Photo by Hannah Markov
They only let in legacies. They only let in people who don’t superscore. They only accept people with 250 SSL hours or more. They only let people in who visit. They only accept early decision applicants. They only accept people who got fives on all their AP tests.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard another theory on who gets into certain colleges, I’d be astoundingly rich. Every school has a catch.
And the essays have to be amazing. You have to be inspirational, alpha, excited, motivated, specific, personal and completely different from every other applicant. You have to come up with something smart yet unheard of at the same time.
As I was making my college list this summer, I found myself glued to the Naviance admissions spreadsheets or listening to the next rumor about specific schools. It was exhausting.
Going back and forth from the Naviance spreadsheets, the school supplements and the prep scholar statistics, it was like an information overload. It was too much for me to consider.
So I decided on a simple method for choosing my college list: apply to schools that make sense for me and my goals. Stop using other people’s factors and ideas in my choices.
Of course, I made sure my grades and scores weren’t outlandishly outliers to their averages.
All of the factors outside of my control that go into the decision makes the process seem almost random, so I set aside my matrix and charts and spreadsheets and decided to just apply where I want to be. And for the essays, as long as the topics were unique to me and my life, then I can’t control the ideas and experiences of everyone else. So, I am applying where I want to spend four years of my life, it’s as simple as that.