Everyone is looking for an easy answer to college admissions. American society has put such an emphasis on the college degree that it has become one of the most integral aspects of ones path to adulthood. The pressure can feel insurmountable and so a simple key or answer for your future seems almost too good to be true.
In some regards this is true. If you are a student reading this with a failing average saying an Ivy league is your dream college, there is no simple key for you I am afraid.
For some this might be harsh to hear, but the biggest failing many other college counselors will do is give false hope. I am not here to say you can’t apply to a school or you will definitely get rejected. I have seen many students defy the odds. However, the point of this article is to give a simple key for acceptance into your dream college.
And the simple key is this- be realistic when picking your dream college.
Colleges are getting more and more competitive each year. The top colleges in the country are in the single digit for acceptances. Tying up all of your self worth into whether or not that college accepts you is a recipe for disaster.
I hope if you're reading this you take this as an opportunity to at least question your dream school and ask yourself if you are being realistic with yourself. If you have an 85 and no hook should Cornell be the only school you apply to? Again, not that you can’t apply but contingencies and alternate routes must be planned for.
Being realistic with yourself and focusing your college discovery process on colleges you have a decent chance of gaining admissions at from the beginning will make getting into your dream college much easier. To the high achieving students reading this with perfect scores and GPAs, being realistic comes from understanding you need to have your name in many hats if you want a decent shot at getting picked from just one of them. It's unfortunate that this is where the admissions landscape has evolved to but it is an honest truth that we must start talking about.
As we all look to the 2021 - 2022 college admissions cycle, I encourage all students to think to themselves what being realistic looks like for them and use this as a jumping off point.