Top Ten College Admissions Myths – Exposed

There are several college admissions myths which should be exposed before you apply. These myths often scare certain students from applying to the best schools. Never limit yourself from applying to top colleges because you believe these things:

(10) Applicants are pre-screened.

Whether using the common application or a school-specific application, college admission offices have enough staff members to read your entire application. After all, you pay an application fee for a reason and colleges want to make sure you get your fair chance. However, if your application is incomplete or missing crucial components (essays, transcripts, or supplements) this might explain why it is rejected, or pre-screened out, before it reaches the full committee.

(9) You must choose your major and stick to it.

When you apply to college, admissions officers know your major is bound to change. In fact, many admissions offices have reported that the majority of their students change their major by the end of their freshman year. Don’t worry about choosing your major. Pick a department or major where you have a genuine interest, and be open-minded to changing it once you’re enrolled.

(8) You must apply early decision or early action.

Yes, applying early decision or early action shows a student is committed to a particular college. But you do not have to apply early to be accepted, even to top colleges. In fact, if you’re deferred in the early decision or early application round, your application goes right back into the regular pool and will be re-evaluated again.

(7) Colleges have a certain profile of the “perfect” student.

While colleges strive to admit students who will fit into their college, there’s simply no way for a college to predict whether a student will be happy or whether they will actually succeed at their college. This is why colleges don’t set a particular admissions profile for the “perfect” student.

(6) Ivy League schools don’t give scholarships.

Although Ivy League schools say they only allocate “need-based” scholarships, there’s no doubt that certain schools issue other grants and fellowships based on other criteria. If you’re a top athlete, recruit or a national merit scholar, an Ivy League school will go out of its way to make sure you can afford their school.

(5) International students don’t receive scholarships or loans.

More colleges are looking to diversify their student body with international students; major banks and financial institutions offer the same financial opportunities for international students as they do American applicants. Scholarships and fellowships are available for international students.

(4) You should pad your resume with extracurricular activities.

Every admissions officer is a human being. Imagine that. Applications aren’t accepted or rejected by a computer. So when filling out this section of the common app, know that admissions offices can (and do) spot superfluous extracurricular activities. Further, they can certainly tell whether you added an extracurricular because you have a genuine interest or because it “looks good” on your resume.

(3) Recommendations don’t matter.

Great recommendations are vital. You cannot expect to be admitted simply with high scores and great grades. If an admissions officer sees a perfunctory or suspicious recommendation, it will set off a red flag. Bottom line: choose the recommender who knows you best and make sure they know where you’re applying and what your qualifications are.

(2) There’s a GPA Cut-Off.

Colleges generally don’t have a GPA cut-off. The reason admissions offices don’t have a GPA “cut-off” is because students come from all sorts of different high schools with varying curriculums and grade structures. Some students attend public schools, others private schools where the GPA ranges could be wider or narrower. Further, there has been much discussion about grade inflation, and colleges do know what particular high schools tend to have higher GPAs than others. Whether this is so-called grade inflation or not, the schools have an idea of what schools have a more competitive curriculum, including more AP, IB and honors courses. Be aware of your GPA and explain discrepancies in your transcript.

(1) There’s always an SAT/ACT Cut-Off.

Some state colleges do have a cut-off for SAT/ACT scores. But the majority of American Universities do not. So keep working on your test scores but don’t fear the mythical cut-off.

If your SAT scores or ACT scores aren’t as high as you’d like them to be, you can improve your score with test prep and admissions counseling.

Hope these admissions myths were answered.

College Visit – Caution

Here are the 4 key objectives of a first college visit; this assumes you will be impressed with the results of your visit, which will require a second visit with a different strategy.

1. Show up unannounced. You want to witness first-hand how flexible and accommodating admission people can be so that your gut instincts will help determine your first impressions. It’ll also tell you how hard the college works on making first good impressions.

2. Ask for the name of the admissions person who handles your geographical area. This is your contact person for future email contacts. Try to meet that person, introduce yourself, and get a business card. It would be wicked cool to trade business cards, so I would get one created with only your name, address, email address, and phone number.

If the college doesn’t assign admissions people on a geographical basis, ask for a business card from one of them and make that person your contact.

3. Ask about the school’s retention rate: “What percentage of freshmen return after the freshman year?” When you get home, look on the school’s website to see if the figure matches what you heard. If the answer is a high retention rate, you want to ask a follow-up question: “Is it because of a proactive college policy to recruit a diverse student body that includes non-A students, or does the school focus on the A students who almost always account for a high retention rate?”

These 2 questions will give you a sense of the school’s orientation or philosophy of recruitment. If you’re not comfortable with the answer, move on to another campus.

4. Ask the killer question that will be most difficult to answer, and as a parent you have a moral obligation to ask it. If the school is going to ask you to spend thousands of dollars, you want to demand an answer to this question: “Because campus safety is in the news all the time, how and when can I get access to the campus police’s records of crime on this campus for the past 12 months?”

This could be a real curve ball question, but you don’t care. Listen carefully to how your question is answered. If the answer sounds too practiced or too routine, such as, “Any incidents or crimes on campus are public record. You can call the local police to get that information.” If you hear this answer, you’re being lied to. The local police do not record all the campus’s incidents because the college wants to keep any real crimes quiet if they can. The most convenient reason to have a campus police force is to hide any potential public relations or image problems that could damage the school’s effort to recruit if disclosure of all crimes is made.

Uncomfortable Fact: Colleges are a business, and image is everything.

Student tour directors are programmed to tell you what you want to hear. Which is why I detest planned tours. You get far better information from students sitting at a dining hall table. But if you take a tour with a young and enthusiastic robotic tour guide, you need to ask questions they don’t hear; however, do not be surprised to hear other parents ask these 3 mind-boggling questions:

1. How’s the food here?

2. What are laundry facilities like?

3. Do students get enough sleep?

Colleges witness parents asking what they view as really dumb questions. These are the equivalent of asking, “Do you have running water?”

If you’re touring a college that requires $40,000 a year, you need to ask tough questions. If you don’t get the satisfactory answers WITH FOLLOW-UP research, perhaps another college will be glad to help you.

Comfortable Fact: There are over 4,000 colleges and universities out there, and you are in the driver’s seat to choose, not the colleges. They know it, but they won’t tell you that they know it.

It’s a game – a game you can win.

Antwaan Randle El Played College Basketball, Baseball, & Football For Indiana University Hoosiers

Antwaan Randle El is a unique football player because of the fact that despite being an exceptional quarterback at Indiana University he went on to be a very effective NFL player at the position of wide receiver. It is rare for an athlete to be gifted enough to play multiple positions at such a high level. Being able to excel at multiple positions on the football field is indicative of an athlete that is capable of excelling at multiple sports.

A little known fact about Randle El is that in addition to his impact on the football field he found time to contribute to other athletic programs while in school at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. While in college the high profile athlete also played on the basketball team for a season under legendary head coach Bobby Knight (1998-1999 season) and even played varsity baseball for the 2000 season.

Randle El was born in August of 1979 and demonstrated his impressive athletic ability at a very young age. Growing up in a predominately African American area (80%) of the south side of Chicago Randle El was a standout three sport star for Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois despite his relatively small size that peaked at 5’10” and 190 pounds. While at Thornton Township the future professional football player dominated opponents on the gridiron, hardwood, and baseball diamond. The eventual star quarterback for the Indiana Hoosiers once set an Illinois high school state record by scoring 69 points in a basketball game and was also drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school.

As a football player for the Indiana University Hoosiers Randle El was deemed one of the top offensive players in the gritty Big Ten Conference. Despite being undersized for a Division I quarterback in the Big Ten Randle El masterfully combined passing and running efficiency to help make Indiana one of the top offensive squads in the country. While quarterbacks with the ability to run the ball have been historically present in the game of college football few ever combined the running and passing aspects of the position as Randle El who would become the first player in college football history to rush for 40 touchdowns and to throw for 40 touchdowns.

While in Bloomington, Indiana the star player broke numerous team and NCAA records while on his way to eventually being named a first team All-American quarterback and the Big Ten Player of the Year after his senior season. During his four solid years of playing quarterback at Indiana University Antwaan Randle El did what no other player had ever done by putting up 2,500 yards of offense for four consecutive years.

Since leaving college in 2002 Randle El has been a valuable player for both the Pittsburgh Steelers (where he won a Super Bowl) and for the Washington Redskins. To utilize his athleticism in addition to normal receiving duties Antwaan is often called upon to return kicks and participate in trick plays where he is able to show off his passing skills from the wide receiver position.

The Benefits of Cultural Events at College

Cultural events today are a dime a dozen in educational institutions in India and abroad. A college education experience offers the student, not only academic and social opportunities, but also a variety of other experiences Lectures, seminars, get-togethers, cultural festivals, social campus events, volunteer/community activities, conferences and career fairs, are some opportunities available to students today to network and create opportunities for themselves. These events further result into social and professional relationships with their contacts from the cultural event so that both can forge a win-win relationship among them.

At college, most parents expect their wards to work hard at their studies and do well in their exams. This is more emphasized if the exam is a career defining one like the 12th standard exams. Not many parents encourage their children to network through such social and cultural events at colleges, as they feel that these events are a waste of time for both the students and the colleges, but that is not the case. Invariably parents feel that the child’s attention will be diverted from studies if they take part in cultural and social events in their college.

However, the benefits of such events are many. There are five main reasons why students should take part in social and cultural events at college. These reasons are:

– They allow the students to connect to the resources available in their schools, tap the available resources to their benefit, as the onus of tapping on to college resources for their betterment and growth rests with the students. This can only be possible by becoming involved in cultural and social events held in college.

– It helps them build the community: Being involved in such events compels students to leave their families and at times their friends behind, work with a new set of people, who may later become their friends.

– It allows them to discover their passions and strengths: Taking part of getting involved will allow the students to gauge their passions, their skills, their opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. The knowledge of all these would help them decide their career after the college education.

– It’s a resume builder: Taking part in such events will add to the resume, that is to say, the student’s contribution will be written down in the resume as an extra-curricular activity, and it will be an achievement if he wins a prize at the event.

– Sometimes, busier kids do better in all areas: This largely depends upon the individual student and cannot be generalized for all the students, but it has been found that more free time does not always equal better grades. Being involved will involve some time management by the student, which will help him in managing bigger activities in his professional life.

Finding out one’s niche on campus can be easier said than done. However, it is only by doing or getting involved in various events and activities as participants or as volunteers can the students benefit both professionally and spiritually.