When applying to college, you’ll inevitably run into myths and misconceptions. From what schools look for, to the importance of participating in every extracurricular possible, to who should write Recommendation Letters. All of them have a story attached to it. One of the most important things you can do to get ready to apply to college is to figure out fact from fiction. Here we’ll discuss a few of the most common myths about college admissions you’ve likely encountered.
Myth #1: Your SAT/ACT score is the most important piece of your application.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many college admissions officers admit that your overall GPA is much more important that your SAT/ACT score. It makes sense, if you think about it. Your SAT/ACT score is reflective of how you did on a test that lasted 3 hours. On the other hand, your GPA is the accumulation of years of academic performance. While your SAT score is still very important, your GPA trumps it. Don’t expect a great score to make up for a poor GPA. And, turning the tables, you’ll find that a great GPA can make up for a less-than-great score! This just goes to show how important you GPA actually is.
That being said, don’t leave anything to chance. Excel at school and the SAT or ACT (or both)! When both numbers are excellent, you have nothing to worry about.
Myth #2: Your GPA from 12th grade is the most important one.
Although your 12th grade GPA will carry the most weight since it is the most recent, your GPAs from the other years matter, too. Schools don’t look at one year’s worth of grades, they look at your cumulative GPA. They want to see what your grades looked like throughout high school. Whether they get higher as you go, or start of high and stay there. The moral of the story? Your entire high school academic career matters. Don’t slack off on your classes just because you aren’t a junior or senior. Start strong and end strong!
Myth #3: It’s okay if you miss an application deadline by a few days. Schools won’t mind.
This is could be an incredibly damaging misconception. Schools do mind if you’re late with your application. In fact, some schools won’t accept your application at all. Deadlines exist for a reason, they aren’t there just for you to miss them. Consider this. College applications become available months before the deadlines. If you can’t get it together and submit your applications by the deadline what message are you sending schools? You’re essentially telling them that applying to their institution didn’t matter enough for you to submit on time. If you didn’t care enough, what makes you think they’ll care about you?.
Always remember, when it comes to applying to college, everything matters. Your standardized test scores, your GPA, your essays and letters, and your timeliness. Making sure that you don’t fall prey to admissions myths will guarantee that you submit an on-time, thorough, excellent application that you can be proud of!