Myths in the College Search Process - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
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Myths in the College Search Process


One of the biggest challenges for counselors is helping students really match their interests to the colleges that suit them best. Students often rule out schools too early in the process, thanks to myths in the college search process.

Myth of Cost: “I can’t pay for this, so why look?”

This trap happens when families look at a school, look at the so-called “sticker price,” and then strike the school off the list, stating that it is too expensive and there is no way to pay for it so why even bother looking at it.

Truth

Exploration is free! The only time a school costs you anything is when you apply (application fee), when you visit (the tank of gas, lunch at the diner) and WHEN YOU GO… and that the actual cost of attendance will not necessarily be the sticker price. A realistic discussion about college expenses is important, but so is finding out everything you can about what a college will offer you financially.

Myth of Admissibility: “I couldn’t possibly get in to this school, so why look?”

This trap happens when families look at the statistical averages of grades and test scores and automatically assume that they could not be admitted because they are lower than the averages.

Truth

These are only averages. That means that both higher and lower scores are also accepted. Also remember that grades and test scores are only a part of what admissions professionals consider in their decision. Activities, interests, passions, service—all of these could make you a more attractive candidate than mere numbers show.

Myth of Familiarity: “I don’t know that school and no one around me knows it either. It must be a weird place, so why look?”

This trap occurs when students and their families only know a small group of schools that they have either heard of from the media/friends or that they attended themselves.

Truth

There are many fantastic schools “hiding in plain sight.” Does it really make sense to overlook a school just because it quietly produces Rhodes scholars and successful CEOs instead of big-name basketball stars? If a school’s programs seem to match your interests, then keep exploring. It could turn out to be just what you’re looking for. Although a familiar place can be tempting to focus on, keeping an open mind allows you to discover another school that shares the same qualities of the place you know well—but that might be an even better match for you.

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Tyson Schritter

Author

Tyson Schritter

As the Chief Content Officer of Colleges of Distinction, I get to read about and visit colleges and universities across the country. I'm always looking for admission tips and new and exciting learning programs to share with our college bound community.

Get a free sample of the Colleges of Distinction 2017 guidebook!

Subscribe to receive a free sample of the Colleges of Distinction 2017 guidebook with:

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