Debunking College Admission Myths

posted: 03/30/17
by: Amanda Mushro
College admissions
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College admissions

This time of year, most high school seniors have already received their college acceptance letters and are figuring out where they're headed in the fall to pursue their college careers. However, if you have a high school junior that is in the early stages of choosing a future college, you might want to revisit a few of those college admission insider secrets we all assume are true. According to an article in the Washington Post, some of these college myths we all believe, may actually hurt our college hopeful's chances at getting into their dream school.


College Essays- When college applications become tedious and overwhelming, most students believe they can spend less time on the essays because they really don't matter. But is this true? "Essays can be decisive when it comes to students whom admissions counselors are on the fence about," the author or the article states. "A student with borderline grades and test scores could secure a spot in the freshman class with an insightful, well-crafted essay, or be rejected because of a lousy one." So when your prospective college tries to skip over the essay, you'll want to direct them back to their computer to work on that essay. The author also says college admissions officers can also tell when it's a parent or counselor writing the essay. So while you can help, you can't write the essay for them.

Extracurricular Activities- While students are often told they need a lot of extracurricular actives on their resume to impress colleges, the Washington Post thinks this might not be the case. The author states this info is outdated and colleges want to see students are committed to activities they are passionate about rather than racking up a record number of activities. So high schoolers should do what they love and do it well rather than overload on extracurriculars.

Average Grades in Harder Classes- When choosing a schedule for high school classes, students are often told that colleges would rather see average grades in advanced courses over straight As in easy classes, but is this a myth or admissions reality? "Yes, colleges and universities like to see students take challenging courses in high school," the article says. "But in my experience covering education, selective schools usually don't like grades below a B, and struggling in more than one tough class is not seen as a plus." So if a student falls below a C in an advanced placement course, they may want to consider an easier class to help their overall chances at admissions.