There is a “Times” piece entitled “Five Biggest Myths About College Admissions” by Andrew Rotherham in which Mr. Rotherham writes that the college admission process is “much more haphazard than people think.” That’s not the case. Does it matter if a college admissions counselor had a much-needed cup of coffee before he/she reads your application? Sometimes, yes. But overall, the college admission process is not random. It’s not a formula either but there are certain things you can do to greatly improve your chances for admission to top colleges. Let’s take a look at Mr. Rotherham’s five college admissions myths.
1. “Myth #1. Getting rejected means you’re just not [insert school name here] material.” Contrary to what Mr. Rotherham argues, the college admission process does not have “as much to do with luck as it does with merit.” A student with poor grades and SATs, a boring college essay, no family connections to Princeton University, and no special talent is not going to somehow luckily get admitted to Princeton. It’s just not possible. Luck has only a small part to play in the college admission process.
2. “Myth #2. You’re going to earn based on where you learn.” This myth is true. Check out our post entitled Ivy League Rejection about a study’s findings that indicate the colleges to which a student applies impacts one’s earnings potential more than the college(s) they actually get admitted to.
3. “Myth #3. “Affirmative action” rigs the process.” Yes, along with legacy status (and if the parents donated money), whether or not the student is talented (and how talented), whether or not a candidate’s parents attended college, socio-economic status, etc.
4. “Myth #4. The wait list never moves.” It does. You just have to do certain things (as described in our newsletter) in an effort to get admitted off the college waitlist.
5. “Myth #5. Once you choose a school, you’re stuck for four years.” Yes, you can always transfer. But it’s best to attend a college you think you want to graduate from!
Check out the “Times” piece on college admissions myths.