College Admissions Myths

This blog post is provided by the Unigo Expert Network, a group of top education experts from across the U.S. answering questions submitted by students and parents about college admissions and succeeding after high school. To have your questions answered visit

“In your experience, what are three of the most accepted or exaggerated myths in the college admissions process?”—Donald J., Park City, UT

Deep-Seated Myths of the College Admissions Process Jill Greenbaum, Founder,

The three most accepted myths I have witnessed over the years are these: 1. Believing that a big name school -- one of the Ivies, Big 10 or a local favorite -- is the best school choice, and ignoring your individual strengths, learning and social needs, wants and challenges. 2. Choosing a teacher to write a recommendation letter because you think the teacher likes you. The teacher needs to have witnessed your growth as an individual over time. The teacher has to truly know you. 3. Thinking that being college-eligible is the same as being college-ready. Being college-ready involves all of you: knowing, managing and taking care of yourself, being able to manage your time, classes, studying and socializing, and money, grades -- everything!

3 Myths That Aren’t True Francine Block, President, American College Admissions Consultants

1. SATs/ACTs are not really all that important, that is what the college reps said when they visited my school. 2. The coach really wants me and says he can get me in. My academics are less than stellar, but that’s not going to matter. 3. I do not need to visit schools now before I apply, I will wait and see where I get in and then check out the campus.

Debunked Myths About College Essays and Deadlines Scott White, Director of Guidance, Montclair High School

1. Better essays are ones about big ideas -- that is false. The more an essay particularizes the better. 2. The essay topic really matters. It doesn't -- it’s about the writing. 3. An essay will make or break an application. Not true -- they are really tie-breakers at best. 4. You can't take November SATs for a November 1st or 15th deadline. This is also false; you can do this with almost any institution. 5. You only have to post mark your materials that are mailed by the deadline: Also false. You need to post mark if you get it out well before the deadline too. Lastly, colleges will STILL consider applications received on time if supporting materials are in just past the deadline.

Get the full story from 35 more experts -- including the Director of Admissions at University of Washington and more -- at To send your question to our experts, visit

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