College Myths Debunked

Published Saturday, December 11, 2021 by Tarang

When I say the word ‘myth’, what comes to your mind? Is it the religious form of the word? Or is it the other form – a widely held belief that is false? Today, we’ll be discussing the latter, and how it is widely present in college admissions. 

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” A movie based on Greek myths.

Such popular myths about college admissions exist as well. ‘Time’ magazine recently (May 5, 2011) debunked some popular myths. Check out the story here: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2069625,00.html

College admission myths are so commonplace that the ‘Time’ magazine recently (May 5, 2011) debunked some popular ones. Check out the story here. One myth that the article debunks is the one that states that waitlists never move (Myth #4). This is obviously not true, considering that schools take the time to actually create a waitlist. However, students fear that being waitlisted is equivalent to being rejected. This can be disproved easily though just by checking statistics of how many people are accepted off the waitlist. Many schools actually post this data for the public to see: Cornell University accepted 209 students off the waitlist in Fall 2005. That is a very significant number. Don’t let waitlists ruin your self-esteem. Many students start to think that they are not good enough for a certain school (Myth #1 in the article), but this is not true. It is a simple number game. There are more qualified students than spots available. This is true throughout life (for instance, the job market). It’s best to accept this reality now while you are younger.

Here is another website with some great myths debunked. One myth from this list that continues to prevail but shouldn’t is “Myth 6: A lot of out-of-class activities will compensate for poor grades.” Let’s have some real-talk: there is no way to compensate for overly poor grades. GPA and SAT/ACT scores are often used by colleges to make their first cut and screen out applicants. If your unsatisfactory grades screen you out in the first round, then colleges won’t even look at your list of activities. Grades prove to colleges that you can handle the workload. Of course, people do not have perfect grades, but they still get into college. However, a certain competitive GPA is always required. One poor grade or one poor semester can be explained in your personal essays, but colleges do not want to see repetitively low grades.

The admissions process is holistic, but certain things are more important. If a college sees higher grades and only one or two long-term activities for the student, then it considers the student capable and dedicated. Too many activities and lower grades can come across as disorganized and unfocused.

In essence, check out these lists and get the facts for yourself. No one is quite sure where these myths really started. Perhaps it was an innocent conversation gone awry or a misinterpretation of some college gossip. And while some students will rest easy on their favorite admissions myths, the only stories you should rely on are the ones you tell yourself.


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