7 College Admission Myths For Study Abroad Students
There’s no denying that the college admissions process is complicated. And, with so much hype surrounding this crucial period, it’s difficult to tell what’s true and what’s not. There can be a lot of misinformation floating around, and rumours can die hard. Extracurricular activities: how important are they? And, if one has a GPA of over 3.5, how important are test scores? Let’s debunk 7 of these college admission myths.
Myth: Colleges are looking for applicants with the best scores.
Truth: Colleges look at other factors like extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, honors, and awards.
A top score does not automatically translate into a top college. Most students don’t realize that score ranges vary by admissions body, so the highest range is not the best one. But, scores don’t do the entire job, either. Colleges also look at other factors each of which have a significant impact on admissions. Many low-scoring students with high test scores who have a lot of extracurriculars may still not be admitted. So, it’s about a combination of everything.
Myth: Colleges want well-rounded students.
Truth: Colleges want a well-rounded class.
According to this Forbes article, “colleges put together their entering class as a mosaic: a few great scholars for each academic department; a handful of athletes; some musicians, dancers, and theatre stars; a few for racial and economic diversity; some potential club leaders, etc. Colleges want a kid who is devoted to – and excels at – something. The word they most often use is passion.”
Myth: You need to have an impressive list of extracurricular activities.
Truth: Serious commitment in one area definitely outweighs superficial participation in several others.
Quality outweighs quantity when it comes to extracurricular activities. Colleges want to see passion and commitment. One or two activities to which you’ve dedicated yourself and where you’ve achieved a leadership position is far more impressive than a huge list of activities where you’ve just floated around.
As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none!“
Myth: You should only ask for a recommendation from a professor who gave you an A.
Truth: Choose someone who knows you well, with whom you have a great relationship, and who can speak well to your attributes.
It’s better to consider a professor who can help admissions officers get to know a different side of you and better understand who you are. Students should really be looking for recommendations from professors and mentors who know them really well and can give rich context to their work ethic, character, persistence and growth.
Myth: Essays shouldn't be creative.
Truth: Essays only need to be authentic.
An essay’s most important quality is that it should feel authentic. Think of your essay as an opportunity to reveal your true voice and to highlight who you really are. You need to make the case for why you care about something and what you’re doing about it but be careful about revealing things that would make the reader feel a sense of caution about you like sharing a past drug issue etc.
Myth: "Well-known" colleges are too expensive!
Truth: Well-known colleges are often less costly than second-tier or even state colleges.
While universities like Harvard, Yale and Princeton have high tuition fees, they also have healthy endowments and strong commitments to helping students afford their colleges. Students who attend these, and many other top colleges, find that they receive more financial aid and graduate with little or no student debt. Additionally, there are different scholarships available to both local as well as for international students. Make sure you understand the different types of scholarships that can help you lower your overall cost of education.
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Myth: Admission officers never check social media accounts.
Truth: Don't bet on it.
We know what you’re thinking but some colleges do have admission teams solely devoted to checking your social media pages. They check to make sure that they are absolutely clean of anything inappropriate.
As a rule of thumb, if your parents would be embarrassed by your post, make sure it comes down.
It might be overwhelming to get to know about these college admission myths and their corresponding truths but that’s a process every student before you would have gone through as well. And while getting into college isn’t easy, there are ways to make better and informed decisions especially while choosing and applying to universities that best suit your criteria.
To tackle this problem, GradRight has launched another platform called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.
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