Did you (or your child) recently receive a ton of college brochures? Maybe they got one from Stanford, another from Yale, and a couple from Dartmouth, Penn, and Duke. So you’re all excited, right? You (or your child) is being recruited by these highly selective colleges, right? Wrong. Sorry to burst your bubble. Enjoy the bit of excitement that these college brochures bring to you, but we’re here to give it to you straight. Those brochures aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Those brochures weren’t sent to your home because Stanford believes you’re the perfect fit for their university. Those brochures were sent to you because schools like Stanford simply want you to apply.
Why’s that? Because by applying, they’ll have more applicants. And the more applicants they get, the more selective they will be. Picking 5 out of 10 is not as selective as picking 5 out of 50. Get our point? A school like Stanford cares about its ranking in “US News & World Report.” The more selective the school is in its admissions decisions, the better odds the university has at being at the top of the rankings. It’s that simple.
If this deflates you, we’re sorry. But we’re not in the business of boosting your ego. We’re in the business of debunking myths and misconceptions so that you (or your child) can improve your odds of getting into one of these highly selective colleges — like Stanford. So the next time that you receive a brochure, look through it. Savor it for a second. But then understand that this doesn’t mean the school thinks you have a great shot of actually getting in. It just means they’re trying to get you to apply. And that’s all there is to it. You scored above a certain mark on your SAT or ACT, so your name was on a list given to the college. You’re just a name on a list. Accept it and move on.
While you’re here, check out this post on College Athletic Recruiting.