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College Talk Blog

Getting in....or not

Is your kid invisible after school?

Every year I meet a few students who have masked who they are by not being active in after school activities. They have not joined any clubs or organizations at their school. They also have no involvement in sports or service clubs. Their community footprint does not exist because they are not involved in any church or community organizations or volunteer activities. When they complete a college application, whole sections of the application are blank. 

Even with very good grades and test scores, students who choose not to be involved in their high school or community do suffer in the admission decision process.

Needlessly spent money

Parents and students who are normally great consumers sometimes spend money they do not need to spend. Their goal with such expenditures is to increase the chances that a student will get in to a particular college or get chosen for a Division 1 or 2 athletic team. When I call college admissions people and college coaches, they say there is no need to spend large sums of money to promote a prospective college student or student athlete.

Student numbers is one key to admission opportunities. Getting a great admissions outcome means working on GPA and test scores before 11th grade.

7 College Essay Challenges

College admission essays pose the following challenges for high school students:
  1. deciding what to write about
  2. conflicting advice during college visits about whatnotto write about such as "don't write about sports" and "don't write about mission trips"
  3. having to write in a style that differs from essays written in most high school classes
  4. conflicting editorial suggestions from teachers, relatives and friends
  5. the intimidating task of having to do something you have been told not to do all your life: brag about yourself

What if you stay out of trouble but get in trouble anyway?

The world is certainly not fair and good students sometimes are accused unjustly of an infraction of school rules. And there isn't always much in the way of due process for students. Rules in schools are not unlike rules in courts of law. Although you might be innocent...you could be judged guilty and punished anyway. So what do you do when your child has been suspended from school unjustly when it comes to the college application question: "have you been suspended"?

You have three options in such situations:

Platinum Colleges Only....Please

Every year at least 2 students I work with put colleges on their list that are in the stratosphere for them. I say stratosphere because it would take a space shuttle to help their test and gpa metrics reach the requirements for those colleges... AND their activity resumes don't approximate the students who will be offered admission to those colleges. 

Although the students I work with routinely outperform their metrics with respect to admission offers, no student who has tried an extreme-extreme reach has ever been admitted to one of those colleges in my experience.