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Graduating HS Seniors Reveal What They Wish They'd Known About the Admissions Process

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey Editor Posts: 216 Editor
These six students offer advice that they wish they'd taken while applying to college. Add yours here! https://www.collegeconfidential.com/articles/6-hs-seniors-on-what-they-wish-theyd-known-about-the-admissions-process/

Replies to: Graduating HS Seniors Reveal What They Wish They'd Known About the Admissions Process

  • YungPowaLiftaYungPowaLifta Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Do more service and/or leadership. I had a 34 on the ACT and a 3.98 GPA UW. I got good scholarships, but I wasn't that competitive for the competitive scholarships because I barely did any service and had no leadership positions (at least thats what I think).
  • citymama9citymama9 Registered User Posts: 2,637 Senior Member
    If "fit" is important, and it should be, then try not to visit colleges when they are not in session. It's so important to see the students and get a sense of the vibe.
  • Dkelley123Dkelley123 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    What if you can't get leadership Positions? At my school, all club and school leaders are voted on by the members of the club or the whole school(Which makes it a popularity contest). As a White male, in a majority Black Female school, i cannot get the majority vote to get in any leadership position.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 4,571 Senior Member
    Interesting perspective. Form a college scandal a few years ago. But very true and base case for all of this stress and high school overkill.

    “Sara Stiffleman , a family therapist and author of Parenting with Presence, says that while this hoax was especially complex, she’s not surprised that a teenager would make up a lie regarding admission in response to parental pressure.

    “Parents project onto kids their own need for approval,” Stiffelman tells Yahoo Parenting.

    “The kid becomes the designated representative of the family’s honor and the family’s status, ...

    The child’s achievements take on an extra importance .”
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,915 Senior Member
    @Dkelley123 leadership is not about the title, it's about what you do. Most high school clubs the leaders don't do anything, but if you can lead a project within the club you'll have something you can actually talk about. So for example, if you were in the computer club you might create a committee that taught after school coding classes to middle school kids or helped out seniors. And not everything has to be done at school. My older son was in two ECs at school - nearly all his activities were things he did outside of school.
  • truthquesttruthquest Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Juniors and Parents; gone through this a few times: first and foremost, concentrate on where you might thrive -- with rankings being a part but absolutely NOT the most important part of the discussion. Don't be afraid to apply to any school within reason that is a reasonable fit while making sure that expectations are rational. HYPSM will reject anyone and everyone but they also accept a wide range of applicants to round out a diversified student body. Consider specialized schools or programs that might be just right for you such as those that have great output rankings... whether they be in the arts, engineering, comp. sci.... or an honors program... etc... these can be life altering....If a parent has expectations of a so-called top 10 ranked school in US News etc.... maybe it is time to show him or her the overall admission rates and the rejection rates for valedictorians.... etc... There are so many unbelievable college options out there that ARE prestigious and impressive and possibly the right place for you!

    You cannot contrive or force yourself into leadership positions and Colleges will see through exaggerated extra curricular activities.....etc... but you can passionately, now, do community service, get a job, be an important collaborator in many projects at your school or community, create new things, write articles in the local newspaper.........

    I totally agree with TiggerDad and the students that emphasized the 6 good pieces of advice...no need for repetition. Here are two additional suggestions.

    Strongly consider increasing the # of applications from what is typically suggested ..... You can increase your chances significantly of being admitted to a target or reach by applying to more of them... concentrate on applications not visits. If your counselor recommends 3 reaches and 4 targets, add another 3+ schools for sure.. I have heard the contrary arguments and they are all intellectual ether. With admit rates as low as they are, if you can increase your chances, even slightly, of getting into the kind of school you are interested in, then do it. Sure, do the research, go to a couple of U's and a couple of LACs if you have the time, but worry about where you are going after you get in and have choices . Sometimes admission is a "crap shoot" and I have seen, countless times, students getting into a higher ranked school and rejected at a lower ranked one.... or being waitlisted at multiple targets and accepted into one reach. You can learn tons without traveling the country while in your junior year. (Demonstrated interest is overrated or not considered at most competitive schools.) Remember, you got APs, ACT/SAT, subject testing, a summer job, and applications to start..... use your time wisely....

    If applying to binding ED, get those other applications substantially ready BEFORE you know whether you were admitted. It is incredibly difficult to submit quality applications in a relatively short period of time, especially if the winds are slightly out of your sails.

    Good luck all.
  • 4gsmom4gsmom Registered User Posts: 662 Member
    Going through this with my fourth child: all the tours look the same. The schools all have dining halls, dorms and acapella groups. Don't worry about how the food tastes (lord, I hate that question); spend your tour looking around at the kids. Are these "your people?" Do they look happy? Do they look like the kind of people you want to spend 4 years with? One can feel the personality of a campus, if one knows what to look for.

    And really, really, really concentrate on your essays. Work hard on them; have people edit and read them through for you. This isn't a throwaway part of the process; it's an integral part of the process. Don't forget that.
  • bp0001bp0001 Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    I agree with most of what is stated by @truthquest , however do your research. If a school you are interested in considers interest, and you are within a 5-hour drive, believe them when they say they consider interest. Take a tour on a Saturday, and/or go to a college fair and talk to the admissions counselor.
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