There are far too many college admissions myths doing the rounds. Unfortunately, they send many students in the wrong direction. Spending too much time doing things that do not matter means less time doing things that do matter. Below are some myths about college admissions that are just that and nothing more.
Myth #1 – Getting a recommendation letter from somebody well-known can give your application a huge boost
The recommendation letter that you submit can give your application a much-needed boost. But, not because the writer is somebody famous. Submitting a letter written by an authority figure is not likely to impress the reader and it definitely does not guarantee that you will get admission to any school.
You have a better chance of impressing the reader by submitting a recommendation letter written by a teacher who can provide a fair assessment of your academic and social abilities after having worked with you on a one-to-one basis for a substantial amount of time.
Myth #2 – If you have excellent grades and test scores, you don’t have to worry too much when writing your application essay
This is not true at all. An application essay carries a lot of weight. Almost all students who apply to college will have good grades and high test scores. How does a college decide whom to choose from among so many equally qualified candidates? They use the personal essay as one of the deciding factors.
A poorly written essay that is weak and convincing or filled with glaring errors will kill your application, irrespective of your grades and test scores. On the other hand, a well-written essay that is grammatically correct and compelling can give you the edge over another applicant who may have scored the same as you in other areas.
MYTH #3: You have to look for that one college that’s perfect for you and only apply to that college
Looking for the right college is important. Yes, you need to take the time and effort to identify which one is right for you. However, don’t think that there is only one college out there that is perfect for you and you should only apply to that one college. If you start your search with this mindset, you are only setting yourself up for a lot of anxiety and frustration. Besides, what happens if you do not get accepted into that ‘college of your dreams’?
Keep evaluating different colleges, you will find several institutes that tick all the boxes, or at least most of them. Narrow down your list by the process of elimination and apply to the top colleges on your list. If you do not get accepted by the first college on your list, that’s okay. You still have several others that are sure to be just as good.
Interestingly, several college graduates who were interviewed said they would choose to go back to the same college if they had to do it again, even though that particular college was not top of their list when they have applied four years ago.
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