Only Accepted to 2/19 Colleges.. why?

Great post. You are definitely a positive influencer! :heart:


I kind of regret opening the can-o’-worms re: TikTok, although I think it has amply proved my “biases exist on this topic” point, haha. Your response and perspective on the topic are excellent, though!

One thing that strikes me is that so much of the beauty of social media platforms is that nobody needs an elite position or platform to establish a position of influence. You walked onto that platform just like anyone else, but you were able to build a huge following, business relationships, etc. etc. You didn’t have to land a job with a fancy magazine or whatever in order to accomplish this. I’d encourage you to look at college the same way. You’re the kind of person who will build a following, a “brand,” a career, and so on, as long as you have an egalitarian platform within which to build. A highly-regarded flagship university is exactly this! Feeling like you need to go to a more “exclusive” school in order to get where you’re going (or to prove that you’re not “average”) is sort of like believing that you can’t have a wide-reaching positive influence in the world without having a column in an exclusive publication - you have already proven that you don’t need either of these things! That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel disappointed about missing out on experiences you wanted, but I think you’re going to take UMD by storm and ultimately be glad you went there. I hope you will keep updating about your path as it unfolds!


You do realize that you’re on a social media platform right now, which is how we’re all reading your opinion… yes?


Great self awareness, forthrightness and insight, thanks for sharing your experience.


Congratulations on your acceptances. If you hadn’t worked hard, you wouldn’t have got those offers. Fwiw, average kids don’t get $80,000 scholarships or invitations to honors colleges.

Now, it’s time for some tough love, but I’ll try not to be mean.

Your posts here are full of self-loathing and you are beating yourself up. Why do you want to want to go anywhere that doesn’t want you? It’s their loss.

It’s really sad to see you say that because you didn’t get into a college with a 4% acceptance rate, none of your effort was worth it. Please work hard to change that mindset because it does you no favors. Your work ethic will always be there and will serve you well.

Your parents are sad that you’re sad and crying all the time. Your parents LOVE YOU! Your friends ARE NOT looking down on you. If they are your friends, they also feel sad that you’re sad. And if anyone thinks you’re a “loser” for not getting into somewhere “better” then they aren’t friends, right? Good riddance to them! Let me assure you that in a few weeks, you won’t see 95% of your classmates again and you will soon wonder why you are so upset now.

You need to love that you worked hard, that you did all that amazing stuff, and that you are going to college. You need to care more about the great things you have done for YOU! YOU are what matters. Not other kids at school, not anonymous tiktokers, not even your parents. You need to be proud of what you have achieved because you deserve to love yourself.

You come first. Not stupid Harvard and not stupid people you will never see again in a few weeks time. Respect yourself and do your best. The reward is happiness, and there’s no guarantee that HYPS, etc…would give you that. Now go forth and slay!


Btw, if this thread hasn’t been linked yet, please read it.


If you are going to transfer anyway, why not just attend JUCO and get guaranteed As as JUCO is WAY easier. Then you have a pick of your transfer destination.

This isn’t accurate. You can’t just pick your transfer destination after juco. You still have to be admitted.


I understand the emotional end of it, but just from the rational side, if the average acceptance rate of the colleges you applied to might be in the 10% range, then 2/19 (maybe one more coming from the waitlists) could be seen as the normal, and not a disappointing, outcome?


I hope you enjoy your time at UMD - it’s a great school and there are so many brilliant students who go there. I think being Asian makes it very hard in this college landscape- we saw similar patterns at our highschool with the top Asian students. The one student who had a science theory that he developed named after him, he was hired by a famous organization and interned there, so brilliant, but he didn’t get into some of the top schools, he was waitlisted at Harvard (he was ultimately offered a position last week). Good luck with your future endeavors.


iseeusee, Congratulations you’re going to UMD.
I’m puzzled and don’t have an answer for you.
About Ivies - as everyone knows Ivies attract a lot of smart students. Also the very wealthy students target Ivies. The super wealthy most likely are legacy, $$$ to pay for elite private counselors, parents who give generous donations to the Ivies, or anything else not available to the average Joe. They have a high chance to get in even if they are not the smartest (or maybe they are?) so they take a space that will not available for the not so rich students.

For the not-super-rich, ambitious, smart kids, Ivies/highly selective colleges are a gamble. By the way, I’ve known of middle class parents who pay for private college counselors (not the super expensive counselors as the wealthy parents hire, but still it is specialized help).
How admission officers select one over another one? they are all highly accomplished and smart. Even then, you learn about a student with lower stats than another one who was rejected and you wonder what?? how?? it is mystery. We don’t know each student whole picture and the admission officers don’t either (even if they read essays, know every EC, interview them, etc., ) is it possible to know a student with that amount of short time ?and to make a statement that ‘x’ students is more deserving than ‘y’ student? of course not! I think admission officers make an educated guess and don’t forget about their bias (they are human after all). The rejections are not a reflection of you. Admission is an educated guessing game. But, a random game after all.
I do not believe that the students accepted to ivies/highly selective colleges are the only deserving ones. I am sure the accepted students are accomplished, smart and have great qualities, but they are not more deserving than the ones rejected. Of course, there are minimum requirements to be even considered for Ivies/highly selective colleges, but besides that point -Why they got in? it’s a gamble.
With everything you did in HS, you’ll have a great head start in college. Again, congrats!

I wonder if this student met with her guidance counselor when creating this list. Our students meet toward the end of junior year.

My daughter graduated high school first in her class blah blah blah, but when she met with guidance they both made sure that there were enough likely schools. My daughter knew it would be very difficult getting into a school with less than a 10% acceptance rate, despite being very qualified.

My daughter’s friend with same/similar stats as the OP walked into guidance with a list of reach schools. She walked out crying because she was told that her list was not realistic. Once the dust settled and she had time to reconsider, she added a few likely schools (she had none).

She attended a safety, graduated law school, and is working in a major east coast city.

1 Like

Private high school?

1 Like


Our HS counselors met with students 2x during junior year (one group, one individual) and then again in the early fall of senior year (individually). There was also a parent night where we were split into small groups.

I recognize that this student may not have had this type of guidance.


Did you ask this to imply that there is a big difference between public high schools and private high schools in terms of college acceptances?
If so, I agree. Huge difference. That’s what parents are paying for.


I asked because there’s usually a big difference in the level of college guidance available to students.

At private schools the counselors typically know the students, help curate a list of schools, write specific and helpful LoRs, etc.

Many public schools on the other hand (excluding the elites) have 1 counselor for over 200 students, don’t know students unless they have gotten into trouble, don’t bother creating or reviewing school lists, and write very generic LoRs.


I’ll assume we’re done discussing counseling at private vs public schools

I am not sure that anything was done wrong here.

Let’s make a few analogies. When I was in high school, my safety was McGill (in-province). The only other school I applied for was MIT. When your safety is McGill, you do not need match schools. You can just apply to one really good safety plus reaches. A couple of years ago there was a thread here on CC from a student that was auto-admit to UT Austin in-state. If your safety is UT Austin, then again you do not need match schools. You can afford to only also apply to reaches. Similarly I have a colleague whose safety (and where he attended) was U.Michigan in-state. He did really well there (and has done VERY well since). Maybe two safeties would have been “safer” in all of these cases (I think that the last guy did have a second safety), but one got the job done.

To me UMD is in the same category. If this is a safety, then you know that you are going to a very good university. You can afford to have the rest of your applications go to schools that might not come through. It is obviously disappointing to have 17 rejections (or 15 rejections plus two waitlists). However, one student can only attend one university at a time. This student has a very good university to attend. I expect them to do very well there and find great opportunities there. Also, all of their hard work in high school will help set them up to continue to do very well when they get to university.

I have seen a similar thing happen with several children of my Asian friends. However, their kids go to very good universities, in most cases do very well, and then get very good jobs after they graduate. University admissions is frustrating for some, but they still do very well with their lives.


The problem is that the student does not want a target school. She only wants a school with a single digit (or under 20%) acceptance rate.

Based on her question (why?), I thought maybe she didn’t meet with her guidance counselor.

I think this list is fine for a student who is ok with UMD. It’s not a good list for this particular student, imo. All reaches, with 2 schools that she has no interest in attending.

I am hoping that the OP reconsiders once she begins.


True! Which is why I’m trying to leave this whole thing in the past. I can’t change what happened but I can change what will happen if I keep working hard!

I’m going to the eras tour this weekend with no intention of thinking about college (for a very long time) and every intention of screaming my heart out to evermore. In 11 days I won’t see most of the people at school and good riddance!! I hope I enjoy UMD, and until then, I’m going to enjoy my summer!!! Thanks to everyone who was supportive here :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: