College Mythbusters: Fact or Fiction

Wait until you get accepted to visit the college. Fiction! Visiting colleges allows you to narrow down your choices, learn more about what the college offers, and exposes you to the culture and campuses. Application fees can really start to add up. Visiting campuses to determine if they are an option can save you the expense of paying for an application for a college that is not a good fit. Take east classes in high school so your GPA is high. Also fiction! A lot of colleges look at your courses and take that into consideration when looking over your application. Taking difficult classes can also give you an insight of what college is going to be like. Admissions will never take the time to look at your social media. Fiction yet again! Not all college admissions counselors will do this but a lot will, as well as faculty. Be sure not to post anything inappropriate or that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the news.

Get recommendations from teachers and school counselors who know you best and can attest to your academic strengths. Fact! Don’t ask a family member or friend to write a letter of recommendation that states how nice you are or how close your family is. Ask a teacher or principal. Colleges are looking for your potential to be a successful student. You can always call and ask about how you can increase your financial aid package. Fact! Asking for financial aid has no impact on admissions, and the worst that can happen is you get told nothing can be increased. Ask for individual attention to your circumstances so that you can optimize all your options.

Rush through your application and essay. All anyone will look at are your test scores and GPA. Myth! Always make sure what you submit is proofread and your application is the best it can possibly be. Your application and materials are also reviewed for scholarship awards and other condensations. If a college asks you to write an essay someone is definitely going to take the time to read and evaluate it, so it matters. My family is poor: no one has ever gone to college in my family and so there is no way I can go to college. Another myth! There are so many opportunities for low-income families through, loans, grants and other need-based funding. Make sure that your FAFSA is filed and discuss your situation with the financial aid counselors. Also use a cost calculator on your colleges website to find out the actual cost. There are great tools to help you understand how much financial aid you would receive.

Caitlin Brubaker

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