Are you a parent of a high school student worried about the college admissions process? How do you choose the right college for your child? You may be concerned about the competitive nature of college admissions, the increasing number of applicants, and the role of rankings in the process.
As a college admissions expert with years of experience, I’ve seen far too many high school students and their parents fall into the trap of believing that applying to a dozen or more colleges will increase their chances of being accepted to a great school. But that’s simply not true. It’s often the exact opposite.
Therefore, it is essential to understand what your child can bring to a college campus and what the institution is looking for in its applicants.
The Pitfalls of Applying to Too Many Colleges
The idea of applying to as many colleges as possible is not the solution. The shotgun approach of "throwing snowballs or spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks" is not the answer. Applying to 20 colleges, especially the "reach" schools, is not a good formula. In contrast, the key is to apply to the right schools for the right reasons. Selective colleges and universities may not have enough availability to satisfy everyone, so it's crucial to have an accurate understanding of the process.
Taking Your Ego Out of the Process
Parents should take their ego out of the process, especially when considering safety schools. A safety school is not what it was 30 years ago. Thinking beyond the schools you’re familiar with, it's crucial to apply to the right schools that match the child's skills, interests, and personality. US News and World Report rankings should not be the only factor in the decision. Everyone else is looking at those rankings, and everyone else is applying to the same schools. Thus, it is challenging for all children to get accepted to such schools.
Understanding Your Child
The college admissions process is predicated on two different things: institutional needs and personal desires. While everyone's focus is on the latter, it's important to also take into account the former. Understanding your child, identifying schools that may need your child, and encouraging your child to apply to such schools are necessary. Consulting with Strategic Admissions Advice and/or school counselors is crucial in identifying the schools that may need your child's skills, contributions, and interests.
How Strategic Admissions Advice Can Help
Strategic Admissions Advice offers various services that can help you navigate the college admissions process. The first step is to set up a Discovery Call with someone from our team and then have a Strategy Session with me, Shereem Herndon-Brown, so I can provide you with an honest assessment of how the process works. Moreover, Strategic Admissions Advice offers a program called College List Builder, which can create a customized college list for your child. Using these services ensures your child applies to the right schools for the right reasons.
Don't let rankings or your ego dictate your child's process. Let them be unique and apply to the schools that best match their strengths and interests.
To learn more about our services, click here to schedule a complimentary Discovery Call.