It’s time for students and parents of students to start thinking about the future. While college is clearly not for everyone, it is increasingly becoming the de-facto destination for American high school graduates.
Students struggle to get their best grades in school and work overtime trying to get the most possible points on their college entrants examinations, but our report suggests that not everything in college admissions is neatly structured to fit even the most noble plans of parents and students.
By saying this, we are suggesting that several myths exist regarding college admissions of which all candidates for admission should be aware.
1) Rejection means that a student isn’t the caliber needed to get into colleges of that level.
College admissions are increasingly competitive with schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke and others inundated with tens of thousands of applications beyond their capacity to accommodate.
What this means is that more well-qualified candidates for admission are rejected than are accepted. Therefore, applicants should not consider a rejection as a referendum on their academic or career potential.
2) A college degree guarantees a bright future.
More and more college graduates are ending up in unemployment lines for dozens of weeks or more. Employers with low paying, unskilled jobs often think that college grads will not be happy in those lines of work while a 4-year degree is increasingly inadequate in the effort to land high paying professional work.
Years ago, a college degree was enough to set a person apart, but now a Bachelor’s degree is more like a high school diploma was back then.
Admission to college is often a step toward yet another phase in an academic career, not the guarantee of a better life that it used to represent.
3) Affirmative action torpedoes good prospects.
Recent court rulings have struck down race-based admissions policies. This means that affirmative action plays less of a role than ever before, although many states require government-backed colleges to admit a student population that reflects the general population of the state.
Other factors, however, play a huge role in college admissions. For example, athletic stars can often gain admission to prestigious universities even when their SAT scores and high school GPA suck rotten eggs.
Students shouldn’t waste time trying to blame injustice for failing to gain entrance into a college and just move on to the next one on their list.
4) Waiting lists are just less-negative rejections.
Students who are notified that they have been placed on a college admissions waiting list often feel as though they were rejected in a nicer way than others. However, waiting lists are real, and with students changing their minds up to the last minute, many on waiting lists end up being accepted.
5) Students are stuck at the college that accepted them.
Even if they did not get into a college of their choice, students still have hope. About one-third of college students change schools during their college career and often find out that the schools they first preferred will take another look at them after a solid year of performance at the college level.
Students and parents trying to find solutions for college should keep in their minds these shattered myths. There’s a big world of higher education out there, so they should never give up when things don’t work out the way they originally hoped.