If case you missed last week's newsletter with some last minute tips for AP exams and links to grading rubrics, here's the link:
As Juniors ('19) are surrounded by graduating seniors ('18) wearing their college t-shirts and hoodies, it's clear that the college application season is soon theirs to embrace! Parents and students worry needlessly about "
acceptance rates" and I want to spend some time in this newsletter to dispel some myths about those single-digit acceptance rates putting your mind at ease. Foremost, there is a perfect "fit" for every student - academically, socially and financially.
If you're unclear or even feeling overwhelmed on how to find that perfect fit, please review recent newsletters (links follow) and then reach out to schedule your Educational & College Planning Year-End Assessment. It is indeed never too early or late to begin taking steps to create and realize your educational goals.
A discussion of resources and how to evaluate academic majors and unique university features
This note provides insights on what you can accomplish in a campus visit. Whether you're just starting your college search or an admitted senior, please look at some valuable tips.
No student should be enrolled in seven AP classes. Please review this note discussing the balance between selected classes and your extracurricular life to increase your chances of a successful undergraduate experience.
A discussion of the value and importance of early academic and college planning so that each young adult enjoys a meaningful high school experience leading to a seamless transition to their undergraduate college.
What are you doing this summer? Not all programs are equal and there's great value in meaningful local internships and leadership opportunities.
This resource will help sophomore and junior families understand what's ahead and the connection between cost/financial aid to college choices. For seniors, some insights on negotiating your financial aid offers.
College Acceptance Rates?
With all the hype about ever-shrinking college acceptance rates and record numbers of applicants, you may not only be worried about where you'll be accepted, but have been led to believe you too need to apply to several colleges in an attempt to increase your chances of acceptance to your "dream school".
Let's debunk that myth straight away.
Statistically, if you apply to ten schools each with a 10% chance of admissions, I know that you all understand and appreciate that you do not have a 100% chance of earning a spot at one of the ten universities! That's the principle of mutual exclusion you'll learn about in AP Statistics. About this time of year I speak with anxious parents and students who approach me with a list of 15 to 20 colleges. That's simply too many colleges !!!
The importance of building a
Strategic Educational and College Admissions plan as early as middle school, is that we form unique educational goals and take steps towards achieving those goals, which include applying to an appropriate number of universities where you'll thrive both academically and socially.
Your student should be unconcerned about the news reports on acceptance rates and instead keep perspective on how to prepare for and conduct research on universities. All my juniors understand how to navigate the process to create an appropriate list of match, reach and safety institutions.
If however, you're truly curious about acceptance rates- at the end of this note I've included a
detailed chart of acceptance rates at several colleges comparing this year's rates to last (and the percentages are also clickable links to the sources of information). Below that chart, you'll find my comparison chart I published in spring 2017. As you can see, but please don't be alarmed-- rates continue to decrease again this year as was the situation in each of the last ten years.
But let me try to convince you why college acceptance rates should be a very very very rough guide and of little concern to your decision making on where to apply.
College Acceptance Rates are Less Important than You Think!
Yes, these numbers are a representation of the degree of competitiveness of a given institution. A college with a 25% acceptance rate compared to a 70% acceptance rate will be more challenging academically and have accepted students with a stronger academic profile.
Once you've approached the 25% or lower acceptance rate- think of this like a cold day- there's no difference between a 20 degree and a 5 degree day- you need a hat, gloves and your warmest coat! Similarly, for college admissions success, you need to build your Strategic Educational and College Admissions Plan well before your senior year.
Starting as early as Middle School, students need to focus on developing their academic and extracurricular interests which are further explored and enhanced throughout high school!
What about those single-digit and less-than-50% college acceptance rates?
YOUR SPECIFIC CHANCE OF ADMISSION IS NOT THE SAME PERCENTAGE AS THE PUBLISHED ACCEPTANCE RATES!
College acceptance rates are
aggregate numbers representing the population as a whole.
If we could more realistically focus on your actual individual profile: your GPA, your intended major, your extracurricular experiences, your competition and leadership roles, your gender, your location, your legacy status and a number of other relevant factors,
you will appreciate that YOUR chances of admission at any given university are unique and can greatly exceed the published acceptance rates
Planning throughout high school will increase your chances of admissions.
Where can I review results or profiles of accepted students?
A virtual tunnel to the center of the earth for anxious parents and student awaits you at Talk.collegeconfidential.com
There are literally tens of thousands of discussion threads on this webpage - some threads are exceptionally informative, but like Wikipedia- lots of speculation from well-meaning people with too much time on their hands!
Nonetheless, you can read
"Official Results Threads" .
Google: Talk College Confidential Official Results Thread Class of 2022 INSERT: MY DREAM UNIVERSITY
for example here is the thread for UF
The only statistics to focus on are those that provide indications of the quality of education you'll receive at a given university. Here are a few that can help you decide whether the investment is a good one.
- Do graduates still find a connection to their chosen field and institution at age 30, 40, 50? Check out statistics on the percentage of alumni giving (also see my earlier newsletter on why this percentage is an indicator of financial aid success).
- What's the percentage of graduates who have a job offer/graduate school acceptance in their field upon graduation? What percentage of students are employed within their chosen field within 6 months of graduation?
As students continue to apply to more colleges and in record numbers, more applicants translates into lower acceptance rates. Unlike other organizations and businesses, colleges cannot continue to increase in size as they are limited by classroom and dorm space and the number of faculty. Colleges are cautious not to overbuild as demographic trends don't always sustain over the long run.
Universities aren't competing to increase their market share of the available 18 to 24 year old students.
Universities are competing to attract the brightest and most interesting students.
Are you one of them?
Finding Your Niche?
For those of you who are regular readers of my newsletters and blogs, you understand that College Admissions is holistic. Recently I wrote about the relevance of demonstrating "character" and your "uniqueness" in the admissions process. What really matters for all of us, students and parents alike, is knowing that we lead lives filled with joy and purpose.
My goal in the partnership I share with each family is to guide each young adult to becoming self-directed, inspired and ultimately to recognize their strengths and passions in ways that will enable each young adult to contribute to their communities.
A student's GPA and transcript are a significant determinant of admissions and academic success. Yet with five to seven qualified applicants for every available space in the freshman class, admission committees seek to create a freshman class that is diverse in intended majors, geographic origin and personal interests.
Students who are successful not only in admissions but as actual undergraduate students, are those who have well defined interests, nurtured as early as middle school and further developed throughout high school.
Having an academic niche or a personal passion outside the classroom builds motivation, focus and academic success.
Parents, guidance counselors and your college advisor can help your student identify or deepen an academic and /or personal interest.
What sparks your student?
For over three decades I've provided pre-college advising to thousands of students and I look forward to meeting your young adult to develop a partnership with your family further enriching the high school experience to ensure admissions and undergraduate success.