Saturday, March 28, 2015

Free For All Fridays | College Decisions

Ok I know it's Saturday, but I wanted to post this yesterday and I didn't have time to, so it's Free For All Friday on Saturday!

Welcome to another post of Free For All Friday, today we're going to be discussing college decisions. If you're not one of the many seniors going through the arduous process of college application, let me give you the low down. This week is basically the week of death, AKA the week that college decisions come out. Many of them have already been released, however a few major ones are left (All of the Ivy Leagues).

I have applied to a total of seventeen schools. I know that seems like a lot but most of these applications have stemmed from paranoia, paranoia that is completely justified. All my life people have led me to believe that with the right GPA and the right test scores and the right amount of extracurriculars I would get into any college I wanted to, from Harvard to Hopkins. Let me first rid you of this belief: no amount of hard-work and motivation can guarantee you a spot in your dream school.

College admissions is a combination of chance and statistics. As education is increasingly becoming a business, colleges are adjusting their acceptances in order to maximize their profit. For example, one college I applied to (whose name I will not disclose) wait-listed me. This college isn't particularly hard to get into, especially not for someone with my stats (straight A student, good SAT score, yada yada yada). However the number of accepted students that actually end up attending is fairly low, so in order to increase that number they accepted students more likely to attend rather than those actually qualified.

Other colleges don't offer acceptances based on needs (though they might say they are need-blind). Essentially college admissions is a coin toss, if you get lucky that's great, but if you don't that doesn't say anything about you. It doesn't mean you're a bad student or you don't deserve that college. It simply means that the cards were not in your favor, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Anyone who's going through this process: good luck and remember, admissions isn't everything. You can still do everything from a lesser-known school: medical school, graduate school, everything. You can still get to where you want to go, I promise.

Share some stories in the comments below! Have you had any bad experiences with college admissions? I want to hear about them! Let's bond over our experiences.