Every year we receive a frantic phone call from at least one student we don’t know who has been denied at every school they’ve applied to. Often, these are top students! How does this happen? Many families are simply unaware of the competition at the national and international level, and because these students perform well within their high schools, they assume they will do equally well with college admissions. They apply to only highly selective schools and get shut out—a heartbreaking experience for everyone.
Key Detail!! It is CRITICAL that all students place at least one or two “safety schools” on their list. Finding safety schools where they would be content is the challenge of course, but it can be done! This means they should be at the TOP of the applicant pool when comparing grades and test scores. Having a “balanced list” is one of the most critical components to college admissions.
The other BIG problem? Many students just sort of “slap” their college applications together in the fall, and simply do not represent themselves well by doing that. Students should work ALL summer on college essays, and then open their applications August 1st and work HARD on detailing the activity section and everything else. It takes 4 years to get through high school, so it stands to reason it will take many weeks of work to properly show all you have done on your applications.
So build a sensible and BALANCED college list and then work HARD on every single application so in the end your results are solid and you end up with some great options!