Five College Admission Myths
1. High scores on the SAT/ACT are all that needed to be accepted by a selective school.
While excellent test scores will help in making a stand-out candidate, the academic transcript is one of the most important components in your application because it shows diligence and commitment over a long-term period, as opposed to one test score from one day. Counting on a SAT/ACT score to gain acceptance with a poor transcript is not advised.
2. The application process begins when I start during senior year.
The application process begins at the start of high school, not senior year. In the first year of high school the student should develop an academic plan with tangible goals, as well as the appropriate strategies to achieve them. Extracurricular activities should extend over all four years. It’s all about consistency. A good activity list is built over four years. The summer between junior and senior years is a good time to write the admissions essay.
3. The listed tuition price is what the student must pay.
Many schools have scholarships for students with exceptional grades that are automatically applied upon acceptance. Other colleges will award scholarship money to families who have more than one student attending the institution. Others have scholarships awarded through the university for which the student must fill out an extra application and/or complete an interview. There are also many outside scholarships to search and apply for, as well as federal aid through FAFSA.
4. Social media activities aren’t being monitored by admissions officers.
Admissions officers often research prospective students, especially if they are applying for prestigious scholarship awards at their school. Any and all information that is publicly available is fair game for an admissions team. This means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media outlets should be cleaned up. Any lewd pictures, objectionable comments, or generally unkind posts should be deleted.
5. All a student has to do is complete and submit an application.
Colleges often track the number of times a student has contacted them, whether or not the student has arranged a campus visit, if the student has asked questions of your assigned admissions counselor, etc. Generally speaking, colleges accept a certain number of students knowing that only a portion of that pool will actually attend. The closer the number of acceptances sent and the number of matriculations are to each other, the better the school looks and, oftentimes, the higher its rankings climb. Extra effort on a student’s part can be a useful way to convey interest.