Don't Believe Everything You Hear

It’s prime season for  rumors about college admissions to spread among high school juniors (and their parents):

  • Only leaders get into good schools.
  • The kid with a 4.0 and 34 ACT score didn’t get admitted to the University of Michigan? Everyone knows they don’t like our school.
  • Colleges only want  well-rounded students.
  • The essay doesn’t matter.

Don’t believe everything you hear! Colleges want a well-rounded student body, not well-rounded students. They want leaders and followers. The University of Michigan does not discriminate against your school, or any other school, and don’t be so sure that student with the high GPA and high test score turned in his or her transcripts or met the school’s deadline.

Marty O’Connell, the executive director for Colleges That Change Lives,  offered perspective on the rumor mill last month during  the Michigan Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual conference at MSU. “Things are not always as they appear,” she said, adding that if she listened to every rumor  she might  believe “no one is getting into college. It’s just not true.”

Ignore the rumors, relax, and focus on something you can control right now. Apply to schools you are qualified for and seem like a good fit, and then get started on the college essay.

The essay matters; admissions counselors read them. They want to like you and your story. They are not looking for reasons to reject you.  Think of the essay as your opportunity to stand out in a crowded field of applicants.

What are admissions officers looking for? They want an essay  that showcases  your personality, a story about you that tells them something unique and genuine that is not evident from a transcript, grade point average or test score. Colleges want to hear your story … told in your voice and your words.

What’s holding you back? Don’t know where to start? Need help finding a topic?

Sign up now for the season’s  first Wow Them With Your College Essay workshop at Birmingham Seaholm  High School on June 20. Check out Wow Writing Workshop’s summer calendar to find a college essay workshop that fits your schedule.

Wow is looking for 10 juniors interested in testing a new college essay writing tutorial during the first two weeks in June (and get some free help while testing it). If you are interested in participating,  contact us.