Colleges Are Really Fudging the Truth This Year

As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, college admissions officers don’t always tell it like it is. In fact, they often don’t tell it like it is — instead choosing to sugarcoat issues and, at times, outright lie to advance their agenda. And what’s their agenda? That’s easy: increasing the competitiveness of their institutions and boosting their all-important slots in the college rankings. Yes, that’s in spite of college admissions officers telling you that they don’t care about their rankings. We sure hope you didn’t fall for that one! In any case, college admissions officers often don’t tell it like it is but we find that this year, they’re going above and beyond their usual dance around the truth. How so? Wonder no more! Here are five ways in which college admissions officers are especially fudging the truth this year during the COVID-19 pandemic — followed by our thoughts on each untruth.

5 Untruths College Admissions Officers Are Propagating This Year

  1. We’re test-optional. That means that it won’t hurt a student’s case for admission not to submit test scores. Oh please. All else being equal, a student with great scores will always win out over a student who doesn’t submit test scores. Even if the school is “test-optional.” Submit those great scores!
  2. We’re need-blind, which means we don’t factor in your family’s ability to pay when weighing your case for admission. Oh please. In a year in which colleges are struggling financially, do you really believe a school could admit an entire class of students who depend on financial aid? Of course not. But if schools were truly need-blind, they’d run that very risk.
  3. It’s ok if you’re not involved in great extracurriculars. We understand you’re stuck at home because of the pandemic. Oh please. There are always great activities that you can do from home. It’s not ideal, no. But all else being equal, a student with great extracurriculars that they do from home will always win out over a student who chooses to binge on Netflix from home.
  4. You don’t have to demonstrate interest in our college. Tours and information sessions are canceled so don’t worry about it. We don’t factor in Demonstrated Interest our the admissions process. Oh please. Unless the school is Harvard University — which assumes a student will go if they earn admission — just about all highly selective colleges care about students demonstrating interest. Just because tours and information sessions are canceled doesn’t mean students can’t do virtual tours and information sessions. Students should absolutely be demonstrating interest by attending these virtual tours and info sessions!
  5. It’s not going to be any tougher for the Class of 2025 than it was for the Class of 2024. Oh please. When 20% of students at a highly selective college defer their admission and the school isn’t going to expand the size of its incoming class, those 20% of students from the Class of 2024 are absolutely going to eat away slots in the Class of 2025. The math doesn’t add up otherwise.

Have a question? Eager to suggest another way in which college admissions officers are fudging the truth this year? Post it below and we’ll be sure to jump in on the conversation.


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