Final admissions offers are rolling out, which means the season for rumors is in full swing. Whether you’ve been waitlisted, or outright rejected, you might be better off ignoring the rumors about why.
The competition to get into the nation’s top colleges gets tougher every year, and 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 students for the same number of available spots at the most selective schools. It’s impossible for them all to get in. Year after year, we hear the rumors, too.
Here are a few tall tales floating around now among the country’s high school seniors (and their parents.)
- The kid with a 4.0 and 34 ACT score didn’t get admitted to the top school in her state. Everyone knows they don’t like our school.
- It is harder to get into the University of Florida than Harvard.
- Colleges only want well-rounded students.
- Only the leaders get into the good schools.
Just because you are qualified does not guarantee admission to any school on your dream list. Don’t believe everything you hear!
What do you really know about that kid who says she has a 4.0 and 34 ACT and got rejected from your state’s top public university? You might not really know her GPA; she might have exaggerated. Did you see her ACT score, or did someone share the information with you?
Colleges want a well-rounded student body, not well-rounded students. They want leaders and followers. Colleges and universities do not discriminate against certain high schools. It is possible that a student with a high GPA and test score was caught drinking a beer by police, got suspended or simply turned the application in after the deadline.
Marty O’Connell, the former executive director for Colleges That Change Lives, offers great perspective on the rumor mill. “Things are not always as they appear,” she said during a speaking engagement several years ago at Michigan State University. If she listened to every rumor, O’Connell might believe “no one is getting into college. It’s just not true.”
Want more insight about admissions? Watch this video clip from Kimberly Bryant, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Michigan. Get a free copy of our book, How to Write an Effective College Application Essay, the Inside Scoop for Parents.
Kim Lifton is President of 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 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!