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Prestige Kills
College interviews anyone?
Don't look up, watch your wallet!
Don't look now rising seniors...there is a monster behind you
The downside of acceptance by reach schools

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College Talk Blog

Prestige Kills

There are over 5,000 colleges in the United States.  Like other products on the market, consumers are most familiar with the most pricey or otherwise notable institutions. I like to call them the shiney colleges because they distract families from considering other amazing options.

Families who push their children toward the most difficult colleges to enter sometimes kill something precious; the input of their teen. It is easy to get caught up in the prestige of a college as a student and as a parent.

College interviews anyone?

Students who choose to participate in optional college admission interviews can add a slight positive impact to their admission application review. Much like taking the time to officially tour campus, students who participate in interviews are communicating their interest in a college.

Most colleges say that interviewing or not interviewing will not make the difference in getting in or not. However, interviewing does show interest and colleges want to admit students most likely to attend.

Students who decide to interview should be on time, dress appropriately and have a few questions prepared for their interviewer. They should avoid criticizing their school or teachers and focus on areas of the college that they feel are a great fit for them as well as what they bring to campus as individuals.

Don't look up, watch your wallet!

When a parent directs a teen to only consider top tier colleges, that parent needs to plan to play big bucks. Although it does happen that some students I work with are at top tier colleges with significant tuition discounts, it is also possible that they will be offered admission but not enough scholarship money to make that college affordable.

A variety of college targets is the best strategy. It allows parents and students to "shop" for colleges. Less well known colleges sometimes have the best program in an area and are sometimes able to be more generous with scholarship money than public universities.

Don't look now rising seniors...there is a monster behind you

If most rising high school seniors turn around right now and look carefully, they will see the faint outline of a huge workload monster lurking behind them. The monster is the avalanche of college admission work they need to accomplish before mid-October.

Mid-October you say? How could that be? Aren't college applications due in December or January? Some are, but if the student at your house is going to apply early, deadlines are more in the October/November range.

Sadly, the college work could affect high school senior fall grades that figure into admission decisions.

The downside of acceptance by reach schools

The good news is that you've been accepted by Hard2getinto University. The bad news may be just around the corner. It is not unusual to see students and their parents working overtime to get the student into the reach school on their list. It is surprising that few realize what that will mean to them when their first semester of college academic work actually begins.

Hard2getinto University is also hard when it comes to course difficulty. Families like to point to the high graduation rates for such schools.