Traversing Today’s College Admissions Landscape
More students are applying to more colleges than ever before. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy shares tips on how to maximize your chance for success.
There’s a lot that’s challenging about today’s college admissions landscape, but having a realistic understanding of how the land lies, and choosing the institutions where you have the best chances of admission, will go a long way toward a successful outcome.
Having What it Takes
More students are applying to more colleges than ever before. Admissions professionals at the most selective schools are seeing thousands of students with eye-popping academic credentials, compelling stories, and genuine leadership. While they want to admit deserving students, even if they don’t have the flashiest academic profiles, ultimately, even the most empathetic admissions officer may need to lean on metrics (GPAs, test scores) to help make these difficult decisions. The reality is, if you apply to a highly selective school and don’t meet or exceed its academic metrics, chances are good you will not be admitted.
College choices are about fit but also about affordability. It’s critical that students include some colleges on their list that are “financially likely” as well as desirable. Families need to ask themselves hard questions about what they can afford and how big a loan burden they can take on. Having a few colleges on your list that are likely in terms of admissions means nothing if these institutions are not financially realistic for your family.
Do You Really Want to Go There?
Admissions offices are scrutinizing an applicant’s “fit” for their institution now more than ever. In addition to having the desired academic profile and flashing some sort of non-academic “punch,” successful applicants must also be able to answer institution-specific essays with authenticity if they have any chance for admission. “Copy-and-paste” and “throw the mud against the wall” strategies do not work in 2018.
My best advice is to work with your college counselor to identify those schools you have a realistic chance of getting into, that they’re ones your family can afford, and that they’re places you’d want to be. In the end, it’s not about the name; it’s about the best match for you.
Photographs provided by Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
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