I hope y’all had a relaxing and well-deserved Thanksgiving break. As the admissions season is in full swing, my seniors are now busy working on their essays, practicing for the interviews, and finalizing their college applications. It is busier than ever here at EdMission Possible, so I just wanted to check in specifically with my juniors who will soon find themselves in the same routine. Class of 2022, this blog post is for you!
Very often my students tell me that they have received an email or a catalog in the mail from a college. It’s usually in the form of an invitation to apply to this college. Exciting, right? Wait! The invitation isn’t the best part. This embellished invite comes with fine perks such as waiving the application fee, guaranteed alumni interview, and even a guaranteed merit scholarship if you apply by the indicated date. Some go as far as sending you a college swag so that you get the feeling that you already belong there. The next question is almost always inevitable, “Does this mean I will definitely be admitted to this school if I apply by the given deadline?” Well, I hate to be a dream crusher here, but my job calls for providing the facts to my students and families, so I’ll go ahead and do it.
Here’s what all the emails and big envelopes really mean:
- This is all a part of the college’s marketing strategy to attract more students. Chances are this college paid a good amount of money to College Board to buy your academic and demographic information (based on the information you provided on the PSAT or the SAT). Why would a college spend that much money to buy names of students? For one simple reason: If the college receives a high number of applications, then there will be more students to be rejected. The more the applicants, the more the rejections. This will increase the college’s selectivity rate each year, thereby elevating this college’s ranking and making this institution even more prestigious than it was before.
- Yes! The marketing email or mail might very well mean that the college is interested in you and in something about you academically or demographically. Good job on making a good first impression! However, this does not guarantee admission to that college at all. Again, they just want you to apply to get more applications in.
Here’s what you should do with those emails and mailings:
- Go over each email and brochure carefully. Try to see if anything catches your attention about this school. Was it even one of the schools you were considering? If so, then by all means, take advantage of all the perks and apply. Read everything with a critical eye. If you kind of, sort of like what you see on the brochure, then go on a campus tour or virtual tour. Attend an information session. Talk to the college representatives. Ask questions. Decide for yourself if this is where you want to spend the next four years of your life. Don’t just apply because they sent you an elegant brochure printed on glossy paper or a cool hat with the college logo on to wear on the weekends. This is about you and what you want; not what they want.
- If you decide that this isn’t the college for you, then delete those emails and put those fancy brochures in the recycling bin. Whatever you do, don’t be pressured to apply just because they’ve found your address. If this college has found something special in you, more colleges will think so. You’ll have many more great schools to apply to. Each college you choose to put on your list should be a good fit for you academically, socially, and financially. This is your application; this is your future… Own it…
Here at EdMission Possible, we guide our students throughout every aspect of the college admissions process. Our Student-Centered College CounselingTM model is geared towards the holistic approach employed in college admission decisions. We know what colleges are looking for, but we also know your individual needs. Call us today to find out how we can help you stand out in your applications by also helping you stay true to your identity.
Juniors! Keep those GPAs high and never cease to be amazing! You’ve got this!
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Independent Educational Consultant, Founder, and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.