Olivia Pittman


Olivia Pittman is a Research and Content specialist at College Raptor. All of those questions you've been thinking about while looking for a college? Olivia digs in and finds answers.

Myth: I Should Go to the Most Selective College that Accepts Me

Comparison showing that Cornell University and Northeastern University have similar academic profiles but much different selectivity or admissions rate myths
It’s easy to convince yourself as a college applicant that the most important characteristic of a college is its selectivity or prestige. No matter how envious your friends may be if you’re accepted into selective colleges, it doesn’t mean you’ll ultimately be happy there. Here are some of the problems with judging colleges only by …

College Myths: The Colleges I Get Mail From Are the Best Options for Me

A stack of University of Chicago college pamphlets. myths
Colleges send out lots and lots of bulk mail Not all colleges can afford to mail every student Most mailings are not very targeted If you haven’t started to get piles of brochures from colleges yet–just wait. Most high school juniors and seniors receive more college mail than they know what to do with. It’s …

College Myth: College is for Rich Kids

Chart showing the distribution of student loan debt by what percentage of students have what amount of debt at graduation. College is for rich kids -- not. myths
You’ve probably heard horror stories about students who pay $60,000 plus every year to attend college. If you’re an average middle-class college hopeful, this can be disheartening. It seems like college is for rich kids only, and not as accessible to other students. The good news is that the most-often quoted price–the sticker price–is paid …

College Myth: I Could Never Afford to Pay for an Ivy League College

Students think that they can never afford an Ivy League college, but they actually can myths
Most students who consider attending an Ivy League college, like Harvard and Stanford, think of them as dream schools. Even some well-qualified students shy away from applying. They think they could never afford an Ivy League college. The good news is that, for most students, Ivy League colleges and other elite, selective universities are often actually …

College Myth: I Should Wait Until I’m Accepted to Apply for Financial Aid

It's a myth that you should wait until you're accepted to apply for financial aid myths
Applying for financial aid can be tough. Beyond the complicated jargon and long forms, financial aid is tricky. Not only that, there’s a lot of conflicting and misguided advice. For example, most people think that they should apply for financial aid after they get accepted. However, this isn’t usually the right approach. We broke down …

College Myth: I Shouldn’t Reach out to a College Until I’m Ready to Apply

You can reach out to a college whenever you want! myths
Many students assume they’ll reach out to a college during the application process, but this shouldn’t necessarily be the case. In fact, contacting a college before you apply can have advantages. Contacting a college before applying could actually improve your admissions chances Reaching out to a college as a prospective student shows you’re actively interested. …

College Myth: College Isn’t Worth the Price

Statistics showing the value of a college degree: 170% increase in wages, $1,000,000 additional lifetime income, 10 years to recoup the cost of an average undergraduate degree, 47% less likely to be unemployed. It's a myth that college isn't worth the price myths
Accounting for inflation, the annual cost of college has more than doubled since 1980. With the average cost of attendance at private colleges now at $42,419, it’s no wonder people question the investment value and think college isn’t worth the price. Not only is the cost of college rising, many students are forced to take …

How Do I Know if a College is a Good Fit?

A domed building surrounded by text in circles. questions & answers
There is a college out there for nearly everyone. The most important part of finding the right college is determining if a school is a good fit for you. A college that’s a good fit should have the following characteristics. 1. The college matches you academically You want to be challenged in college, but being …