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College Talk Blog

You Can't Get In and Other College Myths

A frequent complaint I hear from parents and students is that they keep hearing negative messages about getting in to college. Recent reports included:

"You'll never get in to that school."

"If you make that choice, no college will want you."

"At least you can go to college X."

"If your transcript looked more like your sister's transcript, you'd have a better chance of getting in to that school."

"You just don't have what it takes to survive at that college."

"If they let students like you in, their average grade point average would go down."

Although college admissions has gotten more competitive, there is a college for everyone. The key to getting into a great college is self awareness and an appreciation for achievements. Students who research college options instead of following the herd often have better admission outcomes.

The greatest college for a student is the college that offers a great program in the student's area of interest and where the student feels comfortable academically. Finding colleges that are a great fit and submitting amazing applications often results in students outperforming their GPA and test scores. 

My advice to students and parents is to tune out negative college messages. Realize that an avalanche of college advice will fall on the heads of high school students and their parents. Much of it will be only partly right, an opinion or totally wrong. And unfortunately, such advice conflicts and causes unnecessary stress.

I have never found anyone who had a crystal ball that could definitively say that a student will or will not be admitted.

Applying to several colleges that range from colleges the student feels confident about to those that are reach schools is a strategy that works.

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