There must be thousands of college admissions myths out there. And every fall, as applications are being filled out, an updated version appears. I am a sucker for these lists -- and I can either feel smug about knowing it all or occasionally learn something.
Here's the latest myth collection from a good education blog at The Washington Post -- and to make sure the myths were accurate, I asked admissions officers from a public and a private university to vet them. They thought the list was solid, even if one of the admissions people felt most parents already know the truth behind the myths.
The first myth -- It’s best to set your heart on one school and really go for it -- is, of course, clearly wrong. But the explanation of why it's a myth raises a point I've been thinking about. Do you tell your friends and the family beyond your home where you are applying, or is it easier to keep it to yourself?
If I were in high school, I'd go for the zipped lips school. Have your reaches, targets, safeties -- and be able to explain to myself, parents and guidance counselor why I've chosen them, but beyond that I'd keep it to myself. The pressure's high enough without worrying about what friends will think if you don't get into the colleges you'd aspired to attend.
The one other myth that fear suckers me into believing is cost -- that everyone pays, except for a few brilliant or deserving applicants, the price listed in the brochure. Just ain't so. The average student pays just 42 percent of the so-called sticker price, based on formulas related to merit and need.
Whew! Now, just have to wait 17 months or so to see if that's true. But who's counting?