Top Ten College Admission Myths: Exposed
There are several college admission myths that should be exposed before applying. These myths often scare certain students from applying to the best schools. Never limit yourself to applying to the best universities because you believe these things:
(10) Applicants are shortlisted.
Whether you use the common application or a specific application from the school, the college admissions offices have enough staff members to read your entire application. After all, you pay an application fee for a reason, and colleges want to make sure you get a fair chance. However, if your application is incomplete or is missing crucial components (essays, transcripts, or supplements), this could explain why it is rejected, or pre-selected, before it reaches the full committee.
(9) You must choose your specialty and stick to it.
When you apply to college, admissions officers know that your major is bound to change. In fact, many admissions offices have reported that most of their students change major at the end of their freshman year. Don’t worry about choosing your specialty. Choose a department or specialization that you have a genuine interest in and have an open mind to change once you are enrolled.
(8) You must ask for an early decision or early action.
Yes, applying an early decision or action shows that a student is committed to a particular college. But you don’t have to apply early to be accepted, even at the best colleges. In fact, if it is postponed in the early decision or early application round, your application returns to the normal pool and will be re-evaluated.
(7) Universities have a certain “perfect” student profile.
While colleges live to admit students who will fit into their college, there is simply no way for a college to predict whether a student will be happy or truly successful at their college. That is why colleges do not set a particular admissions profile for the “perfect” student.
(6) Ivy League schools do not award scholarships.
Although Ivy League schools say they only award “need-based” scholarships, there is no question that certain schools award other grants and scholarships based on other criteria. Whether you are an elite athlete, conscript, or academic of national merit, an Ivy League school will do everything it can to make sure you can afford their school.
(5) International students do not receive scholarships or loans.
More universities are looking to diversify their student body with international students; Major banks and financial institutions offer the same financial opportunities for international students as they do for American applicants. There are scholarships and scholarships available for international students.
(4) You should fill out your resume with extracurricular activities.
Every admissions officer is a human being. Imagine that. Applications are neither accepted nor rejected by a computer. So as you complete this section of the common application, know that admissions offices can (and do) spot superfluous extracurricular activities. Plus, they can certainly tell if you added an extracurricular because you have a genuine interest or because it “looks good” on your resume.
(3) Recommendations don’t matter.
Good recommendations are vital. You cannot expect to be admitted simply with high scores and excellent grades. If an admissions officer sees a shallow or suspicious recommendation, they will raise a red flag. Bottom line: choose the recommender who knows you best and make sure they know where you are applying and what their qualifications are.
(2) There is a GPA cap.
Colleges generally do not have a GPA cap. The reason admissions offices don’t have a GPA “cap” is because students come from all kinds of different high schools with different curriculum and grade structures. Some students attend public schools, others private schools where the GPA ranges may be wider or narrower. Also, there has been a lot of discussion about grade inflation, with colleges knowing which particular high schools tend to have higher GPAs than others. Whether it’s so-called grade inflation or not, schools have an idea of which schools have a more competitive curriculum, including more AP, IB, and honors courses. Be aware of your GPA and explain any discrepancies in your transcript.
(1) There is always a SAT / ACT limit.
Some state universities have a cap on SAT / ACT scores. But most American universities do not. So keep working on your test scores, but fear not the mythical limit.
If your SAT or ACT scores are not as high as you would like, you can improve your score with test preparation and admissions counseling.
I hope these admission myths have been answered.