4 Common College Admission Myths Debunked
Myths about college admissions abound. Have you been fooled by any? Check out these four common college admissions myths, and learn what the truth really is so you can worry less, and enjoy your high school years (and the college admissions process) more.
Myth #1: There’s only one perfect college for you.
Don’t worry about finding the one school that’s perfect for you or being the prefect candidate for a certain school—there could be several colleges where you would fit in well, even some schools you may not have expected when you began your college search. Simply put in your best effort in high school, and keep an open mind.
Anna Burrelli, admissions counselor at William Peace University (NC), advises students “not to worry and stress so much about being the ‘perfect’ candidate for a college or university [because] if it is meant to be, it is meant to be. The right place for you will be revealed, all in due time.”
Myth #2: You need to know your major before applying.
Of course, it helps to have an idea of what majors or career you might be interested in before you apply so that you can pick a college that has your intended college major. But, knowing your major isn’t a requirement for admission. In fact, many students don’t know what they want to major in when they start college, and students often change their major once they get there.
“Students do not need to have this figured out prior to enrollment,” says Chris Gage, dean of admission at Hanover College (IN). He recommends entering the enrollment process with an open mind.
Myth #3: The method you use to apply to college is important.
In reality, it doesn’t matter whether you submit an application directly to a college using its proprietary application or using the Common Application, says Gage. So don’t worry about which way to submit your app—just submit it and any required documentation such as high school transcripts or ACT or SAT scores.
Myth #4: You need to participate in a specific number of extracurricular activities.
While colleges do like seeing well-rounded students apply to their schools, “there is not a magic number on how many sports or clubs we want students to be involved in,” says Jessie Baker, first-year admissions coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
Baker adds, “We would rather see that a student has been seriously involved in three to four organizations for several years versus joining 10 clubs their senior year to look involved. What we want to see is that students have quality involvement in areas that interest them and [students] have taken leadership responsibilities within those organizations.”
In addition, remember that “involvement” doesn’t have to be school-related: It also could be an internship, part-time job or volunteer gig with a community organization.