The Admissions Game: The Difference Between Selective and Non-Selective Colleges
Browse around enough college websites and you’ve probably come across the terms “selective” and “non-selective.” It’s a very important part of figuring out where to spend your time and energy when it comes to applying to college!
There is a difference between selective schools and Ivy League schools. In general, Ivy League refers to athletics and encompasses schools like Harvard and Yale. However, there are many selective schools that aren’t considered Ivy League, like MIT and Stanford University, that are also competitive.
While any college is more likely to accept a well-rounded student with a great GPA, at a selective college? It’s doubly important! Your involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and other activities is a key factor of college admission—and having more than good grades is a big part of achieving admission at your dream school.Selective schools are in great demand yet typically admit a very small percentage of students who apply.
Less—Selective or Non-Selective Colleges
Don’t let the term fool you: A non-selective college doesn’t mean they let just anybody in! Like any other college, a non-selective will still have standards. They usually operate on a more open admission basis, or rolling admission, where they will accept college applications until their student body is full—which is good news for you if you decide to apply at the last minute!
Who Gets in to Selective Colleges, Anyway?
Selective colleges admit the best of the best: those over-achievers who are very involved in not only their high school or homeschool groups but their community as well. They have taken (and survived) AP classes and Honors courses and passed with flying colors. They may be fluent in a second language or have some other well-developed talent or skill.
Highly selective schools consider many factors of college admission. They look at your application as a whole and decide whether or not they need someone who fits your profile.
If they have only one cello player who happens to be graduating that Spring, and you happen to play the Cello, you might get in. The same goes for students from a particular state. If the school needs a student from that state so they can mention with pride that they have students from every state in the US, you might get in.
Again, don’t think that this means that your GPA, test scores, and community service don’t matter—they most certainly do! However, a selective college has many factors to consider. Your legacy status and notable achievements are just another piece to fit into the selective college admissions puzzle.
Where Do You Fit In?
Public or private college, big campus or small, it doesn’t matter—any college can be selective or non-selective. The key to choosing a college isn’t about shooting for the most selective school, it’s about looking for the school that is the right fit for you!