Getting into College Does Not Need To Be so Stressful

I just read an article on Forbes.com, “How to Get into College.” The magazine polled four college admissions pundits and compiled a list of 21 tips. Most tips deal with how students can differentiate themselves from the masses.

I always read these stories to see what these folks have to say about the essay – which is the perfect tool to differentiate yourself from the other college-bound kids. But something odd happened to me as I read the piece; it stressed me out, and I know better. Sure it was ridiculous, but I briefly contemplated my own daughter’s fate. Would my 7th grader make the college cut?

I took a deep breath, and slowly was able to relax. In this blog, I want to help calm your nerves.

At WOW Writing Workshop, we know the competition to get into college is getting tougher every year. Harvard just accepted less than 7 percent of its 30,000-plus applicants for this fall’s freshman class.

It is hard to get into the University of Michigan. Yep. But it has always been hard to do so. UM accepts 50 percent of its applicants, and most are in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes. The middle 50 percent of first-year students score between 27 and 31 on the ACT.

I hear all the time it is harder than ever to get into Michigan State University. I don’t really know if that is true or not, but it seems to me you could always go there with a B+ GPA and decent test scores. You still can. The odds are pretty good that Michigan kids can get into a good public school in Michigan. Get this: according to the College Board, Michigan State, Oakland, Central Michigan and Wayne State each accept about 70 percent of their applicants? Western Michigan accepts 83 percent. There are lots of options.

During this often grueling task of applying to college, please keep in mind there is a school out there for every child. There are large and small, state and private schools from coast to coast, and each school needs students to fill its classrooms.  Kids need schools; schools need kids. It is a win-win.