community college (by the way, there are just as many fabulous instructors at community colleges as there are terrible professors at elite colleges; want an example? Google poet Stephen Dunn, who was teaching at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey when he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize). The fact is, future employers will only know where you received your undergraduate degree. What people will recognize about the community college choice is 1) financial intelligence, which will be evident by the fact that you have less student loan debt than students who did all four (usually five) years at a major four-year institution, and 2) a determination to nail your upper level coursework and be ready for the job market and/or grad school. Sure you won’t have had the social experience of a traditional, over-programmed, anxiety producing, first-year college program. But that first-year experience often turns out to be a liability for many students that is hard to recover from. Myth #6: Net Price Calculators are accurate. Nope. This is a huge topic and one I won’t go into too deeply here. Suffice to say, colleges are under a great deal of pressure from the federal government to provide families with an accurate idea of how much it is going to cost them to attend College X and College Y. At the NACAC conference in September of this year, I attended a seminar where Diane Cheng of the California non-profit organization Institute for College Access & Success spoke about the development of these net price calculators. Dr. Cheng stated that institutions appeared to be developing their calculators in a non-uniform manner in order to meet their marketing needs. That tells you everything you need to know about how much faith to place in them. Not much. Myth #7. The college that rejects you defines you as a loser. Forever. Many of the most interesting, accomplished, creative, deep and innovative thinkers in our world (indeed, in the history of the world) didn’t go to college, didn’t get into college, bailed on the college they got into, or failed out of the college they got into. If your college admissions process doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, roll with it. Maybe life has something a lot more meaningful and productive in store for you.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

The level of opportunity and competition to go to college are both exaggerated. Some people like to say there are 3000 colleges, many of whom have open enrollments. The real number of colleges of high and even modest quality is significantly less. On the other hand it is true that there are a few colleges that accept less than ten percent of applicants, but this is the exception. There are many colleges of very high quality that accept students at much higher rates. Another myth is that the cost of college is skyrocketing. While the sticker prices are rising, the reality is that the cost of college is very progressive. Wealthier families are paying more, but for a majority of Americans the cost of tuition is zero due to federal or institutional subsidy.

Helen Cella

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

The importance of extra circular activities.

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

That there is only one good school for you.

Students who become fixated on one school as the end all be all for the rest of their lives have not been educated about fit. When I take students on a Burton College Tour, I teach them how to determine the elements of a good academic, social and financial fit for themselves. Students who learn how to identify the aspects of a good fit and how it pertains to them are able to build a list of schools that are all right for the student.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Forget the MYTHS! Get the FACTS!

One of the most pervasive myths regarding college admissions in America is that it is absolutely impossible to get into your first choice school these days! You have probably heard about all of the perfect students/athletes/musicians/etc. who have been rejected by every school on East Coast, right? Well — as the kids say, “whatever.” According to a survey of college freshmen by UCLA, 79% of students said that they were accepted into their first choice school. That’s almost 80%! Instead of relying on word of mouth, urban myths and parental paranoia — get the facts! You can find out more about UCLA’s annual survey here: http://www.heri.ucla.edu/ Also — check out the National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s 2011 State of College Admission report here: http://www.thecollegesolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/NACAC-report.pdf According to NACAC — the average rate of admission for the colleges participating in the report was over 65%! That’s right! Over 65%! Once you get the FACTS about college admissions — you’ll see that you won’t need to get so stressed out. Knowledge is power!

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Forget the MYTHS! Get the FACTS!

One of the most pervasive myths regarding college admissions in America is that it is absolutely impossible to get into your first choice school these days! You have probably heard about all of the perfect students/athletes/musicians/etc. who have been rejected by every school on East Coast, right? Well — as the kids say, “whatever.” According to a survey of college freshmen by UCLA, 79% of students said that they were accepted into their first choice school. That’s almost 80%! Instead of relying on word of mouth, urban myths and parental paranoia — get the facts! You can find out more about UCLA’s annual survey here: http://www.heri.ucla.edu/ Also — check out the National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s 2011 State of College Admission report here: http://www.thecollegesolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/NACAC-report.pdf According to NACAC — the average rate of admission for the colleges participating in the report was over 65%! That’s right! Over 65%! Once you get the FACTS about college admissions — you’ll see that you won’t need to get so stressed out. Knowledge is power!

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Admissions competition: fact or fiction?

ormer president of Mercy College Lucie Lapovsky has a unique perspective on the admissions process – unique in that she doesn’t buy the headlines and stories that are scaring students and parents alike into thinking that the college admissions process has become more prohibitively competitive than ever before. The current school of thought would have the public believe that more students than ever are applying to colleges, but also, more students than ever are getting rejected by colleges. It seems that the typical applicant today is a high-achieving, almost too well-rounded student who applies to many institutions, is almost invariably denied by their top choice and has to settle for a safety school. Ms. Lapovsky is sick of it. According to her, that picture is not representative of the vast majority of students (though it does ring true for a small percentage in wealthy suburban areas applying to truly selective colleges) or their admissions experience. Now an educational consultant and researcher, Ms. Lapovsky wants to debunk the competition myth that is sending so many students and parents into a tailspin every spring. She chose to do it with numbers. In the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007, Ms. Lapovsky surveyed 750 high school seniors, each semester asking them pertinent questions about their plans for higher education. Some of the more interesting findings included the fact that the idea of students applying to a slew of colleges, had actually been blown way out of proportion. Less than one percent of the students surveyed wound up applying to more than ten colleges, whereas nearly half applied to only 4 or more. Average Number of Colleges Students Planned to Apply to and Actually Applied to Number of Colleges Percentage Who Planned to Apply, Fall 2006 Percentage Who Actually Applied, Spring 2007 1 7% 22% 2 10% 15% 3 25% 19% 4 or more 58% 44% Also debunked? The myth that students are getting rejected across the board from their first choices. In fact, the majority of students surveyed (88 percent) who applied to college immediately after high school, were admitted to their first choice and safety schools. And overall, Lapovsky and her peers discovered that students are accepted by 81 percent of the colleges to which they apply. Proportion of Students Accepted by Their First-Choice College Percent Accepted at First Choice (Including Off Wait List) All Students 88 Asian/Pacific Islander 80 African American 84 White 90 Hispanic 84 All other 83 Finally, the study went a long way toward dispelling the stigma that can follow application to a 2-year college. The study showed that despite the prevailing opinion that most students who apply to community colleges have no other options or chose not to apply anywhere else, 17 percent of students who attended these schools applied at five or more other institutions, and 70 percent of those who attended community colleges after having been accepted at other institutions, wound up accepting a spot at the school with the lowest tuition – almost exclusively two year institutions. It is clear that students who are attending these colleges are taking the price of admission into heavy consideration.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Myths

I believe that the most accepted “myth” about the admissions process is that one has to go to a “brand name” college. I just read a blog by a student, Benjamin Platt: Success is not spelled H-A-R-V-A-R-D. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/the-college-commandments-_n_1079571.html. I recommend parents and students read it. It is certainly a myth that there are only a few colleges worth going to in the USA. There are over 3,000 colleges in this country! As Platt says in his blog, “Plenty of important people went to Ivy League schools. Plenty of important people did not.” Don’t buy into the “bumper sticker” mentality. Look for substance, not just a name.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Myth Busters

I believe wholeheartedly that too many students compile a list of colleges to which to apply based on “quality of life”. You may be that student who says, “I’m just a warm weather person.” While that may be true, and good on you for identifying that, silly junior, college is for studying for a degree! In the media, we are fed myths, lies really, about what college “should” be like: most involve togas and red Solo cups, as well as mutual hair-holding for turns over the toilet. Allow me to bust that myth: choose colleges first and foremost based on the academic offerings and fit, the mission and culture of the school and the social scene will undoubtedly follow. Any time you get hundreds of 18-22 year olds living together, fun in inevitable!

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Myths

I believe that the most accepted “myth” about the admissions process is that one has to go to a “brand name” college. I just read a blog by a student, Benjamin Platt: Success is not spelled H-A-R-V-A-R-D. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/the-college-commandments-_n_1079571.html. I recommend parents and students read it. It is certainly a myth that there are only a few colleges worth going to in the USA. There are over 3,000 colleges in this country! As Platt says in his blog, “Plenty of important people went to Ivy League schools. Plenty of important people did not.” Don’t buy into the “bumper sticker” mentality. Look for substance, not just a name.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Myths

I believe that the most accepted “myth” about the admissions process is that one has to go to a “brand name” college. I just read a blog by a student, Benjamin Platt: Success is not spelled H-A-R-V-A-R-D. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/the-college-commandments-_n_1079571.html. I recommend parents and students read it. It is certainly a myth that there are only a few colleges worth going to in the USA. There are over 3,000 colleges in this country! As Platt says in his blog, “Plenty of important people went to Ivy League schools. Plenty of important people did not.” Don’t buy into the “bumper sticker” mentality. Look for substance, not just a name.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Myths

I believe that the most accepted “myth” about the admissions process is that one has to go to a “brand name” college. I just read a blog by a student, Benjamin Platt: Success is not spelled H-A-R-V-A-R-D. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/the-college-commandments-_n_1079571.html. I recommend parents and students read it. It is certainly a myth that there are only a few colleges worth going to in the USA. There are over 3,000 colleges in this country! As Platt says in his blog, “Plenty of important people went to Ivy League schools. Plenty of important people did not.” Don’t buy into the “bumper sticker” mentality. Look for substance, not just a name.

Mark CorkeryHead College CounselorInternational College Admissions Network (I-CAN)

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

There are many many myths about this process. The biggest one is that the senior year first semester grades do not count or the courses you take senior year do not matter. They do for all colleges or universities with only a few exceptions. Keeping a strong curriculum through the 4 years of high school is critical to competitive college admission. Another myth is that community service hours are what colleges like to see. The answer is that colleges like to see depth of experience and how the student has contributed to an organization. One day handing out water bottles at a fundraising marathon does not make for a community service activity that colleges would look on favorably. If you are the student who volunteers to get the water donated and is on the planning committee for the marathon, then this would show a strong commitment and a contribution to the organization planning the event.

Zahir RobbCollege CounselorThe Right Fit College

What are the most accepted or exaggerated myths about the college admissions process?

Some people believe that the only good colleges are those that have name recognition, like those in the Ivy Leagues. This just isn’t true. There are thousands of colleges in the US and each one has a distinct feel that may match with your learning style, personality, career objectives, etc. Expand your search. Speaking with a guidance counselor who will expose you to schools that match your interests and ideas is a good start to finding the right fit for you.

Craig MeisterPresidentTactical College Consulting

No need for essays, standardized tests, or stress…

While the most competitive colleges have extremely rigorous admission standards that include earning high grades, completing several essays, taking a number of challenging standardized tests, and pursuing a variety of extracurricular activities, the vast majority of America’s four-year colleges have far more modest admissions requirements. In fact, despite what you may have heard, many colleges require no admission essays, and a growing number of colleges are easing their admission requirements, as evidenced by the number of schools becoming ACT- and SAT-optional. If you want to attend a four-year college, stay calm and you will find one that will admit you.

Nola LynchIndependent Educational ConsultantNorthwest College Search

What you’ve heard about essays may not be accurate…

Students often misunderstand the purpose of long and short statements they must write for many applications. The longer personal statement (the essay) is not a textbook expository essay. It is a personal narrative meant to show who you are, as well as how well you express yourself. The shorter statements individual colleges ask for may be at least as important. These questions are meant to gauge how well you know the school as well as your level of interest. That’s why writing about College X when you are applying to College Y (yes, it does happen) can sink an application.

Patti DemoffCo-FounderCollege Circuit

Do activities that suit you, write about everyday life, reveal disabilities…

Two common myths assume that colleges have predetermined ideas on how students should spend their time: that you must have a noteworthy summer activity to be considered by highly selective colleges and have something unusual or extraordinary to write about in essays. Actually, the best personal statements reflect a slice of everyday life. Some of my favorites this year have included reflections on: a bus ride, an electronics show, and an acting class. Also, students and parents often feel that disabilities shouldn’t be revealed in applications, but this information is valuable in understanding a transcript or how students have worked through challenges.

Deborah ShamesIndependent College Search Consultant & Transfer Admissions Advisorwww.CollegeCoachDeb.com

Great test scores are NOT the be all end all…

Many kids and parents believe fabulous standardized test scores will make up for mediocre grades.  Great test scores without the academic achievement to support them tell the admissions people one of two things: “Johnny has the ability, but he’s lazy” or “Wow, Mom and Dad paid for a great testing tutor because this test is teachable. “  Neither one of these will help Johnny in the application process; he is better off spending that time and effort working on his grades and mastering his coursework!  In the end, the success in the coursework is what the colleges need to see to feel confident a student will succeed at their institution. 

Estelle MeskinCertified Educational PlannerEstelleMeskin.com

Students and parents alarmed at college admission myths…

Valedictorians are always victorious. Recent numbers show that although valedictorians typically have the grades and test scores to be accepted anywhere, many are turned away from highly selective colleges. In addition to test scores they also need other attributes which are attractive to admissions. There’s only one perfect school for me. Although students may believe they can only be happy and successful at a particular school it has been shown time and again that finding the “good fit” school is more important. I’m a Failure if I don’t get into college “X.” It is impossible to predict which schools will accept you. Never consider it a personal failure. You are competing with thousands of others with similar qualifications.  

Howard VermanSenior AssociateStrategies For College

Know how to pay for it before applying…

One of the biggest myths for parents is: “Just get into the best college you can and we’ll figure out how to pay for it.” Unless there is a vast sum of money available to parents to pay for college, thorough knowledge of what the expected family contribution (EFC) would be for both the FAFSA and CSS formulae are essential. Having a solid pre-application financial strategy in place can be crucial in determining which colleges a student should apply to, thusly avoiding the heartbreak of students getting into their top choice schools and then parents informing them that they can’t afford the total cost.

Jill GreenbaumFounder, Independent College CounselorMajor In You

Deep seated myths of the college admissiosn process…

The three most accepted myths I have witnessed over the years are these: 1)  Believing that a big name school-one of the Ivies, Big Ten, or local favorite-is the best school choice; and ignoring your individuality-strengths, learning and social needs, wants and challenges. 2)  Choosing a teacher to write a recommendation letter because you think the teacher likes you. The teacher needs to have witnessed your growth as an individual over time.  They have to truly know you. 3)  Thinking that being college eligible is the same as being college ready.  Being college ready involves all of you:  knowing/managing/taking care of yourself, managing your time/classes/studying/socializing, and money, school/grades… everything!

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

Accepted Myths

You need a nearly perfect SAT or ACT score to get into an elite school. Nonsense! Top colleges are flooded with students having great standardized test scores. Once an applicant shows he or she is in the game, other evaluation factors take over. When choosing between students from the same high school, the best all-around candidate will get the nod over the others. This is not necessarily true. Depending on the particular year and the profile of applicants, a particular candidate may be selected (over others) because of a unique interest, talent or demographic. Colleges are favoring guys over gals to even up the balance. Be careful not to over-generalize. There are so many factors that go into admissions decision, and gender is one of many that may or may not tip the scales. Colleges favor students who can pay tuition rather than obtain financial aid. For the most part, admissions decisions are made separately from financial aid decisions (i.e., need-blind admissions). This is sometimes true with transfers, however, depending on the college.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

Early decision

most private schools used such strategy to secure seats. Very few public schools provide systematic approach to admissions. If you are qualify for needs based aid, you should not worry about your aid if accepted.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Forget the MYTHS! Get the FACTS!

One of the most pervasive myths regarding college admissions in America is that it is absolutely impossible to get into your first choice school these days! You have probably heard about all of the perfect students/athletes/musicians/etc. who have been rejected by every school on East Coast, right? Well — as the kids say, “whatever.” According to a survey of college freshmen by UCLA, 79% of students said that they were accepted into their first choice school. That’s almost 80%! Instead of relying on word of mouth, urban myths and parental paranoia — get the facts! You can find out more about UCLA’s annual survey here: http://www.heri.ucla.edu/ Also — check out the National Association for College Admissions Counseling’s 2011 State of College Admission report at http://www.nacacnet.org/AboutNACAC/PressRoom/2011/Pages/SOCA2011.aspx According to NACAC — the average rate of admission for the colleges participating in the report was over 65%! That’s right! Over 65%! Once you get the FACTS about college admissions — you’ll see that you won’t need to get so stressed out. Knowledge is power!

Joanne Levy-Prewitt

Community college is a great option for many high schooler graduates

Myth: Community college is a consolation prize for students who aren’t academically ready for a four-year college. Truth: Community colleges can help students learn important academic and organizational skills that will prepare them to succeed in upper division courses at four-year colleges. Myth: Community colleges deprive students of the rich social experiences that a four-year college can provide. Truth: Community College students can take advantage of theater, athletics, clubs or student government, in many cases with no prior experience. Myth: Community Colleges are a dead-end. Truth: The best way to ensure a successful transfer to a four-year college is to enter community college with clearly defined goals and a well-crafted transfer plan.

Mary Ann Willis

Ignore sound bites–reality matters

3 Myths: No one gets in college. No one can afford college. College degrees don’t matter. Debunked: Almost 70% of applicants are admitted (NACAC). Affordable options are available. Education Pays (The College Board) explains the benefits of an educated populace.  Those with higher education are: less likely to be dependent on government programs, more likely to be healthy and have  healthier life styles, more likely to have insurance, less likely to be unemployed, more likely to vote and volunteer, going to make more money, on average, over a lifetime than those without a degree. Dream big. Work hard. Your future is in your hands.

Carolyn LawrenceFounder AdmissionsAdvice.com

Too many students take a “kitchen sink” approach with their applications…

They believe that the more they send, the better their chances.  In reality, three words sum up an effective application:  thoughtful, focused, and clear.   Be thoughtful about what colleges need to know about you, focus on the most important information, and then clearly (and succinctly) explain yourself.  If you accomplish those three things, you probably don’t need another 500 words for your essay, extra slots on the extracurricular list, or additional letters of recommendation.  Admissions officers have very limited time to spend on each application; less really is more.

Scott WhiteDirector of GuidanceMontclair High School

Debunked myths about essays and deadlines…

Better essays are ones about big ideas, which is false; the more an essay particularizes the better. The essay topic really matters; it doesn’t, it’s about the writing. An essay will make or break an application; not true, they are really tie-breakers at best. You can’t take November SAT’s for a November 1st or 15th deadline, which is false; you can almost everywhere. You only have to post mark your materials that are mailed by the deadline: false. You need to post mark if you get it out well before the deadline too. Lastly, colleges will STILL consider applications received on time if supporting materials are in just past the deadline.

Janet ElfersCollege Counselor

Don’t let bad information interfere with finding a good match…

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!

Jeffrey MakrisDirector of College CounselingHigh School of Economics and Finance in New York City

Some college admissions myths are bigger than Bigfoot…

Myth1: “College is so competitive, I may not get accepted anywhere! Reality: Last year the average four –year college acceptance rate was just under 70%. In fact, most colleges accept most applicants. Myth 2: “Colleges only really care about the junior year.” Reality: Every year of high school matters…including the senior year. Myth 3: “It doesn’t matter how much I’ll have to borrow to pay for college…it’s worth it.” Reality: Borrowing excessively can have terrible long term consequences, and most students can find good, affordable college options without having to take on massive debt. Be an educated consumer.

Ralph BeckerOwner & DirectorIvy College Prep LLC

Admissions options for fall still exist even after May 1st…

One exaggerated myth is if you are not admitted into a college by May 1st, your chances of attending college in the fall, or obtaining financial aid should you gain admittance, are low.  The ‘NACAC Space Availability Survey Results,’ contain 279 colleges still accepting freshmen or transfers, with most of the listed schools also offering financial aid and on-campus housing.  St John’s College (Annapolis, MD. & Santa Fe, NM), which features a Great Books core curriculum and places over 85% of its graduates into graduate school is on the list; and, the list is updated and online till July 1st. 

Carol MorrisRegional Director of AdmissionsSouthern Methodist University

Use any form the school allows, but proofread!…

There is a common misperception that schools give preference to certain application forms (their own, for example) over others such as the Common Application. If a school lists a form as acceptable, take their word for it! As a reader, I am quickly scanning for specific information and rarely even notice which form is being used. However, the idea that we are not paying close attention to the information itself IS a myth! Misspellings, poor grammar, unanswered questions, and accidental references to wanting to attend a different college than the one who to whom it was sent are definitely noted, especially at smaller and more selective schools.

Francine BlockPresidentAmerican College Admissions Consultants

3 Myths debunked…

SATs/ACTs are not really all that important, that is what the college rep said when they visited my school. The coach really wants me and says he can get me in, my academics are less than stellar, but that’s not going to matter. I do not need to visit schools now before I apply, I will wait and see where I get in and then check out the campus.

Marjorie ShaevitzAdmissions expert, author, speakerwww.adMISSION POSSIBLE.com

Learning diabilities, essay content, and last minute APP’s…

MYTH: To reveal that I have a learning disability will hurt my admissions chances. REALITY:  For colleges to clearly understand your academic background and abilities, it’s critical to describe and explain your learning issues.  MYTH: The more intellectual an essay is the more impressed college admissions people will be. REALITY: Effective essays are snapshots of who you are and what you are all about. MYTH: If I wait until the last minute to complete my applications, I will be better focused, sharper and more creative. REALITY: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” Abraham Lincoln

Michael GoranDirector & Educational ConsultantIvySelect College Counseling

Accepted essay myths: don’t believe them…

Many students believe their college admissions essays need to be funny, or evoke sympathy. A misplaced attempt at humor can come across as a sign of immaturity. Likewise, trying to gain sympathy by talking about an illness or a death may be seen as a cheap attempt to gain acceptance. Another common myth is that essays need to be shockingly different. For example, writing a personal statement with backwards lettering will no doubt annoy admissions officers rather than entertain. Perhaps the biggest myth is that longer essays are better. Make your essays “muscular” and get rid of the “flab”!

Moira O’RiordanCollege CounselorSt. Ignatius High School

Don’t believe everything you hear…

Myths abound regarding college admissions, e.g.: East Coast schools only want the SAT. Midwest schools prefer the ACT. Not true. Colleges will take either and some are test optional. Look at the testing policy for each school to which you apply. But the most egregious myths concern individual schools. How about this one? THAT U doesn’t give any money. Remember, families fare differently. Or, All of the students at THAT U lay around in the grass taking LSD. Wow, and they still have all those Fulbright scholars?! And my personal favorite: THAT U has the highest rate of STDs in the nation. Quick, alert the CDC!

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

Tight, concise writing is really much more effective…

The longer the essay the better: I have seen students’ essays that run close to ten pages. Admissions offices do not have the time or inclination, even if the story is riveting to you, to spend that much time on one essay. The essay needs to impress the reader with all your many accomplishments: NO. Your essay should impress the reader with your personal qualities: compassion, responsibility, perseverance. Often the smaller “slice of life” stories work best. The bigger the words used the better: Again, filling your essay with “SAT” words can be a big mistake, especially if you use them incorrectly.

Jeannie BorinFounder & PresidentCollege Connections

A myth by definition is something that is not real…

With summer upon us, many students are convinced they need to travel to a third world country to do their community service or attend a program at an elite college to increase their chance of acceptance. Neither of these scenarios is accurate. Students seem to think that they need to add countless activities to their activity resumes when in fact college officers prefer to see fewer activities with more depth and continuity. Families rely too heavily on publicity and rankings. If they haven’t heard of the college, it can’t be good. Put your antennas up and explore the thousands of colleges out there!

James GoeckerVice President for Enrollment ManagementRose Hulman Institute of Technology

testing is [email protected]#$

With over 25 years in higher education, I am still amazed that the myth that the SAT or ACT score is the single most important aspect of an applicant’s file is still around. While the tests have a place and purpose in the admission process, it is a very poor substitute for the high school transcript. More can be determined about a young man or woman’s aptitude and preparation for higher education from a transcript than will ever be determined by an examination result.

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