Common misconceptions you should be aware of
The most important part of the admissions process is having a strong application. You want to show the college's admissions officers that you're going to be a positive addition to the student body and that you're serious about your education and success.
Good grades are, of course, an important part of your application. However, if you find yourself a little below the cuff in this case, you can strengthen your application by demonstrating dedication and commitment to your education and community.
Not all college students made top grades in their earlier schooling. Those who didn't, though, made an effort to be active in their school and community by playing sports and participating in groups and organizations. Sometimes, if you've been working throughout your schooling, your work experience can be a benefit to your application. Use your past experiences - and the connections you've made with school, business and community leaders through these experiences - to show how you'll contribute to the college.
Another tip: make yourself visible. Find contact names and numbers, and don't be afraid to get your face known. Perhaps schedule an informational interview with someone at the school, so that you show initiative and drive. Even calling or e-mailing to make sure that your application was received in completion shows that you're actively invested in the process.
The biggest misconception about admission into a post-secondary school is that getting in is going to be too tough for you. As you work your way through the admissions process, keep in mind that all over North America, students are being accepted into their first year of community college. If you work for good grades and keep the right attitude, you'll get into the college of your choice. Here are some other common myths and the truth behind them:
- The most common reason for rejection is that students simply aren't good enough. Many students who are certainly smart enough to get into a specific college do not get in because they apply too late or do not hand in all application materials on time.
- There's no excuse for bad grades. Well, you can't give an excuse for bad grades, but every year there are numerous examples of students who come from an immigrant or otherwise difficult background, and who demonstrate that they have what it takes through perseverance and demonstrations of character. Use your entrance essay to explain the things you went through to get where you are, and you may catch a break from a sympathetic (and wise) admissions officer.
- Once you're in, you're locked in. Most colleges have a non-binding Early Action plan that allows students to change their mind even after they have accepted an early offer of acceptance.