Common College Application Myths

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It’s easy to make mistakes when applying to colleges, especially multiple ones at the same time.

Don’t fall for these college application myths when researching your dream schools.

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college application myths

Be Well-Rounded

‘Well-rounded’ doesn’t help you; passion helps you.

The most common myth people talk about when applying to college is being well-rounded. Many students think that they have to have tons of extracurricular activities on their application.

The idea behind that is showing that you have lots of interests that make you a more interesting student. The truth is admissions boards see that and think that you lack focus and attention span.

The better thing to do is emphasize a particular passion you have developed over the years. If you spent three years on the debate team and became a leader, talk about that. Don’t list off the other ten activities that you barely did.

Essays Don’t Matter

Don’t be lazy with your application essays.

A 2014 Time Magazine article convinced students that college application essays aren’t very important. Many people thought the effort needed to write good ones is wasted.

The truth is most colleges still require one to two essays, and seriously look at them because it’s their way of getting an idea about your personality. A well-written essay won’t make up for bad test scores or average high school transcript.

If you submit a particularly bad essay, it will get noticed and you could be rejected because of that alone.

Only Take Easy Classes

All A’s aren’t created equal.

If you’re thinking about taking an AP or Honors class in high school, do it. If you really want to take it, don’t hesitate. Why? Because taking it and doing relatively well, even if you don’t receive an A, helps you on college applications.

Why? College admission boards want to see you stretch academically. It shows that you’re passionate about a subject and up to the challenge of harder work. Even if you receive a B or C in that class, the fact you took it alone and scored well counts.

Colleges want students who take risks and challenge themselves. They don’t want kids who settle for easy grades and coasting through high school. While those easy A’s won’t hurt you, they won’t help as much as a B in an AP class will either.

Only Perfect Applicants Get In

Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.

You’ll naturally think that every part of your college application has to be perfect:

  • GPA
  • High School Transcript
  • Test Scores
  • Essays
  • Extracurriculars

The truth is no one has a 100% perfect application. Now, if you have absolutely horrible test scores or grades, then you have a high rejection chance. However, colleges look at applicants as a package.

They understand that some elements will be stronger than others. If your grades are ok but you earned fantastic test scores, you’ll be fine. Perfect isn’t what they’re looking for.

Passion and dedication are what they’re looking for. They want students who rise to the challenge and can bring their passion to their school. If you demonstrate that quality, then everything doesn’t need to be ‘perfect’.

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