Wednesday, January 13, 2010

6 Common Myths about College


“You have to be rich to attend a private university.”

Wrong! Seventy percent of the students attending private colleges receive need-based financial aid. In fact some students can qualify and attend a private university at little or no cost. Private institutions tend to have more funds available to students than public institutions.


“Students should know exactly what they want to study before they apply to college.”

Not necessarily. You may have to make a career decision earlier if you plan to attend a specialized college of engineering, music, etc. But most colleges and universities encourage you to take a broad range of subjects to help you decide on a field of study. At most schools you will not need to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year or early junior year.


“You must find the ‘perfect’ college.”

The perfect college probably does not exist. The best way to select the right school for you is to research three or four colleges that meet your criteria, and then visit each one.


“Telling a university that you are applying for financial aid may hurt your chances for admission.”

Not true! Selective colleges do not let a family’s financial ability enter into the admission decision.


“Admissions officers consider only grades and test scores when considering an applicant.”

Selective colleges are also interested in the rigor of the subjects taken, the competitiveness of the school, and upward or downward trends in grades. Your application essay, as well as extracurricular and leadership activities, talent and personal character are also very important. A word of caution: quality over quantity is what most colleges look for.


“People say that because I have no social security number I will never be able to attend college!”

No one can ever deny you access to a college education. There are private scholarships available to help you fund your schooling if your academics are strong.