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College Talk Blog

College Myths

Safety schools?

This afternoon a student who is in the middle range of GPA and test scores told me he was applying to two large southern universities as safety schools. I had to explain to him that these are not necessarily safety schools for him. He was surprised because his family and friends told him that anyone could get in to those colleges. I can't think of any college you could accurately describe in those terms anymore.

Most schools that parents think are safety schools are not. The level of competition for college admission is changing so rapidly that even student impressions of colleges in terms of ease of admission are often outdated.

College is worth it

Parents often ask whether a post-secondary education is still a good investment. They ask that because of the high cost of college and because everyone knows at least one family who has an adult child who has graduated from college but still living at home.

Studies indicate that students who did not go to college are not better off economically than those who did. College graduates make, on average, more than $30 per hour while high school graduates earn approximately $16 per hour. In addition to financial gain, a college education improves quality of life by equipping graduates to manage their lives, their money and careers.

College is Tough for Today's Teens

Today's college admission competition is not your daddy's Buick. What used to pass for great High school GPA's and standardized test scores pales in comparison to what today's high school senior needs to have to have a chance at admission to many state colleges and universities. Notice I said state colleges and universities and not flagship schools or the most selective schools. 

The rising number of parents who encourage their children to apply to the state universities in their state to save on tuition and transportation has caused competition to increase.

College Myth #5

You don't have to go to classes in college...unless you want to pass your courses, keep your scholarships or stay enrolled in your college. A REALLY long time ago, students could get away with not going to their college classes IF they had a way of getting their class notes AND their professor had made it clear that there was no penalty for not attending classes. Today, a student who does not attend classes is likely to lose his place at his university.

In the good old days when the current myth that you don't have to attend classes was born, many colleges did not require professors to take class roll in every class.

College Myth #4

Parents and students worry about where they will be accepted. They are often confused by the statistics published in a variety of places about the grade point averages and standardized test scores related to who has been admitted to a particular college. Too often, they avoid applying to colleges where they could be accepted.

For most colleges, it is a myth that you have to have a specific gpa or standardized test score to be admitted. Most colleges look at the student in much more detail than that.