Coming from someone who helps students apply to college for a living, the title of this post should be quite shocking.

The truth is, I care deeply about all aspects of applying to college from the very first steps to the very last. But, during more than two decades of working in college admission, I have the strongest of convictions that what I care most about is the experience of applying to college for every student I have counseled. That is, everything that comes before getting admitted.

Not the end result. 

Caring About the End Result Only

Sadly, I see some students who care too much about where they are admitted, and as a result, their entire focus is only on getting into this one specific college. Other students do not seem to care at all about where they go and simply apply to just any college, without putting much thought into it—merely wanting to get in somewhere.

Both mindsets focus on the wrong thing—the end of the process, admission to a college.

But the end result is such a small part of what should be a meaningful, important rite of passage into young adulthood. To care only about where you go is, in my opinion, misplaced focus.

Caring About the Right Thing

What I think deserves the highest degree of care is not where a student gets admitted but the decision of which colleges to apply to.

In particular, that means coming up with a list of colleges (about 10, give or take) which fit the student’s specific personality, abilities, interests, and circumstances. For that decision-making process, students and families need to consider a variety of factors. Some factors may be aspirational, such as wanting to get into a particular, well-known college. Other considerations may be more practical, such as which colleges a student may more likely get into or which ones they and their family can afford.

Putting care into compiling this list of attainable colleges and making that process a most significant and most important decision should be the focus of any applicant who wants to handle the college admission process the right way.

If it is done right, it will set them up for success.

True Success with the College Admission Process

Recently, a student I counseled said to me: “Right now, I am waiting for my admission decision. And I feel really good about all the schools I have applied to, even my ‘safety’ schools, the ones that I could easily get into. I do not feel the need to have to get into a specific one. But no matter which college will accept me, I would be happy to get into because I like them all.”

This is precisely what I like to hear any student I have helped be able to say.

This student put a great deal of time and effort into putting together a group of colleges for application that made sense to them and their circumstances. And so, even if they do not yet know where they will be admitted, because all the schools the student has chosen feel right, they are already successful.

If you would like to benefit from the many years of experience I have as an Independent Educational Consultant and complete the college admission process successfully, please contact me. Or learn more about my services by clicking HERE.