Category: Student

The Truth About College Admission Rates

By Kim Lifton
President
Wow Writing Workshop

The competition to get into the nation’s top colleges gets tougher every year, but that’s not because students are smarter or more qualified than they were five or ten years ago.

It’s a simple matter of impossible math.

Year after year, more kids apply for the same number of available spaces at the most selective schools. It is impossible for them all to get in.

Because it is so hard to get into the top name-brand schools (think Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, MIT, Vanderbilt, Columbia, University of Chicago, to name a few), the students who are qualified for the most selective colleges look elsewhere to improve their chances. They use modern technology to apply to more schools than they might have otherwise considered.

Today, students can apply to multiple schools, whether they choose five or 15, using one of several streamlined applications that make the process almost seamless (though no less expensive). The most popular is the Common Application, which was used by nearly 700 member colleges and universities in 2017, and grows every year. The Common App makes applying to college so easy that students frequently check boxes for schools they might normally ignore if more effort were required.

This practice helps colleges increase their applicant pool. It works well for schools because it makes them look more selective. If a school can accept only 1,200 students and 6,000 apply, the admit rate — or the percentage of students the school accepts — will be 20%. If 12,000 apply, the college will enroll the same number of first-year students, but the admit rate will plummet to 10%. On paper, it will look like this college has become more selective (“We accept only 10% of applicants.”) This practice can be challenging for students like you who just want to get into a good college.

The Universal College Application, a spin-off from the Common App, is less known in the college world. But, like the Common App, it can be used to apply to multiple schools. Texas has its own application, called ApplyTexas, as do the University of California system, New York’s SUNY schools and several other state networks. There’s also the Coalition App.

Confused? Overwhelmed? Remember, all applications are used to help colleges decide which students to admit. That’s why essays are so important. With more and more students applying to the same schools, you need to help readers see beyond your grades, scores and a list of activities.

To learn more, order your copy of Wow Writing Workshop’s How to Write an Effective College Application Essay –  The Inside Scoop for Students! Parents, don’t worry, we wrote a companion guide for you, too.

About Wow Writing Workshop

Wow is a team of professional writers and teachers who understand the writing process inside and out. The Wow Method has been used by students to write application essays and resumes; by business owners to create blogs, websites and other communication materials; and by independent educational consultants, high school counselors and English teachers to improve student writing skills. We can even help you write a great poem or short story. If it involves words, we can help!

 

 

 

 

 

Single Essay Review

Writing a college application essay?

Get expert guidance from writing coaches who have helped thousands of students get into college.

You’ve worked hard in high school. You deserve to get noticed.

Don’t click send. Not yet.

Get the Wow advantage with a professional review that will give you peace of mind – and let you know if you’ve hit the mark.

Good grades and test scores aren’t enough to land a spot at a top college, but a standout essay can send your application to the top of the pile. We talk to admissions officers all the time, and we know what they’re looking for. Reserve a spot with a Wow coach, and we’ll help you tell your story!

Here’s what satisfied students and parents have to say about Wow:

“I got into U-M, and I am crying. Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you!”

“I cannot begin to thank you for all the coaching and writing support you provided our son last semester. Obviously the end products impressed the schools; however, more importantly, the skills you taught him will continue to benefit him as he writes throughout his personal and professional life.”

Essay Review
$225
For students who want an expert to read an essay they’ve already written
  • REVIEW includes:
  • Comprehensive written feedback
  • Notes on what works, plus suggestions for improvement
  • Attention to items that matter to admissions officers, like reflection, theme and flow
  • Comments on technical issues, including grammar, spelling and sentence structure

Free Parent Chats (old page, with student info)

Free Essay Writing Workshop for Students

To stand out in a college essay, you need to write something meaningful that highlights a positive trait and personalizes the application packet. But it can be hard to write about yourself, especially when the stakes for college admission seem so high.

Join Wow President Kim Lifton, a national expert on the college application essay, for a free 60-minute workshop to get started on those essays the right way. She’ll answer your questions and share Wow’s best tips so you can stay calm and stand out where it matters most — inside the admissions office.

If you can’t join us live, register anyway, and we’ll send you a link to the recording.

Sign up here!

Free Student Session

Get Help on Your Essay for Free

To stand out in a college essay, you need to write something meaningful that highlights a positive trait and personalizes the application. But it can be hard to write about yourself, especially when the stakes for college admission seem so high.

Join us for a FREE 1-hour webinar to learn how to nail it!

 Sign up here

Be a Better Writer Workshop – To the Top Education Group

Sign up for your private workshop

In this brief, intensive workshop, students will dig into the core principles of writing with Wow Writing Workshop’s senior coach, Joe Kane. Topics include how to build a solid argument, diction and syntax, understanding an audience, organizing thoughts, and using evidence effectively to support a thesis. Students will attend four one-hour classes via videoconference and complete weekly assignments, which the instructor will respond to in writing. Session recordings will be available for two weeks after the workshop ends.

Workshop Schedule: Thursdays, 7-8 pm Central

April 18           April 25           May 2              May 9

 Sign up here

Joe Kane, Senior Writing Coach

A writer and editor, Joe Kane has been teaching college and high school writing for over a decade. He holds a BA in English and an MA in creative writing from Central Michigan University; his poems and stories have been published in a variety of magazines. Joe is in his fifth year with Wow, where he coaches college essay, creative writing and academic writing students. He also created Wow’s College Essay Crash Course video courses and contributes blogs to the Wow website. In addition to his work with Wow, Joe is the program director of SLANT, which provides creative writing opportunities for Nashville area teens.

Complete Essay Writing

Writing a college application essay?

Get expert guidance from writing coaches who have helped thousands of students get into college.

Good grades and test scores aren’t enough to land a spot at a top college, but a standout essay can send your application to the top of the pile. We talk to admissions officers all the time, and we know what they’re looking for. Reserve a spot with a Wow coach, and we’ll help you tell your story!

Here’s what satisfied students and parents have to say about Wow:

“I got into U-M, and I am crying. Thank you. I couldn’t have done it without you!”

“I cannot begin to thank you for all the coaching and writing support you provided our son last semester. Obviously the end products impressed the schools; however, more importantly, the skills you taught him will continue to benefit him as he writes throughout his personal and professional life.”

“The process was totally empowering to my son. The tasks were broken down into manageable bits, and he felt good about each stage of the process. There was never any grumbling about it.”

Complete Essay
$650
For students who want help while writing one essay from start to finish
  • COMPLETE includes:
  • Phone meeting with a writing coach to discuss your essay and choose a great topic
  • Multiple reviews of your essay for content, structure and polish
  • Customized writing exercises to address your unique needs
  • Final review by Wow’s professional proofreader